Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Another Epic Ollie Open Mic at the Chance

May 18, 2011

I am rushing like a maniac – 10,000 maniacs – to get prepared for my trip to Barcelona tomorrow and for the open mic at the Highlander tonight! So I will keep this short on words – for once – and just say that last night at Ollie’s it was another astounding open mic.

The Ptit Bonheur la Chance basement room is getting too small to hold us all. But I am 99 percent certain that if it moved somewhere else, this open mic hosted by Ollie Fury, it would not be the same success. Yes, it’s Ollie, but the location always comes into play in something successful. But there is only floor room these days – and on the staircase – for those who are not there before 9 PM.

And a long string of new and interesting musicians. I loved the Japanese musician who sang in English and Japanese, his name, he said, was Nicolas, and his band name – or myspace – is Monkeyguitarist. He sang a Damon Rice song and a Japanese song about toe nails. And there was that cultural difference, I am sure: Everytime someone entered the room or came down the stairs, he welcomed them – even in the middle of his song.

There were so many musicians present that from the start Ollie decided we could only do one song. That is always difficult. You need three to warm up, do a slow, do a fast. But I ended up having no problem, nor did anyone else. It was normal for the number of musicians that Ollie allow us only one song. There would not have been time otherwise for everyone to play. I did one of mine, then I did my new cover song, “What’s Up.” The audience helped me in a way I could only have dreamed of, as everyone sang along through most of the song.

Wayne Standley appeared not so happy to have only two songs to sing, but he was totally unchained and out of his cage on the Tom Petty song, which I caught the last part of on video. You might call it, Tom Petty’s song, Wayne’s world….

Word about this open mic must be getting around, because I heard from several people that there was a newly famous Irish folk singer in the audience, in James Vincent McMorrow, of Ireland. He didn’t sing, though.

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