The Sherman Theater’s Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA held another installment of weekly Open Mic Nite Series on Sunday April 27th. It has been a while since I’ve been to the venue and its warmth quickly touched my thoughts as I stepped through its doors. Nick Desouza was practicing and was soon joined by co host Andrew Oldfield. It was soon afterwards did the announcement come that the time for those wishing to share their talents before the microphone to sign their names has arrived and the music ceased so the anticipated ritual would commence. Signatures blessed the laminated sheet of paper as each hand moved to form letters resembling their names or nom de plumes.
Some time elapsed before the first of those who signed in began to share their gifts with the gathering. This respite was filled by a soft jam session presented spontaneously by Dave Pugh on Electric Guitar, co host Andrew Oldfield on drums, and Theresa Ratliff of Woodrow www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow who sang along while cocooned in the relaxing embrace of the chair she happily occupied. It was after this gentle preparation of the evening’s festivities did co host Andrew Oldfield take the stage to welcome those who arrived and to introduce the first act.
The smoothness that embodied the jazz melodies emanating from Nick Desouza and his guitar filled the room as their flowing sounds carried the listeners’ souls over the rainbows where their little bluebirds fly. He was joined by co host AP Box www.facebook.com/APbboxes4u whose vocal percussionary skills enhance the performance with his unique method of keeping the beat. Nick was followed by The Billy Mack Collector.
The appearance of Billy Mack proved to be a special treat for those who have frequent the living room since it’s humble beginnings nearly two years ago. Billy originated and hosted the very first installments during the event’s first year or so creating a haven for those who wished to share their creative talents before a welcoming audience in an encouraging environment. The deceptive simplicity of his original songs delighted those who heard them whether or not those who did so were aware of the venue’s history. It was just fun to hear his songs.
Billy was followed by Dave Pugh who performed on Electric guitar and was joined by co host Andrew Oldfield on drums. Together they played a number of Led Zeppelin songs which surpassed the qualities of the original recordings. Dave was followed by a duo of poets referred to as Shelby GT who consisted of Shelby Palmer who shared the majority of poetry with the audience and Gwendolyn Thomas. Together, their words spoke to the inner truth we know of within ourselves.
They were followed by Vinnie Huevos and his guitar who was joined by co host Andrew Oldfield on Bass Guitar and Billy Mack on drums. There was a delay as Vinnie had to leave the establishment in order to retrieve his guitar from his car but this gave Billy an opportunity to share some of the jokes he had become well known for when he served as host of the event. Vinnie returned as audience members began sharing their own jokes with one another and the music commenced. The band rocked the house with their kick ass renditions of some rock classics and recent compositions which their performances of the pieces made vintage.
Vinnie and the band were followed by the duo known as Woodrow who consists of Theresa Ratliff on vocals and Brian Bramkamp on vocals and guitar. Together they belted out one song after another beginning with the Peter Gabriel song titled, “Solsbury Hill” which he wrote in the late 1970s after having a spiritual experience atop Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England. Their rendition of this and other songs filled the gathering with delight which many akin to a divine incarnation in its own rite. A break ensued after their performance so the many who were touched by their experiences could contemplate what the smiles on their faces meant.
The break came to its conclusion as Wilbium and his electronic musicalities took the stage. The tunes he emitted from his computerized keyboard electric guitar, and his modified voice overwhelmed the audience as a trance moved them to dance with abandonment. Wilbium was followed by Amy Knopf whose presence before the gathering had not been felt for sometime but her words struck their familiar chords as those who had the fortune to learn from them in the past found their depths guiding them once again to a deeper life filled with a plethora of revelations. Amy was followed by Songstress Melissa Johnson whose clarion voice echoes off the walls of existence within the soul of all humanity dwells. She was joined by co host AP Box who lent his vocal talents to the set.
Melissa was followed by Benjamin Ordonez who shared a number of poems written with the blood of the soul’s pen. He was followed by Brad Mills who shared a number of songs and thoughts with the audience. Brad was followed to the by a newcomer to the Open Mic Nite Series whose name was Larry Liero. He and his guitar played a number of songs that were quickly absorbed by those who heard them as their melodies enhanced their spirits. He was later joined by Alek Mager who took over the guitar and Christian Tassinari on Drums. Together they performed as members of the band known as Terraveer www.facebook.com/terraveermusic who formed in 2013 and whose other members include Mikey Philips and Sean Kelsey. Their performance delighted the gathering as their songs enlivened the night even further.
It was after Larry, Alex, and Christian had completed their set was it announced the main list of performances for the evening had come to it’s final slot. However, since there was more time allotted to the event, an opportunity was afforded to those whose names were on the waiting list to share their talents as well. The first of these individuals was Phillip who shared some entertaining rap renditions and was joined by co host AP Box who lent his percussions to the mix. Phillip was followed by the return of Nick Desouza on Guitar, co host Andrew Oldfield on Drums, Melissa Johnson on Vocals, and AP Box on AP Box.
Together they filled the room with their love for the music they shared until Melissa left the ensemble to share some joyous dancing with members of the audience. This left the remainder of the group to close out the evening leading all to gleefully anticipating the arrival of the following week’s Open Mic Nite as they completed the final note of their final song. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Sunday April 27th Open Mic Nite Session in The Living Room 2014 Gallery Part 3 at www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152343904050421.1073741890.636000420&type=1.
The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday May 4th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series and the All Star show by Exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom.
In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents the work of visual artists from around the area. Their current exhibition features the work of Leonard Boone www.facebook.com/pages/Boones-ART-Boulevard/167124073498891, Ashley Fontones www.isashleyfontonesapotato.com, Eric Goins, and Ben Schwartz www.facebook.com/BenSchwartzArt. The following exhibit will be their a group show in May titled, “Art-ology.” Please contact the gallery’s Director and Curators, Keyaira and Drew Ozkenel, at 570-421-2808 for more information.
The Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, performance, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room/123978921059378 for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.