Thank god for Grumpy D’s virtual Open Mic

Fucking pandemic. My band Don’t Think Twice was just getting our tunes tight and booking more gigs. Singing 4-part harmonies with Steve, Raya and Megan was such a good time, as was learning to play the bass to broaden our sound. Audiences were digging the music, we were digging each other and it was all coming together.

Then, well, you know.

I did some solo Facebook livestreams those first few months. Who didn’t, right? They were fun, a reason to play, but a hard way to connect with people unless you had a whole thing going. Kudos to friends like Jim Page and Bill Davie for figuring out their angle on making livestreams work in terms of community building.

My saving grace was finding the online manifestation of the Grumpy D’s Open Mic. It’s a place to play live online for people who not only want to hear music, they want to support each other as musicians and people. We range from seasoned touring pros to shower singers and everything in between. It’s a great opportunity to build community through music. I would not have made it this far through the pandemic without these friends. Special thanks to Alan Camhi, Godfather of the Grumpy D’s Open Mic, and to James Dailey, Charles Trafford, Judy Kaplan and Deb Seymour for hosting and making it all happen. Sometimes when I play, I capture my performance on video at the same time. Here are a few from the past months. Thanks for listening!

This Old World is a song a wrote about 10 years ago that is oddly prescient.

When I was a kid there was a family secret never told about someone dying on my Grandfather’s farm in West Virginia. Romney is my attempt to flesh out the story.

Redtail Hawk is about looking for my roots.

I love singing sad songs and Kris Delmhorst’s Words Fail You is one of the best.

I wrote this song for my father, but it goes out to everyone who hopes to see someone they lost on the other side if the Bridge Don’t Rise.

“It’s so easy to dream of the days gone by…” starts this perfect song by Bob Franke, Thanksgiving Eve.

Even in these dark days everyone has some light to Shine On (by May Erlewine).

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