Last night at the Bluebird Cafe
I — obviously — played the Bluebird Cafe’s open mic last night. It’s an extremely famous venue that is now owned by the Nashville Songwriters Association so it’s quite literally marked as a songwriter’s venue. The way the Bluebird does their open mic, if you don’t get on one week you get a stamp that you can trade in for a slot at a future open mic.
Last night they had 31 people cashing in their stamps.
That meant only 7 first timers were going to make it onstage. I was number 42 originally. But enough people left that I moved into the 6th spot after the 31 returning performers. I was told I’d be last but they were able to squeeze one more guy in after me.
It was mostly like every other open mic I go to in terms of the mix of talent. Songs styles didn’t vary much last night which is why I choose the sharper “You’re Not My Girl Anymore” instead of the more instinctive choice of I Fall Hard. No sense in being the 37th person to play a song with a country rhythm.
Playing the Bluebird is also clearly a right of passage as nearly everyone said something like “I’m from [small town] in [other state] and I moved to Nashville [short time] ago.” Canadians, a Kiwi, Yankees… they all came to play the Bluebird.
The line-up is pretty fun. It stretches down the block outside the cafe. Sign-ups are at 5.30pm and I don’t think there’s any prohibition against getting there as early as possible. It’s a lottery draw once you get in, but they only let about 60 people in. I got there at 4.30pm and was possibly 9th in line. It was a nice hang with the people there. I recommend it.