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A New Alternative Open Mic at the Oasis 244 in Paris on Wednesday Nights

April 30, 2015

Oasis 244

Oasis 244

PARIS – I finally got to the new open mic at the Oasis 244 bar last night, a venue I have written about frequently in recent months as the place where John Redford and Stephen Saxo hold their Friday night semi-open mic. (IE, it’s actually their own musical gig, but they open the stage to friends, acquaintances, and sometime people who drop in off the street.) I have never had much bad to say about that place, or that show, I think. But last night, it was a really interesting experience to see the same venue on a different night and during a true open mic – i.e., an evening where the stage’s sole purpose is to invite musicians up to play two or three or four songs. Not to mention poets or any other manner of spoken-word aficionados who may want to take part.

It felt completely different – or almost – to the Friday night thing, and it had many more musicians, more styles, more people in general, than a lot of the Friday night affairs. I have no idea if it is always like this, but I do know one very good reason that it is like this at least at the moment: The host of the open mic (aside from Bobb the barman owner opening the stage) is the fabulous Trélys DuPré, a Canadian expat who is better known on this blog for being the soulful singer and ukulele player of many another open mic in the city in recent years.

Trélys runs the show with a friend, even hand and a warm presentation behind her own mic, moving around the room and encouraging people to play, and spectators and musicians to come in off the street. Her own personal sound system that she brings each Wednesday to the Oasis 244 is also somewhat more complete than the one on offer on Friday night, at least that’s how it seemed to me – as she has two mics available, and another mic that wraps around a third person’s head should it be necessary. (Not in violence, mind you.)

In some ways it felt a lot like the long-since-gone Petit Bonheur la Chance open mic, that used to take place in the basement of the bar of the same name, as this one attracts some of the same mainstay regulars, such as the legendary Wayne Standley, and of course, Trélys herself.

Definitely, definitely worth attending. It’s an alternative feel to the ever popular Highlander open mic on Wednesday nights, that can be a lot more crowded and less intimate, even though I love the Highlander challenge too. I’ll be back.

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