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Open Mic Night draws large, diverse crowd

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From poetry to show tunes to a dramatic monologue to a 14-year-old and her band, Sharptop Arts Association’s maiden Open Mic Night would have had a hard time bringing out better performers or a better crowd for a first event.

Last Friday, Jan. 13 the homey, art-filled SAA building on D.B. Carroll Street in Jasper was transformed into a cozy coffee house type setting, with nearly every chair in the crowd filled and every slot in the open mic section of the show spoken for.

Pictured, performers Zach Davis and Steve Moore

 

The evening began with featured artist Eric Reinhardt who played a selection of crowd-pleasing original songs, from “Pandora Vine” to “She Don’t Love Me,” also diverting at one point into a Gillian Welch cover tune.

 

 

              Eric has been performing since high school, including both theatre and music, but the Jan. 13 event was his first solo performance.

Open mic performers included Zach Davis with Steve Moore on piano and guitar; Andy Kippenhan, best known for his work with Tater Patch Players, played original piano-based pieces in a show tune style; and poet Charles Clifford Brooks III read from his upcoming book “Whirling Metaphysics and The Draw of Broken Eyes.”

Another Tater Patch Player, Daniel Picklesimer, stood up a somber dramatic monologue about suicide, and the amazing 14-year-old Jordan Grassi and her band played one cover and one original tune, which has been featured on 94.9 The Bull.

Other performers that evening included Jordan Merrell singing a cappella, Daniel Norris playing originals on guitar, Bay Cagle on piano and Katie Cagle on fiddle.

Toward the end of the set, a few of the performers even launched into an impromptu set, with both Cagles and Steve Moore backing up Norris on some of his originals.

“This being a first event you don’t really know what to expect,” said SAA board member and open mic organizer Angela Reinhardt, who will act as MC for all upcoming open mics. “It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside seeing such amazingly talented and amazingly supportive people come out. I’m so anxious to see who shows up next month,” she continued. “I hope the success of this first event gives people more confidence to come out in the future, either as a performer or as a spectator.”

Next month, Saturday, Feb. 11, SAA will feature musician Rich Wells, formerly of ToyTV.

Show begins at 7 p.m., with signup for open mic beginning at 6:30 p.m. Performers can sign up for up to 10 minutes of stage time.

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