The Pub & Grill at Santa Fe Brewing Company’s closure in December didn’t bring Open Mic Night with Jason Reed down—just across town to Corazón.
“I think a lot of people are happy that it’s downtown now, and they don’t have to drive so far,” Reed says.
Since the new location doesn’t require a trip across all creation, I dragged my punk-ass editor, Rani Molla, and a couple of dumb friends along for the ride. The crowd of approximately 20 people was older and comfortable, seeing as the kids hadn’t yet arrived to freak them out.
“We don’t have a massive turnout just yet, but it takes time to build a following,” Reed tells SFR.
Open Mic Night is a chance for amateurs to perform, but the talent there certainly had a large range. Below are mini-reviews of the performers, whom I gave nicknames to protect their innocence.
Performer No. 1 had a reserved approach to his rather pretty blues-guitar playing, but his vocals sounded like a nightmare I had in which Michael McDonald switched to blues music. His harmonica accompanist, however, was fantastically talented. Most of us blow into a harmonica now and again, but those who can make it look like a simple instrument are always impressive. So I salute the blues-harp player wholeheartedly.
The British have a term with which you’re no doubt familiar: wanker. So even though performer No. 2 (who is, coincidentally, British himself) was a totally solid guitarist and had an excellent voice, his announcement that one of his songs was inspired by Michel Gondry’s film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind earned him the title. He opened by explaining that his first song was about people telling other people what’s wrong with them. Since I, more or less, make my living this way, I felt like the song was aimed at me. And I liked it. Nobody has ever written a song for me, and I felt like the prettiest girl in the bar.
There’s a homeless guy who hangs by the rock fountain on the corner of Don Gaspar Avenue and Water Street, and that is who my buddy thought was playing. The resemblance was indeed uncanny. He played his guitar and sang quietly, but his presence was gigantic. No. 3 was the best performer of the night. Somebody needs to give this guy a home (musically), as his songs were, for lack of a better word, haunting. His spooky sounds were inspiring, beautiful and are still running through my mind. I would pay money to see him play again.
A man/woman, guitar/upright bass duo brought some country swing flair to Jack Norworth’s time-honored opus “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” I’m sure that when these people were at home high-fiving about how awesome their new take on the song would be, they didn’t take into consideration just how annoyingly precious it would come off. I found the cover trite, and even my baseball-lovin’ homie rolled his eyes. The woman shredded her upright bass like a string-loving octopus, but the man lacked presence. Country swing is a style I love, but he needs some more finesse to pull off the whole Dan Hicks thing.
Jason “Beard-Licious” Reed
As we prepared to leave, Reed himself jumped on the stage for some ’90s-esque acoustic rock with a 12-string guitar. Host or not, he seems a little too professional to be relegated to open mic. Get this fool on the Song Swap at Cowgirl.
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