Tag Archives: Open Mic

Song Of The Day

Erik White – “Absolute”

LOVE this tune from Erik White. Almost 2 years ago now, I saw Erik perform at an open mic competition and was totally drawn in. More recently, Ryan Montbleau saw him live and felt the same way… Erik opens for Ryan tonight at Club Passim in Cambridge.


Erik White

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LOCAL Music: Erik White

**I recently judged an open mic contest at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA…


Photo by Jamie Meditz

Erik White was quite possibly my favorite performer at the open mic competition. There’s just something about him that totally intrigues me, something that I can’t quite describe. What I can say is that he’s got an extremely unique voice and some ridiculously gorgeous words. You’ve got to hear his song “Absolute”:

Listen:

“The first time I turned you on
I sat there glued and all the wrong
came rushing in and down my spine
convincing everything was fine

Then I went to go outside
and I found that all the trees had died
and so found out that you had lied
to not just me

From that day on my dreams were chilled
were being drilled by someone
who was trying hard to fill me
but kept spilling

So my life-long search began
I latched on to their evil plan
hand over hand
I started climbing”

Erik White
Brothers McCann

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LOCAL Music: John Gerard

**I recently judged an open mic contest at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA…


photo by Jamie Meditz

It seems cliche, but you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. As he took the stage, I thought John Gerard looked like a pretty tough guy. It was probably a combination of his build, his shaved head and the tattoos on his knuckles. Let’s just say the last thing I expected from this man was a falsetto that made me melt. With a beautiful voice and compelling words, John Gerard took me off-guard and I liked it!

John Gerard
MySpace

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LOCAL Music: Cilla Bonnie

**I recently judged an open mic contest at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA…

 
photo by Jamie Meditz

Imagine a sweet voice over a funky bass line…engaging lyrics and groovy melodies…a stylish, striking young lady who has a certain mystery about her. That’s how I can describe Cilla Bonnie. One of the most difficult moments of the night was in round one when Cilla was up against the eventual grand prize winner… after just one song, we reluctantly knocked her out, badly wanting to hear more from her. Check Cilla out live in and around Boston and keep an eye out for her debut CD coming out in July.

Cilla Bonnie

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LOCAL Music: Dan Blakeslee

**I judged an open mic contest at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA last weekend.  It’s hard to believe some of these talented artists aren’t being recognized by a larger audience. So, I’m compelled to share them with you…

When I can’t hear the lyrics of a song it almost always bothers me, in fact it usually ruins the performance for me. But not with Dan Blakeslee. There’s so much emotion, so much MOOD surrounding his music that you almost don’t even need the words, you just know exactly what he’s talking about. With every tune, I kept being baffled by this unassuming guy who was just sitting up there with his guitar, totally enthralling me with his sound. “INTOXICATING” was my only note for Dan Blakeslee… I couldn’t write much else because I was so pulled in.

Blakeslee is a killer visual artist too.  I had no idea (until I checked out his site) that I had seen his artwork before, on the cover of the latest Slaid Cleaves album:

Dan Blakeslee
MySpace

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LOCAL Music: Reed Waddle

**I judged an open mic contest in Cambridge, MA last weekend, where the winners of many weeks worth of open mics went head to head.

The runner up…

Originally from Florida and relatively new to Boston, Reed Waddle has been relentlessly playing small rooms, colleges, festivals, and coffee shops around the country for years. As soon as he stepped in front of the microphone at the Lizard Lounge, I somehow knew he had played in front of many an audience. As his first song, “Piece By Piece” ended, I turned to my fellow judges with an opened-mouthed expression, and could only say, “He’s a pro!”

I don’t run into much pop music that I would consider good. But Reed Waddle is exactly that. Think Brett Dennen, Jack Johnson, Ben Taylor and David Gray. Yet he’s not from the same exact mold as any of those artists. His songwriting is thoughtful, his guitar chops are impressive, and he’ll whip out a sick harmonica solo when you least expect it. Reed Waddle has been hard at work gigging and putting out albums (Piece By Piece is his fourth), and I’d bet that he’ll soon see that hard work pay off in a big way.

Reed Waddle
MySpace

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LOCAL Music: Dietrich Strause

I judged an open mic contest in Cambridge, MA last weekend, where the winners of many weeks worth of open mics went head to head to win $500. It was a difficult night to judge, but I enjoyed it immensely. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that these talented artists aren’t getting recognized by a larger audience. So… I’m compelled to share them with you!

And the winner is…

Decisions got tougher and tougher to make as the night went on… thank goodness I had two other great judges deciding with me (Will Dailey and Billy Beard). In the end we chose a singer/songwriter who had us hanging on every word: Dietrich Strause.

Thoughout the night, Dietrich played 5 songs… and each one seemed to build up to the next. His lyrics just kept getting more and more vivid, bringing me deeply into the scene he painted with his words. In a bar full of people attempting to be silent, but sometimes failing, I was never once distracted away from this young man’s performance. His eyes stayed mostly closed… his fingers deftly plucking away at his guitar… his voice, not SO earth shattering, but the way he used it – mesmerizing. After hearing more than 30 performers that night, I was left remembering full phrases from Dietrich’s songs and the images that came to my mind when I heard those words. Above all else, it was his outstanding songwriting that won my vote. 

My favorite songs of his were “Jean Louise”, “Brickyard” and “Nuns With Guns”. You can listen to those tunes and more HERE.

Dietrich Strause
MySpace

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