If you live in a town like Fort Collins, where musicians and great local music are well appreciated, established open mics are quite a treat. Even when the weather is bad (it started raining before the open mic started this week, and there were several inches of snow on the grass by the time we left Avo’s at the end of the night) these open mics allow artists to try out new material, and allows artists who have been away from the music stage for a while to reacquaint themselves with performing in public.
|Jamie Mitchell and Jami Lunde|
This week’s artists gave us a nice assortment of music from several genres and styles, including different flavors of blues and folk. The featured artists were Kate Graves and Jami Lunde, both accompanied by Jamie Mitchell. Kate Graves is on tour at the moment; she lives in Washington (the state). Jami Lunde is a fantastic Colorado artist, out of Lyons. The Jami Lunde Band and Kate Graves will be playing a show at Road 34 this Friday, so if you missed them at the open mic, and you’re over 21, you can catch them at Road 34 in a couple days, $5 at the door. Their support act for this Friday’s show is the Deadwood Saints, which is a sort of reincarnation of Turn 4, now that Turn 4 has disbanded.
In addition to the featured artists, Jill Brzezicki, Steve Doherty and Britton Deuel stood out as additional highlights for the evening’s open mic this week. Steve has been away from performing for a while, and was a bit rusty, but still great for an open mic set. Jill’s voice is fantastic, and I’d imagine she might land herself a spot as featured artist one of these days.
Britton Deuel was the very last performer of the night, which was unfortunate because there were only a few people left in the audience by then (most folks had left earlier than usual this time to beat the snow), but with such a small audience and no other performers on the schedule, we got a completely unplugged set from this guy. We all shifted our seats to the front of the room and enjoyed some excellent music from Britton without any of the distortion of hearing him through the big speakers.
And, while his set was a bit shaky due to his road-testing his big looping pedals, Jesse Niethammer played a nice set this week. His big news though for this week is that he has a new album. At the moment he is still working out how he wishes to share this album with the world, so more details will be forthcoming on his new album.
The Avo’s Open Mic Music Line-Up for Tuesday, April 30th:
Katie Graves and Jamie Mitchell
Jami Lunde and Jamie Mitchell
plus comedians Mutt Rogers(also the open mic host) and Brendan Birch
There is almost always a bit of comedy during these shows, since the host, Mutt Rogers, is a stand-up comedian. Quite a few local comedians use this open mic as an opportunity to try out material and experience a different audience from the usual stand-up comedy crowd. This week’s comedy line-up was more sparse than usual, as was the audience, unfortunately, but Mutt gave a great show, with a few new-to-me short jokes and new twists on a few older ones. Brendan had a bit of an off night, as he is usually quite successful even on slow nights at this open mic. Hopefully next week’s comedy segment will be more resoundingly successful, once the snow goes away again and the audience comes back.
Do you live in or near Fort Collins? Have you never yet been to an open mic show at Avogadro’s Number? Every Tuesday night, Mutt Rogers hosts an open mic starting at 8pm and running till ~11pm. If you want to perform in the show, sign-up starts at 7pm. If you don’t live near here, there’s a great chance that a bar or music venue near you has open mics, too. These are one of the best ways to find out about new and emerging talent in your area, and even outside Fort Collins there is a lot of talent brewing at most open mics. They can be hit-or-miss sometimes- even the best open mics have their off days, and even on the best days, there are often a few rusty or developing artists who are not quite ready to headline a show of their own yet, but that’s part of what these shows are for. Without opportunities like these for musicians to develop their music on a stage, one 20-minute set at a time, the variety and richness of contemporary music would probably dry up, leaving us to listen to the same trendy pop singers and boy-bands, over and over, with very few alternatives, forever.