Friday, July 01, 2016

Thumbing Through the OMN

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The Sherman Theater's Living Room in Stroudsburg, PA was in the process of having a break in the performances when I arrived at the venue on Sunday June 26th for their weekly Open Mic Nite. Preparations were being made for the featured performer and the large crowd on the sidewalks waited with great anticipation until they were completed. Soon, the signal that all was ready sounded and the gathering re entered the building to partake of the gifts of poetry and music that would be bestowed upon them.

Cat Thumbs consisted of the exquisite poetry of Cody Burawski who was musically accompanied by Mabel Silva on Banjo and Keyboard. The combination of the two artists' skills provided a haunting sensation to the performance as well as a depth to the listeners' subconscious that led many upon journeys beyond the borders of perceptions. They concluded their set by handing out various musical instruments like bells and tambourines creating a participatory finale that lingered in the heart long after the words and music audibly ceased. Cat Thumbs are from Durham, NC and have recorded three digital Albums titled, “City of Medicine,” “Analomink,” and “I Built You a Boat Because.” You can learn more about them by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

It was as Cat Thumbs were leaving the stage did the event's co-host, Theresa Ratliff, invite its members back to partake in the customary selection of the winning raffle ticket that entitled the holder to attend the Porter and Sayles concert scheduled to be held at The Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday July 23rd in celebration of the release of their self-titled debut studio album. It was after the lucky individual receive their prize did a brief break ensue so the next performer of the evening could set up their instruments.

Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers consisted of Max Maztrex on Lead Vocals and Keyboard along with Evan Layne and Lorenzo Masterson on Guitars. The mesmerizing effects of their music was reflected in the souls of the listeners whose esoteric conceptualizations filled the atmosphere they shared. Circus Freaks and Dream Catchers were followed by the duet known as Woodrow who consists of Theresa Ratliff on Vocals and Brian Bramkamp on Guitar. Together, their songs simultaneously soothed and afluttered the gathering into a subdued frenzy.

Woodrow was followed by Kasper who began his set with poetry and ended in comedic renderings which included those regarding the question of “What car are you?” and picking noses. Kasper was followed by a duo known as Chris and Kyle which began as a solo performance by Chris until Kyle returned to the room after his journeys outside of it. Together, they sang with true hearts to an appreciative audience. They were followed by comedian Tom Stone who began his set with a prayer which continued with his theses on being a bleached asshole. Mr. Stone was followed by Wilbium whose musical skills upon his electronic keyboard and guitar enraptured the gathering who proceeded to dance in whatever floorspace they found conducive to their animated expressions.

The performance by Wilbium signified the end of the main sign in sheet. However, there was still time left for the evening so those who affixed their names upon the waiting list were able to perform. Co host, Satilia Rose, introduced the first of these signatories who was a guitarist named, “Mark Ferraro.” His instrumentals communicated with a depth and meaning that no spoken words could fully convey. He was followed by a new comer to the gathering named, “Kendra” whose comedic skills wowed the audience as she provided a humorous summary of the evening's festivities which incited much laughter. The evening concluded with the a performance from a Guitarist known as Zack who began his set with a tune written by Bob Dylan which captured the soul of the audience. It was as the last notes echoed throughout the room did the evening's co host, Theresa Ratliff, step on stage to bid an appreciative farewell to the gathering while reminding all that there would be no Open Mic Nite the following weekend due to the holidays. It was after her words did the company depart while their hearts and souls eagerly await the next Open Mic Nite to occur.

The next Open Mic Nite is scheduled to take place on Sunday July 10th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. The featured performer for the evening will be Dana Massive. 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 April 24th event in The Thumbing Through the OMN Gallery at

The Sherman Showcase
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 at In addition to their Open Mic Nites Series, the venue also holds a number of concerts and special events. Please Explore The Sherman Showcase's Facebook Page at, The Sherman Theater's Website at, or by calling 570-421-2808 for more information.

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