Last Saturday night at The Fretted Frog

wpid-IMG_20100828_185312I played The Fretted Frog‘s new open mic last Saturday night. The place is an alternative acoustic music shop in Echo Park with tons of crazy banjos, ukuleles and oddly tuned guitars. It’s an awesome atmosphere just for a shop but it turned out to be possibly the best open mic I’ve ever attended.

I arrived a bit early since traffic in LA is always a big question mark. Roland, the owner of the shop, and Colin readied the place for the open mic by arranging chairs and a bench to face the stage. They ran two mics through a small PA system and a Lunchbox amp. (Which was the coolest amp I’ve ever played through. Want one.) The sound was just spectacular. In that room surrounded by guitars all over the walls with just some simple amplification, it was amazing.

They set out snacks and drinks and soon people showed up just to watch. Nice, polite people who just wanted to hear the music.

I met Ricky Stein from Austin, TX and talked to him while they waited to start the evening. He went on after me and basically tore the roof off the place with three original Americana tunes that sounded older than he is.

wpid-IMG_20100828_1847591Roland allowed me to go on first since I had to depart a little early to make another engagement. It was, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating, the best time I’ve ever had playing an open mic. It sounded so good to me and I felt so comfortable in that environment. I sang Frankly Mr Turner, Stay Together For the Dog and Ewa. During “Ewa,” I had that momentary feeling that everything was going right — I was singing well and strong, hitting the notes, hitting the words, playing well. It was beautiful. Roland video recorded a lot of the show but I almost don’t want to see it since it could taint my version of my performance. It was a really wonderful experience on all counts.