Spotlight on Talented Local Musicians at February Open Mic

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Submitted by Lorraine Campbell

There was a comfortable crowd on Tuesday night at The Meeting Place for the February Open Mic. Everyone settled in for the evening of music – it was a remarkable concert that really put the spotlight on the diverse talents of our local musicians.

John Baker opened the first set with two American classics: Bring Me Water Little Susie, and St. James Infirmary. Dominik Franken and Dan Corcoran followed, playing two tangos. Dan’s piano provided a deft accompaniment for Dom’s virtuoso viola performance. What a treat! Dan then presented a haunting rendition of a poem– it was moody and quietly insistent, reminiscent of something Leonard Cohen may have written. It was, however, written by local poet Glenda Burrell, with music by Dan. Paul Campbell made a welcome return to the Open Mic, and sang Sugar Mountain, Neil Young’s meditation on youth and change. He finished his set with John Lennon’s Dear Prudence. John Newitt’s gravelly voice and shimmering twelve string guitar delivered stories of lost dreams and ghosts in a desert landscape. Lorraine Campbell finished the first set with two poems, one speaking of the despair of missing indigenous youth, and the other an upbeat poem of survival and growth.

Arnie Crittendon opened the second set with his suitcase of harmonicas. His craft is rare and it takes a great deal of skill to play chromatic harmonicas with such flair. His set ended with the haunting air Ashoken Farewell, a parting song from the Ashoken Valley in the Catskills. Dom returned to the stage with a short story of how in his childhood he and his family were a stringed quartet-– all ‘the good’ strings were taken, so he was given a viola. Apparently he wasn’t too thrilled with that – but then he proceeded to play two Bach suites on his electric viola. He has obviously embraced this instrument. Marty Oblak closed the session with his intense vulnerable songs and unique guitar stylings.

Not only did Marty host the evening, he also mixed the performances and the audio was spectacular. Thank you Marty.

Open Mic welcomes all performers. The next session is on March 3, don’t miss it!