A few months ago I had the occasion to travel through Nashville on the way to visit family. As I was passing through, I decided to take the opportunity to try to get in on the open mic at The Bluebird Cafe. I’ve heard so much about it ever since I began songwriting.
I’m happy to report that I got there early enough to get in the door and to play. It was a great experience! It’s a cozy place, certainly, so you get to look your audience right in the eye. Obviously, many of the people in attendance are performers and songwriters as well. That fact, along with the marvelous MC job done by open mic host Barbara Cloyd, creates a welcoming atmosphere. Better yet! Because a few folks had left early (before their turn at the mic came), there was extra time. So Barbara drew two names out of a hat for a second song. Guess what? I got to play twice, sharing two of my original tunes! How cool is that?!
Here’s the craziest part of it all – for me. You see, my parents were both from the Nashville area. As a result, I spent almost every Xmas and a week or two every summer visiting thereabouts when I was a kid. Our home base was always my grandmother’s house. That house, as it turns out, is a stone’s throw from The Bluebird Cafe! I kid you not!! I used to go door-to-door caroling with my uncle’s boyscout troop through that neighborhood! I used to help my grandmother shop at the grocery store down the street where now a Whole Foods is located. My grandma is no longer there, and the house doesn’t even look the same. Still, just being in that neighborhood brought so many memories flooding back.
Of course, all that doesn’t make me a better performer or songwriter. Ha! Even so, it sure as heck made my evening singing at The Bluebird Cafe one for reminiscing as well as one to remember.