Saturday, March 05, 2016

An Open Mic with Joe Craig

The Sunday February 28th installment of the Sherman Theater's Living Room's weekly Open Mic Nite Series proved to be a gentle one filled with the music, comedy, and poetry the venue has become so well known for. The evening was an especially poignant one as it was attended by Kevin “Tails” Mocha who has been a regular at the event until he recently moved to Richmond, VA. His return visit to the area was a welcomed one bringing with it memories and a rekindling of friendships.

The evening began with the ceremonial signing in procedure in which those wishing to perform throughout the night would make their desires to do so known. This was followed some time afterwards with the event's co-host, Theresa Ratcliff, taking the stage to welcome those who were present and sharing some announcements while introducing house percussionist Bongo Dan to the Gathering. After these words were said, she introduced the first performer to the crowd.

The first performer was Brad whose flowing movements never fails to inspire those who experience the interpretations of the songs that accompany him in dance. Brad was Followed by Burt Kleinle who sang with the anguish and frustration embedded in the songs he sang which were composed in the Grunge era. He was followed by new comer Max Maztrex of the band Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers whose melodious renditions flowed across the soul of of each listener.

Max was followed by Woodrow with Theresa Ratcliff on Vocals and Brian Bramkamp on Guitar along with Bongo Dan on Bongos. Their powerful performance gave the audience all that they wanted and needed. They were followed by Ann Matthews and her guitar who delighted the audience with her simply enjoyable tunes bringing with them a brand new day and the changes it brings. It was after Ms. Mathew's performance did co-host, Satilia Rose (aka Tilly), (who alternatively introduced the performers throughout the evening with Ms. Ratcliff) introduce the featured performer of the night.

Guitarist Joe Craig shared the essence of friendship though his voice, musical abilities, and the songs he selected to play. These songs were a mixture of familiar tunes along with some original pieces. Their blendings moved the audience as each note and lyric touched their hearts with joy and love. Mr. Craig performs in a number of venues and has recorded several CDs throughout the years. You can learn more about Joe Craig by exploring his Facebook Page at or his Website at

Mr. Craig's performance was followed by the evening's raffle of which some of the proceeds went to Mr. Craig to cover his performance related expenses. Together with Ms. Ratcliff, he picked the winning ticket which enabled the individual who won to enjoy a meal at a Red Robin Restaurant via a gift card. It was after this edible moment did a break ensue so the denizens of the Living Room would have a chance to share in conversations with the performers and each other. The break eventually came to an end and the next performer was announced.

The first to appear after the break was a rapper known as Brother Bear who strung his words together in a thread of conceptions. He was followed by Frensesi Gates who adored himself in a cowboy hat and boots while singing psychedelic interpretations of children songs with Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) accompanying him on a baby piano. Frensesi and Tilly were followed by Comedian Russell Austin who will be the venue's featured performer on Sunday March 13th. He brought about a great deal of laughter from the gathering through his tales of dating on line and penile screaming therapy.

Mr. Austin was followed by Kevin “Tails” Mocha who sang a number of newly composed songs along with some favorites which brought about an A Capellic nostalgia to the crowd. He was followed by a newcomer comedian known as Elliott Elliott whose humorous explorations included baby puking and Medieval Mayors. He was followed by John who shared songs from the television productions of Full House and Descendants in a manner that reflected his abiding love for their life touching properties. It was after his set was it announced that the main list has been exhausted and it was time for those who placed their names on the waiting list to perform.

The first of these performers were newcomers known as Kalyn and Nikko whose high energy dancing moved wowed the audience. They were followed by Crazy Mike whose poetry traveled at the speed of thought and life toward their subconscious destinations. He was followed by Justin Scalia whose powerful renditions of the songs he sang overwhelmed the audience as they dwelled upon every note. Justin was followed by guitarist Michelle Leanna Zbinden who wooed us all with her helpless song of love. It was after Ms. Zbinden's set did the evening come to a close. But, not before co-host Satilia Rose (aka Tilly) made a special announcement which brought a thrill to the gathering.

Emillie Day often serves as co-host to the event was not present that evening. The reason why was due to her giving birth to her son. It was announced she was in labor and subsequent news revealed that Killian James Santana came into this world at 5:48am on Monday February 29th weighing in at a whopping 8lbs 10oz. This is wonderful news and I hope you'll join me in wishing the little one and his parents a wonderful life filled with love.

The next Open Mic Nite is scheduled to take place on Sunday March 6th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. The featured performer for the evening will be Pam Knight. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. In the meantime, you'll be able to view the photographs we took during the Sunday February 28th event in the An Open Mic with Joe Craig Gallery at

The Sherman Theater’s Living Room is located at 522 Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA. You'll be able to view additional photographs taken during installments of their Open Mic Nites Series by their staff along with videos taken of interviews with the featured artists and the performances of some who attended the event on their Facebook Page. In addition to their Open Mic Nites Series, the venue also holds a number of concerts and special events. Please Explore The Sherman Theater’s Living Room Facebook Page at, The Sherman Theater's Website at, or call 570-421-2808 for more information.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

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