The town where I currently reside (Delaware, Ohio) is, from what I can tell, equal parts “college town” and “small family town.” And, coming from a small town originally, I must say they produce some fantastic music.
The beauty of where I live is that Columbus, Ohio (the capital) is only 30 minutes away. Having a city of music and art so close means Delaware is full of students who play music for fun, people with day jobs who like to play gigs on the weekend and music majors from Ohio Wesleyan. The coffee shop where I frequent, Choffey’s, has people who’ll stop by on their lunch breaks and play for whoever is in there (I’m serious, they were doing it the other day while I worked on a paper and drank chai).
And because Open Mic Night is such a quintessential college experience, Delaware has that too. Last week I was able to go to the first Open Mic held at Endangered Species, the only record store in downtown Delaware.
Above: James Ormerod, a student at Ohio Wesleyan, played a combination of covers and original work.
The beauty of the event is Endangered Species has large windows that face the busy streets, and people passing by from nearby restaurants and shops saw what was happening and came in to hear college musicians share Beatles covers and original work. I saw a couple introduce themselves to a musician and tell him how much they look forward to hearing him perform again.
Above: Dane Poppe, an OWU student, covers Neil Young.
There was a father son duo as well who covered Led Zeppelin and played an original the father wrote, and that showed me how strong the bond of music can be to bring families together (just like my dad and I going to Lollapalooza).
(Above: A Delaware high school student covers Yes).
Opportunities where people can join together and share a creative talent they carry inside never fail to amaze me. It’s a great chance for people to bond over a shared interest with something so pure, so emotional, so personal. And as an aspiring music journalist, people who are willing to share their work gives me hope for what I’ll discover in my professional life. I have so much respect for their willingness to be exposed musically.
So my recommendation to you is get out there and support your local music scene. Go to an open mic, a local show, a festival. There is so much talent and potential in the people around you, and we all have a desire to create something and share it with the world. As a student I see you never know what kind of talent you’ll find within your own school, and better yet, within your town.
Above: My housemates (from left) Dom Mejia, Chase Smith and Emily Phillips performing under the moniker There Will Be Cardigan.
And as a side note, since the Open Mic was held at a record store, I picked up a CD copy of both Angel Olsen’s “MY WOMAN” and Car Seat Headrest’s “Teens of Denial.” So all in all, I’d say it was a successful night.
Above: Two great records.
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.