Open Mic, November 5, 2015
Open Mic Review
Host Robert Foster opened the weekly performing arts show and open mic with a cover of Cat Stephens song, “Father and Son.” He followed that with two Harry Chapin covers, “Cats in the Cradle” and “Taxi.”
Local singer/songwriter Greg Mitchell came next with his song, “Rain” written in honor of Ronnie Van Zant and another young friend who had passed away. Then he took a trip down memory lane and sang and old song he wrote many years ago called, “One Drink Away from Being Gone.” He finished with one of his newer songs written in a Jimmy Buffett style called, “Take Me.” Co-host Ron Hackett backed Mitchell on the guitar.
Rock and roller Steven Massey came next playing a cover of “The Other Side of Love” by The Moody Blues. He finished his first set with “Still My Life” and “Cold Days.” While Massey was playing his second song, Isaiah Lewis, son of Sarah Lewis, performed an impromptu dance for his mother and her friends in the back of the room.
“We have a wonderful audience this year with many regulars,” said Hackett. “We really appreciate the support we get from the community, and I am looking for more ways for us to give back to the community.” Hackett was recently elected president of the Art League and will assume his new post on December 1st.
Hackett’s good friend and fellow guitarist Drew Tucker followed Massey with an acoustic set of two Fernando Sor compositions. Sor, a Spanish classical guitarist and composer, was once considered to be the best guitarist in the world. His works for guitar are standard material for most classical guitarists today.
Next, Hackett sang a humorous tune named, “Do You Want to Play the Guitar.” Pat Donahue wrote the words using the melody from "Swinging on a Star," that Bing Crosby sang in the 1944 film “Going My Way.” He followed that with his recent arrangement of “Edelweiss” from the “Sound of Music,” a play by Rogers and Hammerstein that was adapted into a movie starring Julie Andrews. He finished his set with “My Favorite Things” from the same play.
Normally, the host performing at this point signals the beginning of the encore round, but there were a few late arrivals this week. Elliot from Petersburg came to play “Winter Wonderland” with Ron Hackett playing lead guitar on the tune. Then Elliott sang a humorous Chet Atkins tuned about a jilted lover called, “I Still Write Your Name in the Snow.” He finished with a Shel Silverstein tune named, “Beans taste Fine.”
Gary Tipper also arrived late and sang three cover tunes: “Old Man” by Neil Young, “Last Dance with Mary Jane” by Tom Petty, and “The Captain and the Kid” by Jimmy Buffett.
For his encore, Foster covered two John Prine songs, “Dear Abby,” and “Sam Stone.” He finished his encore with his standard Darrell Scott cover of “Never Leave Harlan Alive.”
Mitchell returned to the stage to sing two more if his original tunes. “Christmas in the Cays” is a song about lost love and being a musician traveling through the Florida Cays during the holidays. He finished with a ballad inspired by an inscription on a bench overlooking Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi called, “Charlie’s View.”
Elliott sang, “If I Could Be the Rain” by Rosalie Sorrels for his encore. Tipper covered “Come Monday” by Jimmy Buffett; “Southern Cross” performed by the rock band Crosby, Stills & Nash; and “Sister Golden Hair” by written by Gerry Beckley and recorded by the band America.
Hackett’s encore included “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” “Michelle” by the Beattles, and “One Note Samba” composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. “It’s a love song about the singer pouring all of his love into that one note,” explained Hackett. “The chorus is a flurry on notes that, ‘just say nothing or nearly nothing.’”
With the show officially over for the evening, Tucker and Hackett teamed up to perform an impromptu rendition of Jobim’s “Girl from Ipanema.” Hackett then played several instrumental guitar tunes including, “All the Things you Are” by Jerome Kern.
Photos courtesy of Ron Hackett
Elliott from Petersburg