Very few venues have an open mic on a Friday. Dr. Lou’s Place has what he calls an “open stage”. When I called to make sure they had the open mic (the lesson learned after the Tierney’s debacle), the lady who answered the phone said, “The stage is always open, there is no sign up sheet – just come and play”. I was confused…this is not how things have run in any of the open mics so far…and as you read yesterday I am a little bit of a control freak. As happens when I need to learn something difficult for me, the universe gives another opportunity… “just go with it”.
On paper, Roebling NJ is an hour from my house, but as NJ people know once the Turnpike is involved all bets are off. I was glad there was no signup sheet pressure because it took 90 minutes to get there.
It was soooo worth it. I pulled up just as Dr. Lou himself was getting there. Yes, there is an actual Dr. Lou.
Dr. Lou and his son Louie performing last night.
He has had this place for 5 years. He has a band called The Privileged Few Band who played later on in the night and were kick ass. His place reminded me of a venue in Memphis…off the beaten track, tons of interesting stuff on the walls and a very cool vibe. The food was great and Dr. Lou was a completely generous host, but in the end, it was all about the music.
Here is how things balance out in the universe. Thursday night I did not get to play (feel free to read yesterday’s blog for the details). Last night I played for 1:45 minutes. I was the first person there. There were 4 bands booked for later on, but no one waiting to play. Dr. Lou told me to go ahead for as long as I wanted until other people wanted to play. I played for 1:15 minutes. The audience was appreciative and engaged – it was a great time. Then a standup comedian- Neil- came up.
James Neil Woods
He was funny and smart. I ordered a burger. Dr. Lou came back and asked me if I wanted to play some more while the band set up so I played for another half hour to a great crowd. He gave us an order of wings on the house.
This is what my bill looked like:
I love music people!
The whole night was unexpected and it was glorious. Dr. Lou is a fine and generous person with a super cool room, great sound and the love of music that makes you want to go back and play again.
My last stop on the 7 Day Open Mic Challenge will be tonight at Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar in NYC. Open Mic runs from 6-9 – hope to see you there!