sparrow's 1-man groove / Blog

Open Mic: What You Should Know Before You Go

Most people will agree that being "onstage" scares the holy crap from their bowels. Yet, sooner or later, if you want to be a musician, comedian or even just appreciate those passions in your personality, you'll find yourself in the spotlight. So, what happens when your fifteen minutes ( hell, better make an impression in the first 30 seconds!) arrives and it's show time? An open mic can be both a great opportunity to learn about new talent and to share gifts that might just be on the verge of greatness. Often, the audience is made up of fellow artists and musicians but there's usually a smattering of fans that rummage about, waiting for their friends to get down to the songs they know, love and recognize. What's important about this stage is that it gives equal space to both the novice and the trained artist. The eclectic mix of different musical styles and repetitive covers might be more than the average radio listener can handle, but for those who can appreciate talent, in all of it's various stages from raw to polished, they often find a place that calls to them and brings them back to hear the folks they've already enjoyed or to the possibility of hidden talent that blows their mind. So, if you're called to perform, I give you a hearty, "Right On!" As a newly appointed host to one of these sweet venues, I only ask that you remember a few key points: 1. You're going to hear things that don't appeal to you. Try to find the positive or step outside if it's too much but, be respectful! PERFORMERS NOTE: THESE FINAL POINTS PERTAIN TO YOU! 2. Just have fun. It's easy to forget what the lyrics are to a song you sang a 1000 times; stage fright can easily beat anyone's brain into comatose. Forgive yourself without asking for apology from the crowd. We understand and empathize in many cases. 3. Be prepared. Make sure your instrument is tuned and you have the right equipment or can improvise with what's available. Try to have your song material ready; this is tough for even seasoned performers. If you need the lyrics, here's a great place to plaster them in front of your face. I'm a fan of printed lyrics, everyday. Make sure you know where you are in the line-up. Any time taken to get prepared on stage is part of a performer's set, especially when a person's not ready. The easier you are to plug and play, the better. 4. Your time is your time; make the best of it but remember, you're sharing a space. Yes, you have fans who are dying to videotape your performance. once your allotted time is up, no matter how blistering the solo, let it go. 5. Support your local performers Sometimes, it's by seeing performances that artists are plugging through the open mic, sometimes it's by recognizing their growth over time. Who knows, you might be witnessing the next REAL big thing

time to make some music

so 2011 was a little slow for sparrow's 1-man groove. life kinda got in the way, as a fellow guitarista once told me. The album, "Tales from the Lüpstation" has been put on hold till a brother can afford to fix some digital technology. Not quite the way i'd like to roll but those are the cards for now. i've been finding inspiration from some creative sources and have changed quite a few of my "uncover" songs to fit sparrow's feel of Blues, Soul and of course, the Free-range Funk. Looks like the folks at Olivers Market in Cotati will be hosting yours truly for a little shopping ambiance this month (check out the listings for more details). I'm truly excited to support my homie, Sebastopol artist & local, Daniel Katra, in what's shaping up to be a supa-sweet Monday-night show at the beginning of June. stay tuned, sonoma county peeps! as always, i want to thank the folks supporting, listening and promoting sparrow. in that spirit, i'm offering the gift of free downloads from "Tales from the Lüpstation" & all i'm asking folks to do is become fans of sparrow's 1-man groove. It's like, a click of your mouse or a push of your finger on the "become a fan" button and then download, baby! hope to see you grooving with sparrow, this summer. keep channeling soul, oh fellow freaks and funkonauts! - rev. sparrow