Having enjoyed the open mics in Baltimore this past Monday, I went right back up to B’more on Thursday evening for two more. 

Singers:  This small restaurant and bar is located in the greater Mount Vernon neighborhood and almost literally across the street from the Meyerhoff Concert Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  Having spent a few weeks last year at the Meyerhoff as BSO’s singing Santa, I know the area well but had never been into Singers.  It’s a nice setup and a friendly staff.  Evidently, the former open mic host (Gideon, I think) left recently, and management has brought the hosting in-house.  They have a great set-up with a nice elevated stage area and plenty of equipment.  Attendance was sparce this past Thursday due to the changing of the guard.  So if you’re in B’more looking for an open mic — go!  Oh, the time has changed, too.  It starts at 9:00 p.m. now instead of the previous 6:30 p.m. signup.

Slainte Pub:  As pubs go, Slainte is quite a large one.  Housed in an historic building on Thames Street in the Fells Point area, this bar has many levels and many rooms.  I found the open mic under way at the second floor bar in a room that could almost be considered a dedicated open mic space (since there are other bars and other rooms for people not interested in the live music).  I was amazed to find that participants here have the opportunity to play 5 songs each.  Now that’s a lot of open mic time!  Things get under way at 9:30 p.m., and I arrived just as the host – Mike – was finishing up his set.  The people are friendly and welcoming.  Mike was very helpful.  The only down side was one group that played started 3 different songs but then stopped midway through them.  Yet Mike didn’t count any of those against their 5 song total.  Good for them – 8 songs.  Bad for the rest of us.

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