One of the beauties of attending open mics is that it is really live music and that means it is really unpredictable as to what will happen, who will be in great playing shape, how you will react and play and how the audience will be in listening. It’s a real-life, live music situation – totally unpredictable. But another thing that sometimes happens at open mics that is even more unpredictable is the various synchronicities that can happen in meeting people.
It was by happenstance during a conversation a few months ago at Ollie’s open mic at the Ptit Bonheur La Chance bar that Ollie himself would be playing in Singapore when I was there last September. I learned this through a family member of his, and not through him. So we decided to link up and play at a bar while in Singapore, and it was very cool.
Last night at Ollie’s among the musicians was my friend Aurelie Viau, who is of Dutch and French origin, and whom I first met and discovered singing at the Galway last June. One of the main songs on Aurelie’s repertoire is “Jimmy,” by the band Moriarty. “Jimmy” was the band’s first single, and it was a hit.
“Jimmy” also happens to be the song that Aurelie sang in the first video I put up on this blog of her, where I mention in the above link that it was sung by “a Dutch woman.” Last night Aurelie decided at the last minute to go to Ollie’s open mic, and one of the songs she sang was “Jimmy.”
Let’s rewind a little. One of the regular musicians at Ollie’s open mic in recent months is an American who has lived in Paris most of his adult life – like me – named Wayne Standley. He sings a pretty classic American repertoire that runs from country to Bob Dylan, as well as some other 60s rock classics. I’ve put up videos of Wayne since as early as June (Wayne Standley is in the first video on the page under this link, for instance.)
In recent weeks I learned the Wayne was, in fact, the father of Rosemary Standley who is the singer at Moriarty who sings the song “Jimmy.” So last night, without her knowing it, Aurelie sang one of the main songs in her repertoire in front of the father of the woman whose song it is. Rosemary, like the other members of the band, grew up in Paris, but has a very strong American country, rock and folk background, and when you meet and hear Wayne, you know why.
After, up in the bar, Wayne presented himself to Aurelie. Needless to say, she was blown away by the news. She also realized that she had heard the father of Rosemary singing too, without knowing who it was. (As it turns out, Rosemary and Wayne sometimes performer together too.)
And I thought, yes, this is the open mic. This is the rear nerve center of one of the great reasons we do these things – we meet people, connect with people, and we see and feel and hear our music different because of the context as well.