Open Mic, December 17, 2015
"Last Thursday's Open Mic Night show was filled with holiday spirit. The performers and audience members enjoyed listening to some great music, singing along to Christmas carols, and nibbling on the pizza and holiday goodies provided by our regular attendees. It was a great way to end a great year of open mic night performances," said co-host Taylor Hoch. "We'll be taking a two week break for the holidays, but we'll start things rolling again on Jan 7, 2016," Taylor added.
The duet Tay & Jay (Taylor Hoch and Jay Jernigan) started off the show playing two of Taylor's original songs "That's How It Goes" and "So You Run". They finished their first set with an eerie song called "Right Through Me". This song--nicknamed "Jack the Ripper"--was requested by the audience and is from a musical that Taylor Hoch is writing.
Next up was co-host Robert Foster. Robert covered "Mr. Bojangles" by Jerry Jeff Walker, "Snow Blind Friend" by Hoyt Axton, and "Whiskey and You" by Tim McGraw.
Robert was followed by Allen Booth. It had been a while since Allen had been able to attend the Thursday night open mic and it was great to have him back. Allen treated the audience to two Christmas carols, "Silent Night" and "O Tannenbaum" (Oh Christmas Tree) singing both the carols in German. He then invited the audience to sing along to "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin and "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy" by Buck Owens.
After Allen finished his set, everyone took a break to enjoy the food and the company. After the break, Tay & Jay started the musical program off again by playing three more of Taylor's original songs, "What Should I Do Now?" "Screaming God's Name" and "It Must Be Love". Taylor's song, "It Must Be Love" has been doing real well internationally. It has been on the European Americana Indies chart for over eight months, climbing as high as number four on the chart during the first month of its release.
Co-host Robert Foster did an encore round after Tay & Jay's set. He covered two James Taylor songs, "You've Got A Friend" and "Fire And Rain", and finished his set with "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" by Darrell Scott.
Allen Booth started his encore round playing "Dark As A Dungeon" by Merle Travis and then finished his set by asking the audience to sing along as he played "Joy To The World".
Gary Tipper had arrived late so he joined in during the second round. For his set, Gary covered "Havana Daydreaming" and "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett and "A Horse With No Name" by Dewey Bunnell and made famous by the band America.
Elliot from Petersburg also arrived late, so he joined in after Gary's set. Elliot got the audience singing along as he played "Frosty The Snowman" by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, and "Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer" by Johnny Marks. He finished his set by covering "West Virginia" by Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard.
There was more time left, so another encore round was called for. Tay & Jay started the ball rolling with three more of Taylor's original songs. They started with the title track from Taylor's second album, "One More Time", followed it with "Jimmy's Song", and then Jay Jernigan really thrilled the audience with his incredible blues guitar playing on the duet's final song, "There It Is Again".
Allen Booth returned to the stage and played "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano, and then, because the audience enjoyed singing it so much, he did his version of "Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer" by Johnny Marks.
Gary Tipper returned to the stage for his encore round and played "Tequila Sunrise" by the Eagles, "Southern Cross" by Stephen Stills, and "King of the Road" by Roger Miller.
Elliot from Petersburg closed out the evening with "Long Black Veil" by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, "I'm Getting' Nothin' For Christmas" by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett, and a old folk song called "Remember Me".
Photos courtesy of Peggy Gill Foster
Tay & Jay, Jay Jernigan and Taylor Hoch
Elliott from Petersburg