Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Whimsical Wednesday: Open Mic Night

For those who have been following this blog from time to time, it might already be obvious that I have a yen for music. Once, I wrote about my attempts to play the guitar. On other occasions, I shared my adoration for Willie Nelson. In yet another post, I fiercely defended New Orleans, even mentioning one of my favorite spots in the French Quarter, The Kerry Irish Pub – a small “neighborhood” bar that offers a variety of imported beers, yummy drinks like Irish coffee, a pool table that’s often in use, a dartboard that isn’t, and a stage that boasts live music every night.

Dan and I have frequented the Kerry for so long that the bartenders (Paul and Kevin especially) and the owner (Doris) know us by name (kinda like that dude on Cheers – you know the one). It’s probably helped that we dragged a whole posse of out-of-towners there after our first annual Big Easy film festival, that we held last year’s opening night party there, and that we’ll be doing the same next week, for the start of our third annual Big Easy fest. Oh, let’s face it, we’ll use any excuse to head down there. The laidback vibe and awesome music (from country and folk songs to occasional Irish ballads to annual Beatles tributes) are just too darn tempting to ignore.

So, surprise, surprise – guess where we were last night? Yep, you got it! The Kerry! And it just so happened to be honky-tonk open mic night with singer-songwriter-guitarist Jason Bishop. After two pints of Abita Amber (a regional brew), take one guess who worked up the courage to climb the stage and sing a couple of songs with Jason as accompaniment. Yours truly, that’s who! I won’t say that I was good, but I did manage to sing the Eagles’ “Already Gone” and Willie Nelson’s “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” without shattering glasses or eardrums. So, all in all, I consider it a success.

More importantly, though, I had a total blast. What better way to celebrate life than to spend an evening in my favorite New Orleans pub, singing two of my favorite songs, with my favorite person in the world (that would be my hubby) smiling up at me! While I’ve sung in high school musicals and karaoke bars before, I must admit that this was a whole new experience – and I’m proud of myself for summoning the courage to stand before the “regulars” of my favorite bar and put my limited skills on display – even if it did take two beers and a cheat sheet of lyrics to do it.

Have you ever thrown caution to the wind and dared others to judge you? Do tell! Do tell!


Kristi said...

Wow - I'm impressed with the singing on stage thing. My hubby's a singer/songwriter and has no problem singing to hundreds of people - there is absolutely NO way I could get on a stage and do that. I think the last time I was judged was in my high school cheerleading competition but that was as part of a team, so I didn't feel it was only me being judged - plus, we won. :)

L. T. Host said...

I always love your posts about life in the places you go. Good on you for having the courage to get up on stage... I would have frozen up and sounded like a squeaky toy, haha!

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Kristi! That's awesome that your hubby is a singer/songwriter - I have such respect for musicians... especially those that seem so comfortable on stage (no cracking voice, plus a good rapport with the crowd)... That's cool, though, that your cheerleading team won. How exciting! Was it as cutthroat as BRING IT ON makes it out to be?

Thanks, L.T.! I like sharing my wacky adventures, and while I might not be talented at lots of things, I'm grateful for being able to embrace life every now and again! I should do scary things more often. ;-)

Steph Damore said...

Go you! That's so awesome. I'm sure I've thrown caution to wind sometime or another (and I'm sure alcohol was involved), but I can't think of a specific example right now. Being brave is always a good thing!

Laura Martone said...

Thanks, Steph! It sure was a lot of fun - and I'm pretty proud of myself... if I do say so myself. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'll be in Key West around Christmas time and I am checking out the Open Mic venues on the net in the Key West area. You mentioned The Kerry Irish Pub as a fun spot. Is the format strictly country music or can a performer sing other genres of music. I like the standards and Jazz tunes.

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Anon! Well, I'll be in Key West about that time, too... researching for a new travel guide... but the Kerry Irish Pub is actually in the New Orleans French Quarter. And, yes, the folks there encourage a wide range of musical styles - jazz, country, folk, rock, Irish, you name it.

P.S. If you're looking for places in Key West, drop me a line - Hope you have fun down there! It's an awesome place. Course, so's New Orleans. :-)