The Open Mike

So I’ve been trying my best to do an “Artist Date” once per week.  I’ve written about them in earlier posts – basically it’s a date with yourself.  Yes, by yourself.  I know it’s a scary concept for plenty of people, but oh how I enjoy it when I get up the nerve and do it.

Tonight I went to an Open Mike at the library a couple towns over.  How did I hear about this?  Well, on another artist date actually.  A couple months ago I went to here the Trapps at the Rhinecliff Hotel. On a Friday night.  By myself.  That took a little more push than other artist dates.  I’ve been to gallery openings,museums,  arts and crafts classes, antique stores – things people go to alone.  A band at a bar by yourself, well, I had to work up to that one.  Anyway, I find one way to get yourself out of the house is to get all dolled up, then you feel like you can’t waste a great outfit and a good hair day.  So I made it to the Rhinecliff, took a seat at the bar, and ordered a glass of wine.  Thankfully, most everyone was actually watching and listening to the band, so there was none of that, “I’m here with no one to talk to,” feeling.  The bartender was cute; the music was wonderful.  Not bad for a night out by yourself.

After a glass of wine, I started chatting up some of my fellow bar sitters:   a couple of “older” gentlemen who were former neighbors catching up with each other.  They had no problem talking to a single thirty-something instead of each other.  A little later others started dribbling in, and there I was, the band gone, and me still there!  A kindly gentleman asked if I was local and when I let him know I live just a few miles away he informed me that the crowd that just walked in was coming from an Open Mike that happens every third Friday at the local library.  He explained that the musicians are always amazing, and that they come by invitation.  He introduced me to the founder of the event, and I made a mental note.  Later, I pulled out my Palm Treo and marked “Open Mike at Morton Library” for every third Friday.

Well, tonight I made it over to the library.  Which actually looks like an old mansion.  Well, because it is old.  And was built by a wealthy couple as a gift to the community.  And what a gift!  It’s the first library I’ve seen that has a front porch with rocking chairs.  On one side is the library and on the other is the community room: hardwood floors, vaulted ceiling, a stage and a donated baby grand.  There were nearly fifty people in attendance by night’s end.  And the music?  Each song had a message for me.  Like I was destined to be there because these five groups had something to tell me.  It was a little of everything – we had some blues, folk, doo-wop, barbershop quartet, covers, originals.  The Rhinecliff donates sandwiches, there’s wine for sale in the back.  Everyone volunteers their time and donations for the library are accepted.  I read in the local “About Town” that the librarian knows everyone by name.  And now she knows mine:)  I joined the mailing list, and look forward to the next event.

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