Open Mic Nights – Worth the Effort ?

There’s a brand new open mic night happening tomorrow and it made me think “Is it worth the time and effort to attend ?”. After all, there are more than enough opportunities to attend an open mic nearly every night. I can think of some reasons – excuses, really – to say no. Let’s focus, instead, on the reasons to say yes. An open mic night can be beneficial in many ways. If you are a musician who is just starting out, a seasoned veteran or somewhere in between, there’s something to be said for showing off your skills in front of a group of your peers. It’s also another way to show support for live, local music. Let’s explore some of the reasons to make the effort to attend an open mic night and the benefits for you, the host and – yes – the venue.

Support – Let’s face it, the underlying reason for any venue to host live music is to attract more business. This is often a paid gig for the host and their job is is bring people in to provide entertainment for the night. If there’s no support, eventually there’s no reason to continue and, no reason for the venue to pay the host. In many cases, this is a part of how they make their living. You are supporting that host as much as you are the venue. You are also supporting the other musicians who come out to play.

Networking – This is a perfect place to meet others who do what you do. It can open up a world of opportunities that may not have been there otherwise. They can provide you with connections to help you find gigs, find a recording studio that would fit your needs, introduce you to other musicians who are looking to form a band or give you feedback on your music. Having friends in the business can be very important, especially if you are just starting out.

Opportunities – There are several venues that book their entertainment based on what they hear at the open mic night. In many cases, the host either books the entertainment or has a lot of influence on the one who does. If you are looking to book yourself at a particular venue, that may be the perfect place for you go play a few songs. Sometimes the events coordinator is an employee of the venue who is in attendance scouting the talent. There are even a few who attend open mic nights at other venues for that purpose.

Experience – Yes, I know, experience and/or exposure won’t pay the bills but, you have to start somewhere. Do you really want to try to overcome your “stage fright” with a paid gig that you’re not ready for ? If you haven’t performed in front of an audience, this is the perfect opportunity to “get your feet wet” and shake off the jitters. The more you expose yourself to a live audience, the more comfortable you become. Developing a stage presence and a level of confidence can go a long way when you decide it’s time to try your hand in the live music business. If you’re a songwriter, it’s a great way to try a new song before you add it to your set list on a regular basis or decide to record it. So, where and when is this new open mic ?

Tomorrow evening, One Center Square in Easton will be the site for the area’s newest open mic night. Hosted by Jon Doyle (Doyle and the Dudes), this one provides a unique opportunity to perform at a venue that provides a truly professional experience. From a full back line to a professional sound and lighting system to a stage and room designed for live music, you’ll have an opportunity to perform, regardless of your level of experience. Perform solo, bring your whole band or take advantage of the opportunity to perform with professionals on the biggest stage. This is an all-ages event and any genre is welcome. Doors and sign-ups are at 6:30pm.

Other open mics of note in the area: Monday – Funhouse Southside (Bethlehem), Jon Doyle and Shaun Lally, 10pm. Tuesday – Sunset Bar & Grill (Saylorsburg), 6:30pm, hosted by Feel Good, every other Tuesday (2/11 is the next one). Colonial Pizza (Easton), 8pm, Lorenzo Bubba, and The Shanty on 19th (Allentown), John Cannavo. Wednesday – Leather Corner Post (Orefield), Chelsea Meyer, 7pm. Three Mugs Pub (Easton), Lorenzo Bubba, 7pm. Black & Blue (Easton), Helsie Duster, 7pm. Original Pocono Pub (Bartonsville), Christian Porter, 7:30pm. Bell Hall (Allentown), Tim Harakal, 8:30pm. Sarah Street Grill (Stroudsburg), Shane Reimer and Ricky Dum Dum Delgado, 9:30pm. Porter’s Pub (Easton – 1st and 3rd Weds), Scott Harrington, 9:30pm. Thursday – Cave Brewing Company (Allentown, 2nd & 4th Thur), Ralph Pagano/Nick Lindsay, 5:30pm. ShawneeCraft Brewing (Stroudsburg), Jeremiah Williams, 6:30pm. Wooden Match (Bethlehem), John Cannavo, 8pm. Pearly Baker’s Ale House (Easton – 1st Thur), Carter Lansing, 9pm. Sunday – Godfrey Daniels (Bethlehem – 1st & 3rd Sun), rotating hosts. I’m sure there are plenty more but, this is a start. All open mics are every week unless otherwise noted.

Weekly Live Music “HOT SPOTS” – 2/6-2/9/20

Thursday is a great night to get the weekend started and an open mic night is a great place to dust off an old song, try out a new one or shake off the “stage fright” if you’re just starting out. It’s also a great place to just hang out with other musicians, learn a few things or, just have a good time getting an early start on the weekend. There are a few places you can do that tonight. ShawneeCraft Brewing (6:30pm – Jeremiah Williams), The Wooden Match (8pm – John Cannavo) and Pearly Baker’s Ale House (9:30pm – Carter Lansing) all have open mics tonight with great hosts. So, if you have talent to share, get out a help support them.

Thursday has some pretty good live music on tap as well. Steve Brosky gets things started at 6pm at The Brick Tavern Inn. Leah and Eddie (Leah Fuls) will be in Bethlehem at Lost Tavern at 7pm. At 7:30pm you can see Dirk Quinn at Blend or stop by the Easton Wine Project for the weekly singer/songwriter series with Ralph Pagano. The Funhouse Southside has Dirty Mike and the Boyz providing the late-night entertainment at 10:30pm.

Friday: The 6 o’clock hour has several choices, starting with Doug Kaetz at Tolino Vineyards. Also getting started at 6 are Kyle Yankowy (Invertase Brewing Company), 94 South at Two Rovers – Quakertown and The Deal Duo at HiJinx Brewing. At 7pm, Easton Wine Project will host Z Solo with special guest Wendy Wilson, Ash & Snow will be at the Artisan Wine and Cheese Cellar and John Cannavo is at McCool’s Red Lion Inn. Craig Thatcher and Nyke Van Wyk hit the stage at Godfrey Daniels at 8pm while McConney is at the Soma Downtown Grill and Eliza Rush rocks Mike’s Tavern in Reading. The Sara Ayers Band is at the Shanty on 19th at 9pm. Shane Reimer and Them Spicy Boize will be at Pearly Baker’s Ale House and JR and the Tribe visits the Southside at the Funhouse. Both shows start at 10:30.

Saturday: Ash and Snow have an early start (4pm) at Bishop Hill Estates Vineyards. At 7pm, Doug Kaetz is at County Seat Spirits, Blue Moxie is at Easton Wine Project, McConney visits Taylor House Brewing and the Brosky/Cannavo Duo is at Two Rivers – Quakertown. The Chelsea Lyn Meyer Band returns to Foundation Tavern while Shane Reimer and Them Spicy Boize are at Lost Tavern – Bethlehem and the Craig Thatcher Band is at Godfrey Daniels. Later in the evening Billy and Chris (The Billy Bauer Band) are at Southside 313 Bar and Grill (9pm), StillCraft is at Stahley’s (9:30pm), Dear Anna is at the Wooden Match (10pm) and The Simmers make their Funhouse debut along with No Repose and The Hook at 10:30.

Sunday: Poor Man’s Gambit has the rare Sunday show at Godfrey Daniels at 7pm and Red Bird is right next door at the Funhouse at 10:30.

There’s never a “bad” time to get out and support live, local music. There are many opportunities to do that this weekend so, pick a spot or two and go see a show. For tickets and info on Godfrey Daniels events visit http://www.godfreydaniels.org. If you are a musician, or a venue that hosts live music, and want your events listed here each week, just let me know by Wednesday and I’ll be sure to include you. If you haven’t visited our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lvvoicesofthevalley/, please do so. Then “like” and share it with your friends to help get the word out on live music in the Lehigh Valley. If you already have, thank you for helping support live, local music and the venues that bring it to you each week.

#livemusic #localmusic #supportlocal #hotspots #VoV #voicesofthevalley #lehighvalley

Weekly Live Music “HOT SPOTS” – 1/30-2/2/20

It’s Thursday and that means it’s time to start thinking about the weekend and all the great live music the Lehigh Valley has to offer. If you have a talent you want to share, there are a couple open mic nights that only happen once each month so, tonight is your night to get out a play. Let’s start with Easton Wine Project. Their monthly open mic is hosted by Z Solo (Chris Zelenka) and gets started at 7pm. Come out and enjoy the great food and fine wines, play a few songs and get entered to win a $25 gift card for a future visit. Another monthly spot is Blend where there is a guest host each month. Tonight’s host is Bill Medei and they also start at 7pm. Two other places that have an open mic every Thursday night are ShawneeCraft Brewing with host Jeremiah Williams (6:30pm) and the Wooden Match with host John Cannavo at 8pm.

Here’s what the rest of your Thursday night looks like: Eliza Rush with special guest Mike Wojik at the Mansion House in Summit at 6pm. Billy and Chris (Billy Bauer Band) will be at P.J. Whelihan’s (Bethlehem) at 6:30pm. At 7pm, you can take in Shane Reimer at The Trapp Door, Smooth Retsina Glow at Lost Tavern Bethlehem or Dave’s Night Out (Dave Fry) with Que and Michael of Serene Green at Godfrey Daniels. Josh K takes the stage at Pearly Baker’s Ale House at 9:30pm and the Stray Seeds close out the night at the Funhouse Southside at 10:30.

Friday: Invertase Brewing Company features the original sound of Michael Reisman of Acoustic Mayhem starting at 6pm. Duster V is at Two Rivers Taproom (Quakertown) at 6:30pm. It’s Doyle solo (Doyle and the Dudes) at County Seat Spirits and Jordan White at Easton Wine Project at 7pm. At 8 o’clock you can see Shane Reimer at Hop Daddy’s Brewing, T&T at the Hill-to-Hill Grill or Susan Werner at Godfrey Daniels. There’s plenty of late-night music to keep you going as well. Starting at 9pm you’ll find StillCraft at Arooga’s and Radio One at Southside 313 Bar and Grill. A Girl and a Guy kick things off at Grumpy’s BBQ at 9:30, Z Solo is at the Corner Pocket Saloon at 10pm and the Moondogs are at Pearly Baker’s while the Trouble City All Stars and Kings of Rythm rock the Funhouse at 10:30.

Saturday: The Audio Files headline the Winter Blast Festival with an outdoor show in the Triangle in Emmaus at noon. Just So has the afternoon covered at Stony Run Winery starting at 2pm. Chris Roselle is at Hopewell Valley Vineyards at 6pm. David Nonini is at Two Rivers Tap Room (Quakertown) at 6:30pm. The 7’oclock hour features Bill Ihling at El Charro del Rio, Jeff Bellfy at Easton Wine Project, Roi and the Secret People at the Reigelsville Inn and The Angela Evans Duo at Gallows Hill Spirits Company. At 8pm, Bill Staines takes the stage at Godfrey Daniels while Time Whys? rocks the Hill-to-Hill Grill. Billy and Chris will be at Two Rivers (Easton) at 8:30. StillCraft will be at the newly remodeled 5 Points Bar & Grill at 9pm. Late night has Mosey Beat at Porter’s Pub (10pm) and the Wonton Soups at the Funhouse at 10:30.

Sunday features a Public Displays of Rejection double-header starting at 3pm at Lost Tavern Hellertown and finishing the night at the Funhouse at 10:30pm. There are two open mic nights to note, both starting at 7pm. You can show off your skills at the Social Medium Open Mic at the Alternative Gallery or at the legendary Godfrey Daniels with featured artist Larry Ahearn.

As you can see, there’s always plenty of live music throughout the Lehigh Valley on the weekends. We feature shows that take place Thursday through Sunday but, there are place that have live music earlier in the week as well so, check in with your favorite venue to see what’s on tap on Monday through Wednesday nights. There are also a lot of open mic nights that take place throughout the week. If you would like yours featured in an upcoming post, I’ll put one together in the near future, just drop me a line through Facebook messenger or at lvvoicesofthevalley@gmail.com. You can do the same to get shows listed in the Weekly “HOT SPOTS”. Support live music whenever you can and keep the Lehigh Valley music scene growing.

#livemusic #lehighvalleymusicscene #supportlivemusic #supportlocal #hotspots #VoV #voicesofthevalley

Lehigh Valley Beer Week and Music in “The Cave”

Lehigh Valley Beer Week (Feb 15-22) is just a few short weeks away and Cave Brewing Company has some amazing craft beers to share with you. They’ve got some pretty amazing live music to offer during the week as well. You can help kick things off on Saturday, February 15 with the music of Emily Noel. She’ll be followed by the Mark & Ralph Acoustic Duo on Thursday, February 20 and you can close out the week on Saturday, February 22 with the Audio Files. There is no cover charge and all 3 shows begin at 6:30pm.

About Cave Brewing Company: “The Cave is located inside the South Mall on Lehigh Street in Allentown, 3 blocks off I-78. They have 16 taps and offer a selection of original recipe craft beers with a little something for every taste. They also offer a limited selection of local wines, meads from Colony Meadery and “The Big Apple” cocktail for those who don’t want beer. There are a few restaurants inside or on the mall grounds or you can have Grub Hub deliver your food. The brewery is family and dog friendly so, your kids and pets are welcome. Happy Hour features $1 off pints 4-6pm weekdays and 4-7pm Friday.

Emily Noel: Emily has quickly established herself as one of the Lehigh Valley’s great new talents with her singles, “Me, Myself and I” and “I Miss You”. Her latest effort – a collaboration with Chelsea Lyn Meyer on Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” – has received rave reviews.

Mark and Ralph Acoustic Duo: Mark Hannig and Ralph Pagano deliver a variety of harmony-driven classic rock-era hits from bands like CSNY, The Eagles, The Beatles and Little River Band to name a few. They compliment each other well with Mark’s great vocal range and high harmonies and their well-constructed arrangements and catchy medleys.

The Audio Files: One of the Valley’s newest up-and-coming rock and roll cover bands, they are highlighted by lead guitarist Mark Cernese’s tasteful licks. William Kleinberg (Bass, vocals) and David Ackerman (drums) back the band as well as anyone. Although frontman Nick Lindsay will be absent for a while, they won’t skip a beat with a couple of very capable fill-ins while Nick is away.

Come out and enjoy all that Lehigh Valley Beer Week has to offer but, be sure to make Cave Brewing Company one of your stops along the way. Support local music and local businesses and check back often for more events in “The Cave”.

#livemusic #localmusic #lehighvalleybeerweek #craftbeer #cavebrewingcompany #emilynoel #markandralph #theaudiofiles #VOV #voicesofthevalley

Weekly Live Music “HOT SPOTS” – 1/23-1/26/20

There’s another jam-packed weekend of live music in store for this weekend in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. As our readership continues to grow, so does our list of events. So, how do you get your event listed each week ? It’s easy. Let us know by Wednesday where you’re playing or who is appearing at your venue Thursday through Sunday. You can do that through Facebook messenger at https://www.facebook.com/lvvoicesofthevalley/, email us at lvvoicesofthevalley@gmail.com or use the “contact us” form on our website. It costs nothing to promote your shows here. All i ask is that you like/share/follow our Facebook page and help fill our venues with live music fans.

Tonight’s lineup features a few open mic nights where you can come out and show off your skills. At Cave Brewing Company you can enjoy 50% off drinks for all performers starting at 5:30pm. Tonight will be your last chance to catch host Nick Lindsay (The Audio Files) before he takes an extended leave and it’s a great night to check out this relatively new venue. The open mic here happens every month on the 2nd and 4th Thursday and will be hosted by Ralph Pagano while Nick is away. The ShawneeCraft Brewery open mic night starts at 6pm tonight and every Thursday night with host Jeremiah Williams. John Cannavo is your host at the Wooden Match every Thursday night. Full bands are welcome and the music gets started at 8pm.

Thursday: There are a few spots you can enjoy live performances tonight starting at 6pm. Doug Kaetz will be appearing at Hop Daddy’s Brewing while Small Axe will be at Lost Tavern, Hellertown. The singer/songwriter series continues at Easton Wine Project with Macheis Wind at 7:30pm and the Funhouse Southside (where you’ll find live music EVERY night) will host Santana and the Fluck & Miller Band at 10:30pm.

Friday: Tim Harakal gets things started at 6:30pm at Union & Finch. There are several shows starting at 7pm. Easton Wine Project hosts Adam Web, Two of a Kind will be at the Woodstone Country Club, A Girl & A Guy are at The View at Morgan Hill and Juggernaut will be rocking ShawneeCraft Brewing. Carter Lansing (Acoustic Kitty Project) plays solo at Colonial Pizza at 7:30pm. Billy and Chris (The Billy Bauer Band) bring their sound to Pocono Brewing Company While Matt Nakoa takes the stage at Godfrey Daniels at 8pm. The 9 o’clock hour has Shawn Lally at Ringer’s Roost and the Moondogs at 5 Points Bar and Grill. The Stinking Badges at Pearly Baker’s Ale House or The Groove Merchants and The Tisburys at the Funhouse can take you deep into the night with both shows getting started at 10:30pm.

Saturday: You can wake up to the bluesy sounds of Tom Cooney Music at Brewed Awakening at 10am. You can also find Tom as a member of the Acoustic Blues Project as part of the Lehigh River Blues Jam, which gets underway at the Days Hotel (Allentown Airport) at 3pm. This show also features The Jack Adams Band, The Blues Collaborative Band, Dana Gaynor Band, The BC Combo, Bobby Kyle & the Administrators and Nate Myers & the Aces. Tickets are $20 at the door. Billy & Chris move to The Lost Tavern, Hellertown for a 6pm start and Kim & the Clairvoyants get started at Union and Finch 30 minutes later. At 7pm it’s the Karen Kennedy Formula at Easton Wine Project or the Barry Field & Jim Orley Duo at ShawneeCraft Brewing. The Chelsea Lyn Meyer Duo is back at Foundation Tavern and Swearingen & Kelli appear at Godfrey Daniels at 8pm. There are plenty of choices for late-night so, make plans to stay out late. At 9pm, Crush rocks Fossil’s Last Stand and Resting Punk Face is at Edge. The Hot Toddy’s are at Pappy T’s at 9:30pm. The Groove Merchants are at the Wooden Match, EJ & JO are at Porter’s Pub and Mike Frank & Friends are at Pearly Baker’s – all at 10pm. Starting Tomorrow closes out the night at the Funhouse at 10:30.

Sunday: There’s no football so, spend your afternoon with Ash & Snow at Stony Run Winery, starting at 2pm. You can finish off the weekend at the Funhouse at 10:30pm with The Stray Seeds.

Now that you know what’s happening around the Valley this weekend, who are you going to see ? Do you have a favorite band or venue that isn’t listed here ? Send them our way and we’ll be happy to list them here. The deadline for the weekend is Wednesday evening and you/they can let us now a week at a time, by the month or whatever works best for you. Get out and support live, local music and the venues that make it happen. For tickets and information on events at Godfrey Daniels, visit http://www.godfreydaniels.org.

#livemusic #localmusic #supportlocal #hotspots #VOV #voicesofthevalley

VOV 2020 #1 – a Playlist on Spotify

This is the first in a series of playlists featuring original music from Lehigh Valley artists only. At least once each month – and possibly more frequently – I will post a new playlist comprised of songs from various Lehigh Valley musicians. The playlists are not genre-specific and the only requirement is that you be in the Lehigh Valley or the immediate area. This playlist has some brand new releases and a mixture of songs I listen to regularly but, I want your input as well. If you have a new song coming out or a song you would like to see on the playlist, let me know by dropping a link in messenger at https://www.facebook.com/lvvoicesofthevalley/. Each playlist will be 15 songs in length and, the more music I get, they more frequently I will create a new one.

This month’s playlist features Emily Noel, Chelsea Lyn Meyer (and a song from Chelsea & Emily), Seth Witcher, Andrew Dunn, Acoustic Kitty Project, Roi and the Secret People, Neil Grover, Sister Salvation, The Simmers, Brandon Bors, Miranda Hoehn, Shane Reimer & Them Spicy Boize, The Crowning and, yes, my latest single. Give it a listen, share it with your friends, show some love to local musicians, follow on Spotify and get your music to me so I can get it on a future playlist. You can listen to the first one at the link below.

Weekly Live Music “HOT SPOTS” – 1/16-1/19/20

The singer/songwriter series continues tonight at Easton Wine Project with a new start time (7:30pm) featuring Colin O’Leary. If an open mic night is your thing, Shawnee Craft Brewery has one every Thursday at 7pm, hosted by Jeremiah Williams. Other events to get your weekend started a day early include the Chris Cummings Trio at the Hotel Bethlehem (6pm), Junior Watson at Godfrey Daniels (7:30pm), The Bastard Sons Present: Neil Grover at Two Rivers Brewing (8pm), Dave Johnsen at Pearly Baker’s Ale House (9:30pm) and Mosey Beat at the Funhouse Southside (10:30pm).

Friday: Leah Marie Fuls will kick off comedy night with a live music perrformance at Luckenbach Mill at 5:30pm (tickets are $20 – see http://www.historicbethlehem.org for details). Easton Wine Project will host the Angela Evans Duo at 7pm. The 8 o’clock hour has Bill Ihling at the Corner Pocket Saloon, Corinne Mammana at Godfrey Daniels and Acoustic Kitty Project with TNG America & Twisted Times at Arties Bar and Grill. Billy & Chris from the Billy Bauer Band will be at Colonial Pizza at 8:30pm. Late night shows include Lonnie Griffiths at Porter’s Pub (10pm), the Moondogs at the Sarah Street Grill (10pm), Mosey Beat at Pearly Baker’s (10:30pm), and Life After Dead at the Funhouse – also at 10:30pm.

Saturday: Doug Kaetz has you covered early at New Hope Winery (1pm) and in the evening at County Seat Spirits (7pm). At 6;30pm you have The Audio Files at Cave Brewing Company and Michael Reisman at Leaf Cigar Bar. Ash & Snow will be at Easton Wine Project and Joe Argese is at Gallows Hill Spirits at 7pm. The Mark & Ralph Acoustic Duo (Colonial Pizza) and Annie Hills (Godfrey Daniels) get started at 8pm. Later starts include The Southbound Band at Three Mugs Pub (9pm), the Chelsea Lyn Meyer Band at the Lynville Hotel (9:30pm), Shane Reimer at the College Hill Tavern and the Dana Gaynor Band at Pearly Baker’s – both at 10pm – and Dear Anna at the Funhouse at 10:30.

Sunday: Stoney Run Winery has an early show with Tucker Michaels at 2pm. The Godfrey Daniels open mic night features Leah Marie Fuls with a 7pm start time and Doyle and the Dudes invade the Funhouse at 10:30pm

Unfortunately, at this time of year, the weather can have an effect on your weekend plans. Saturday looks like it can get ugly but, it can also be nothing at all. In the event that the weather is bad, I will post any postponements or cancellations I know of on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lvvoicesofthevalley/). Of course, I may not be aware of ALL cancellations so, if you don’t see your show there, it may be best to check with the venue first before venturing out. Let’s all hope that is not necessary so we can all get out and support live local music this weekend.

#livemusic #localmusic #supportlocal #hotspots #VoV #voicesofthevalley