Stand up, sing out at an open mic night
From the cozy fireplace of Rebels and Redcoats to the professional sound stage at the V Club to the front-window spotlights of Andy's in Ashland and the Black Sheep Burritos and Brew in Huntington, there's a slew of open mic nights and regularly scheduled jam sessions in the Tri-State.
Here's a look at some of the Tri-State's places for showing off your talent on the mic.
And all that big band jazz and jam
OK, this is a one-night-only jazz jam, but it's a jazz jam, and hey that's not happening every night in the city. "Jamming With Jay," is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 at Smith Recital Hall at Marshall with host Mark Smith, the band-leader for Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.'s big band and music minister at Trinity Episcopal.
The free concert and jam is in honor of Jay Flippin, an Emmy Award winning composer and keyboardist who has played with everyone from Wilson Pickett to Ray Charles. He is currently battling cancer.
Former students including "American Idol" finalist Chase Likens, fellow players and friends of the legendary regional musician and composer are coming out to celebrate his life and legacy with a night of jamming.
Come on light my fire
One of the coziest open mic settings anywhere is in the West End where Rebels and Redcoats, 412 5th St., Huntington, brings the living room back to the music with comfy seating and here in the wintertime, a fire in the fireplace.
Huntington-based singer-songwriter Patrick Stanley hosts a weekly session at 8 p.m. Thursdays at the pub, which is connected to the bowling alley, Colonial Lanes.
Not to freak you out but the Huntington Paranormal investigators have had ghostly encounters in the pub built in 1959, so keep that Ghostbusters theme song/Harold Ramis tribute on hold for another pub.
Porching it @ the bakery
Local singer/songwriter Joe Troubetaris has been spreading the love of original songs at his Huntington house show venue called "Porch Unplugged."
From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 1, he brings the open mic scene over to River and Rail Bakery, 210 11th St. (at Heritage Station) for a Bakery Jam, that will help the bakery celebrate its third anniversary in style -- with a topping of homemade jam.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/riverandrailbakery to check out the Bakery's Facebook page.
Playing for your supper
Wherever veteran pub owner Mackie Robertson has set up camp, there's always been a solid open mic night (anyone remember the epic rap battles at Marley's Doghouse?). His new Huntington Ale House, 1318 4th Ave., has "The Starving Artist Open Mic" Thursdays from 7 p.m. to close. He's tossing in a $20 tab of food and drinks to the first six artists signing up to play.
Go online at www.huntingtonale.com for more info.
After brunch banjos
Fireside Grill, 4170 State Route 34 in Teays Valley is the home to the monthly jam sponsored by the Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance.
Come and join such valley resident pickers as Scott and Nellie Coffman (of Hillbilly Carnival) as they pick out a ton of old-time tunes from 2 to 4:30 p.m. every third Sunday of the month. All levels are welcome. The next pick is set for Sunday, March 16. Go online at http://www.firesidegrillewv.com/ for more info.
A Thirsty Ear
Want to tell your friends you shared the stage with songwriting masters Todd Snider and Jason Isbell? Well, you sure can, sort of. OK, maybe a few weeks removed. For songwriters wanting to showcase on one of the region's best sounding stages, the V Club's Thirsty Ear Open mic (at 10 p.m. every Wednesday) is a must. Bring the a-game because such well-crafted writers as Tyler Childers and Jordan Andrew Jefferson can be found from time to time trying out new tunes. Sign up is at 9 p.m. Go online at www.vclublive.com for more info.
Open Mic Blasting With the Blues
For folks coming to the V Club's Thirsty Ear, or not, if you want an early blues-juiced jam, come early (at 7 p.m.) on the third Wednesday of every month when the Huntington Blues Society hosts its meeting and then an jam with blues and rock veterans taking the stage such as Tommy Fitzpatrick, Blue Dawson, Sandy Byrd and the Huntington Harmonica Club members. The next HBS meeting and jam is set for Wednesday, March 19. Check out the HBS Facebook page for more info on the jam and how your band can showcase at the meeting.
Sundays @ The Sheep
Known as Music and Mason Jars (because of the Black Sheep's supersized Mason jars o' brew), Sunday nights are striped with the weekly open mic session that is hosted and run by well-known local actor and songwriter Eric Wilson.
Keep an eye out for some old-school cool from legendary Huntington open mic vets, "Open" Mike Smith and Alex Kendall, who teamed up last week for a tribute to Devo's guitarist Bob Casale, who died recently.
Look for more cool themes incoming as Sunday, March 2 is Dr. Seuss' birthday, so you know if enough mason jars go around there could be a cat in a hat sighting.
Go online at www.blacksheepwv.com and creep onto Jimbo Valentine's Facebook page after the open mic session to see if your act passed muster or made the Sheep staff want to hurl themselves into oncoming traffic during your performance.
This One's For the Record
The Ashland Eagles, 701 Carter Ave., Ashland, has an open mic from 8 to midnight every Tuesday.
Gary Kesling and Mike Fitzpatrick, of The Return, host the open mic session. And since Kesling runs the Ashland-based, globally-distributed 9 Lives Records/2 Cats Studios, they've been recording and mixing down some of the best of the open mics for a compilation CD they're going to release this spring.
Go online at http://www.2catstudios.com for more info.
Some of that KYOVA Jam
Veteran Kentucky music man Eddie Riffe has helped put Callihan's All-American Pub and Grill on the musical map booking in the Nashville to Callihan's music series, and teaming up with Tal Callihan to host a lot of live music.
Callihan's, which is located at the KYOVA Mall on U.S. 60, has been having its almost famous Jam Night on Wednesdays for four years. The jam, which draws in a ton of Kentucky players like harp player Tim Preston, starts about 6:45 p.m., and is hosted by Riffe. Artists get about four or five songs to share with the audience.
Find out more about Callihan's on its Facebook page and at www.callihanspub.com as a Wednesday night UK basketball game can interrupt the regularly scheduled open mic.
With A Side Order of BBQ
Bring the songs smoky and sweet over at Pendleton Art Center, 1537-1539 Winchester Ave., Ashland as Andy's BBQ hosts an open mic on the last Friday of the month from 7 to 10 p.m., and then karaoke on the second Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/andys.barbecue for more info.
For folks a little further down I-64, well-traveled singer/songwriter Louie McNeal swears by the new open mic night at Bayso's Sports Bar in Grayson. They've got open mic night from 7 to midnight on Thursdays.
Country in the Heart of the City
The VFW Post 9738 on Main Street in Guyandotte hosts an open mic Sunday afternoon session from 1 to 3 p.m. with local musicians Karen Combs, Randy Pauley and $5 Red. They play as a tribute to veterans for free every Sunday and everyone is welcome to bring there favorite instrument and join them.
And just a wee bit west from Guyandotte, one of Huntington's oldest continuously operated neighborhood bars, Lone Oak Tavern (in the shadow of Special Metals) at 3226 Riverside Drive, hosts an open mic night from 8 to late on Saturdays with up-and-coming country singer, Kevin Zhea, who just recorded a new CD.
Call 304-544-4322 for more info or check out the Lone Oak Facebook page.
Near Campus Comedy
With the Funny Bone now ancient history, there is only a handful of places in the entire region to regularly catch comedy. One of the most regular, open mic comedy shows is the Black Sheep Burrito and Brews' twice monthly session that features area veterans and newbies performing original material. First timers are always welcome at the Sheep, located at 1555 3rd Ave., across from the Marshall University campus.
Go online at www.blacksheepwv.com for more info.
Fins to the Left, Songs to the Right
Sharkey's, 410 10th St., in Huntington, has long had a weekly open mic session. For a good while, acoustic rocker Derek Payne, who travels regionally playing his originals, has been the host. Open mic runs 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays, and enjoy a featured guest on most weeks. Call 304-523-3200 and go on the Sharkey's Facebook page to find out more about open mic and the current $1,000 karaoke contest.
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