After a short visit to the Tennessee Bar open mic where an MC that looked, spoke, acted and dressed just like James Iansiti but said James was ill and he was a replacement – figure that out! – I went to the Coolin open mic at the Coolin Pub. This is the new one I discovered a few weeks ago and which was in its seventh week yesterday. I arrived and felt like maybe it had quickly run out of steam. Wrong!
I mean, when I arrived just after 10 PM there were a number of people there, but nowhere near the numbers we saw last week. I assumed that a whole new group of people tested it last week and quickly decided it was not for them. I found that an odd conclusion, as the vibe, the music, the warmth, the people, at this open mic are absolutely supercool.
And, as it turned out, I was very, very wrong. I got up early and did my set and by the time I got into my third song, after screwing up on the lyrics of one I decided my approach would be to forget about the world and close my eyes and sing for myself. When I opened my eyes I found that the bar had filled up with people and musicians. (Not that there is a difference between the two species.)
Fortunately, they were all in the process of saying hello, kissing cheeks and shaking hands, and very little of what I sang seemed to have been listened to. I would have another chance later – two chances, in fact – and both went down considerably better.
But in the meantime, I was treated to an insanely wonderful evening of music, with once again, some original musicians and instrumentalists. There was a trumpet, a trombone, a soul-like singer from France, a bongo player; Jamie Turner without the cellist; and just all manner of new song and singer.
There was much singing along and applause and carrousing. There was even the post-open-mic singalong around the table after 1 AM. This time, as I had an early morning ahead of me, I did not stay for the jam – although I did pick up a few moments on video as I walked out the door.
Any sense of a decline in the festivities was purely imaginary and due to the later start of this open mic than most others… which also happens to be to my taste….