The open mic is back in gear every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Kaffee Meister
11-29-12 Open Mic
Last week I realized that, by skipping Thanksgiving, I hadn’t sent a newsletter to remind people to come to our open mic. Would anyone show up? I needn’t have worried; we had a full house and needed to bring some chairs in from outside…it was chilly out, so they weren’t missed.
Some people say open mics get stale because the performers are always the same—I say it ain’t necessarily so! We are fortunate to have enough of a following that each week there are a few people we haven’t heard play for a spell; while at the same time we have a core of performers that can entertain any crowd. What is so special is the feeling of extended family that our audience exudes; granted it can be noisy at times, that’s because everyone is anxious to catch up with each other’s lives.
Our performers have to learn to project and get the audience’s attention so they will quiet down—a skill we can all use—it’s the equivalent of earning your stripes on the honky-tonk circuit, only in a much friendlier environment.
And now, on with the show!
Greg Gross – Greg got the evening to a great start with a fine set of C.C.R.’s “Proud Mary”; Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya”; Dan Fogleberg’s “Leader of the Band”; and Jim Croce’s “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim”.
Michael Stone – Michael is a pro in every form of the word; he can write a tune and deliver it with a professionalism that is to be admired. His first was a very good original he titled “I Wish I Could Write Like Leonard Cohen” (don’t we all); he followed that with another of his own tunes “The Mysteries”; and Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”.
Z – With some backing by three Johns (Seever, Rodriguez and Movius), Z played a couple of Bob Dylan’s lesser known tunes, “Tomorrow is a Long Time” and “One More Night”; then he completed his short set with Merle Haggard’s “Mamma Tried”.
Bob Cool – Bob wasn’t looking too energetic but, with a little rhythm help from Greg Gross, he managed to work his way through “Bile Them Cabbage Down”; Jay Unger’s “Ashokan Farewell”; and his own “San Diego Breakdown”.
Les, Ray, & Alton – The guys, sometimes known as “Country Express” treated our crowd to a set; Alton took the vocal lead on Mel Tillis’ “Heart Over Mind”; Ray led Ray Price’s “My Heart Tells Me Stay”; Les took Merle Haggard’s “Swinging Doors”; Alton came back with Buck Owens’ “Under Your Spell Again”; and Ray closed the set with Merle Haggard’s “Life’s Railway to Heaven”. Alton was scheduled to have knee surgery this Monday, so we won’t see him for a while (he was home and resting comfortably by Tuesday).
Lynda Sterns – Lynda has such a pretty voice that whatever she chooses to sing is alright with us. This week she gave us the traditional Irish (or Scottish?) tune “Loch Lomand”; another classic oldie, “Maggie”; Bill Stevens’ “Sueno” (add your own tilde, I can’t figure out how to do it myself); and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Did She Mention My Name?” (revised by Lynda to be “did he mention my name?”).
John Movius– John did a rare acoustic solo set; he played Eddie Cochran’s “Milkcow Blues”; and Sonny James’ “Young Love”; he had Lynda join him on The Beatles’ “I Call Your Name”; and finished appropriately with Nat King Cole’s “That’s All”.
Curtis Hodson – Curtis had John Rodriguez back him on his set of Elvis’ “I Forgot to Remember to Forget Her” (Johnny Cash’s first hit record); Jim Reeves’ “Welcome to My World” (also covered by Elvis); Eddie Arnold’s “Make the World Go Away”; and a final Elvis tune, “Blue Christmas”.
Greg Santogrossi – Greg usually does all his own tunes; this week he led off with Kris Kristofferson’s tune that Johnny Cash had a hit with, “Sunday Morning Sidewalk”; then his own “Doing the Things You Really Love to Do”; and “I’m a Little Bit Slow”. Greg’s songs have a way of growing on you--he does as well; he seems to be building a fan base among our audience members.
Farrie Ann Nichols – Farrie Ann was breaking in a new accordion and figuring out how to use its digital features. She had a holiday set of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (Coots/Gillespie); “O Holy Night”; and Brenda Lee’s “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”.
Cliff Niman – Cliff met a fellow by the name of Alden a few years back and played one of his tunes called “Cold, Wet, Soggy Coal” (he doesn’t know what ever happened to Alden—great song though); then he did “Soul Cake” (Wikopedia says its from 1891); and had Lynda Sterns join him for Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing On My Mind”.
Mitch Wilson – Mitch is an extremely good guitar player that has a great love for Christmas tunes. He put together an amazing medley of Christmas songs seamlessly joined together into one twelve-minute tune, which included: “What Child is This?”; “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”; “Good King Wenceslas”; “We Three Kings”; “Carol of the Bells”; “The Little Drummer Boy”; “O Come Little Children”; “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”; “Silent Night”; “Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella”; “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”; “Deck the Halls”; “Angels We have Heard on High”; “Joy to the World”; and “Jingle Bells”. That has to be a record for the most songs in one medley—amazingly enough, it flowed well and sounded great.
Tom Barbarie – Tom managed to get a time slot thanks to a couple of performers who had short sets. He had John Movius join him with his mandolin; they did Johnny Cash’s “Give My Love to Rose” and “Folsom Prison Blues”; and Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home”.
What a night! We do have fun, don’t we? God bless, be of good cheer, and have a good week.
Risa Goldberg wanted me to put out the following word.
We will be Christmas caroling for Opal at the Kearny Mesa Convalescent Hospital and Home at 7675 Family Circle on December 19, at 6:30.
The Pony Tales will be leading the evening ; I’ve done it before, it’s a good time—Opal’s a treasure, and the residents are appreciative—I plan to be there.
Tim Woods, Greg Gross, and the Wood ‘n’ Lips open mic crew
Other news of note:
Open Mic Info: The Kaffee Meister, 9225 Carlton Hills Boulevard. Sign-ups from 5:30, Drawing for time slots 6:15; 15 Minute Time Slots.
Cruise2Jam: It may not be too late to get booked for the Bluegrass, Folk, and Gospel cruise; contact Jerry Turner if you’re interested. Several of our non-bluegrass open mic friends went last January, and we had a great time. I wrote a journal of our experiences for the San Diego Troubadour. You can see my article on line by clicking on the following link: http://sandiegotroubadour.com/2012/09/all-aboard-for-a-cruise-jam/ or visit Jerry’s website at www.cruise2jam.com .
The more of our friends we get on the cruise, the more fun we will have. I will be hosting the folk jams and conducting a seminar on the Folk Music of the Sixties, with plenty of sing and play-along opportunities.
Queen Mary Jam: If you aren’t able to join us for the cruise at the end of January, you might be pleased to hear that there is a jam session planned for the day before the cruise on the Queen Mary. We can jam anywhere on the ship, and we’re working on having an open mic on board. You can spend Sunday night on the Queen Mary, (which is docked beside the Carnival ship that we will be sailing on) at a very good rate which, if you are cruising, includes parking for the week. If you can’t spend the night, a day trip could be a very enjoyable way to spend your Sunday.