Open Mic, November 12, 2015
Two Newcomers Grace Our Stage
“Wow, this is going to be a great show,” said host Robert Foster as he opened the weekly performing arts show and open mic at the Arts Center to a full house. Foster sang “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young, and two John Prine songs, “Spanish Pipedream” and “Hello in There.”
A newcomer to our stage, Butch Hendricks, performed “Back to strangers again,” “A Love Song is Too Sad to Sing,” and “Drinker’s Hall of Fame.” Hendricks is a retired professional musician, and he played a 1959 vintage Martin guitar that he has owned since his youth.
Rocker Steven Massey played “Might Have Been,” “I Won’t Think about Him,” and a cover medley of “Forever and Ever Amen” and “Where the Green Grass Grows.” Then Massey introduced his stepson, Eli Dunn, who made his public performance debut playing a guitar instrumental version of “Are You Mine,” while his mother, Amanda, watched. “We really like to encourage blossoming talent,” said co-host Taylor Hoch who is still convalescing at home.
Jazz guitarist Don Moriarty, who will be moving back to Louisiana soon, and co-host Ron Hackett teamed up to play three jazz standards, including “Misty,” “My Favorite Things” from the sound track of “The Sound of Music,” and “Blues in the Closet” that is also known as “Collard Greens and Black Eyed Peas.”
Sarah Lewis returned to our stage to read her original poem, “Life is Fine.” “We have always promoted this show as a ‘performing arts’ show, not just a music show,” said Hackett. “We really appreciate Sarah, and we encourage everyone in our community with performing arts skills to participate in our shows.”
Singer/songwriter Jerry Taylor, know as JT to his friends, performed two of his original tunes. His wife inspired the first song, “Paradise.” Unfortunately, his wife had not arrived before JT came to the stage. He finished with “Queen of the Night.”
Regular performer Gary Tipper played three cover tunes that included “Five O’clock Somewhere,” “Just the Two of Us,” and “Brown Eyed Girl.” Elliott from Petersburg, who doesn’t like us to use his last name, played “Jack’s Red Cheetah,” and a Liberian lullaby.
Singer/songwriter Greg Mitchell with Hackett backing him on guitar played a Salt Life set from his next album that included, “There Just Ain’t No Bad Days,” “Forever,” and “Take Me.”
Instrumental guitarist and host Ron Hackett finished the first round. He started with his arrangement of an old show tune that he calls, “Swinging, Over the Rainbow.” Next, he played an arrangement of “My Cheree Amour” that he learned from Pete Huttlinger in Nashville. Hackett closed with an old jazz standard by Jerome Kern named, “All the Things You Are.”
Although we had eleven acts this week, there was time left for an encore round. Since some performers had to leave early, the remaining performers got to perform two additional songs.
Foster sang “Grandpa was a Carpenter” and “In Color.” Hendricks sang "Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive" by Merle Haggard and “Have You Ever.” JT played another original song entitled, “Cowboy,” and he did a reprise of “Paradise” for his wife who came in late and missed his first round performance.
Tipper sang “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” a power ballad song by American glam metal band Poison, and “Tin Cup Chalice” by Jimmy Buffett. Elliott sang a audience participation tune called, “Garbage” by Bill Steele, and then he recited a humorous poem by Richard Hayden called, “Feet”
Jazz guitarists Moriarty and Hackett closed out the encore round and the show with “Autumn Leaves” and “Satin Doll.”
The show will be taking two weeks off for Thanksgiving. Our next show will be December 3rd at 7:00pm in the basement of the Arts Center. “We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope to see everyone at our next show,” said Hackett in closing this show.
Photos courtesy of Ron Hackett
Audience Stage Left
Audience Stage Right
Elliott from Petersburg