Open Mic, February 18, 2016
Open Mic Review
“It’s great to see the room filled with so many people supporting local performing artists in our community,” said host Ron Hackett. “We had eleven artists performing in nine acts plus a number of people who just came to see the show.”
Co-host Taylor Hoch started the evening with three of her original Americana songs. Her songs included “What Should I Do Now,” “Everything’s Fine,” and “That’s How It Goes.” Hoch’s songs get a lot of radio play in Europe.
Randal Mills came next with three cover songs. He sang “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Turn the Page” by Bob Seger, and “Wagon Wheel” originally sketched by Bob Dylan. Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show completed the song for their album. The song was later covered by Darius Rucker, who made it a hit.
RD Hall and Casey Massey teamed up for three cover songs. Hall played rhythm guitar and sang while Massey played guitar leads for “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison, and “House of the Rising Sun” by the British group the Animals. No one knows who wrote “House of the Rising Sun.” It is a traditional folk song that bears some resemblance to a 16th century folk ballad called “The Unfortunate Rake.”
Caitlin VanKeuren on violin and Scott Rozell on guitar returned to our stage for the first time this year. They covered three songs that included “Can’t Cash My Checks” by Jamie Johnson, “Everything that Glitters” by Dan Seals, and “Go Down Rockin’” by Waylon Jennings.
Singer/Songwriter Greg Mitchell came next to sing three of his original songs. He was backed by Hackett on the acoustic guitar. They performed two songs from their next album, “Crazy from the Salt,” which is a collection of songs about beach life. They started with “There Just Ain’t No Bad Days,” a song about a beach paradise. They followed that with a love ballad that ponders where your love and the Gulf Stream breeze will “Take Me.” They finished with the title song from Mitchell’s first album, “The Last Dirt Road in Tennessee.”
Rose Pyatt, a regular performer at our shows and a crowd favorite, followed with three of her original songs. She sang “Dragon Flies and Butterflies,” “Sweet Little Song,” and “Just Love Me.”
Elliott from Petersburg played more of his eclectic collection of humorous songs that included a traditional ballad entitled, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.” This is a song about woman and her lover who is a soldier gone to war. The song became the theme for a 1949 John Wayne movie. Next came “Your Baby Went Down the Plug Hole,” a mother’s lament about a baby so small and thin that it disappeared in the wash tub. He finished with “The Fatal Glass of Beer” from a 1933 W. C. Fields movie.
Co-host Robert Foster followed with three cover songs. He sang “Old Man” by Neil Young, “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens, and “Paradise” by John Prine. Hackett then closed out the first round with three acoustic guitar instrumentals. He played “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams, “Wheels” with VanKeuren improvising on violin, and “Lara’s Theme” from the movie Doctor Zhivago. There has been some contention about the pronunciation of the name Lara. The characters full name is Larissa Antipova, so the name should be pronounced similar to “Laura.”
With so many performers, there wasn’t time for a second full set. Each performer who remained got to perform two encore songs. Pyatt started the round with two more original songs: “Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without it” and “Things We’ve Left Untold.”
VanKeuren and Rozell played “Tennessee Waltz” with lyrics by Redd Stewart and music by Pee Wee King, and a Waylon Jennings tune named, “Waymore’s Blues.” Mitchell and Hackett returned to perform two more original songs: “West Texas Rain” and “Dirt Road Heart.”
Elliott sang “Old Dope Peddler” by Tom Lehrer, and “I’m and Old Cow Hand” by Johnny Mercer. Foster closed out the evening with two cover songs. He sang “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks, and “In Color” by Jamie Johnson.
Photos courtesy of Ron Hackett
R. D. Hall and Cassey Massey
Caitlin VanKeuren and Scott Rozell
Ron Hackett and Greg Mitchell
Elliott from Petersburg
Ron Hackett and Caitlin VanKeuren