Royalston’s 17th Open Mic Nights season begins

  • John Currie —Mary C. Barclay

  • Jim McCrea —Mary C. Barclay

  • Phil Rabinowitz —Mary C. Barclay

  • Carl Kamp —Mary C. Barclay

  • BY WHATEVER NAME – In the don’t judge a book by its cover category, quintet whose name was up for some debate on stage when they began their set at the Royalston Town Hall last week, for the beginning of the 17th Open Mic Nights season. Members are: Rick Ledford, guitar and vocals; Jim Rivers, congas and vocals; Joe Farrell, percussion and vocals; Brian Mallet, guitar; and Mark Robichaud, bass. They were most popular with the audience. Their love for the Beatles’ music and spot on harmonies drew long and loud applause during their performance. By whatever name, the group will be the February 1, 2019 Open Mic Night host band. —Mary C. Barclay

  • DANCE-ABLE MUSIC – The Williams’ Brothers Band, host band for the first Royalston Open Mic Night of the season, offered up some dance-able music for the 75 audience members. Held in the Town Hall the past Friday, Pearl Harbor Day, the performance marked the beginning of the 17th season for the event, which was begun and continues under the direction of the Royalston Cultural Council. There is no cover charge, although free-will donations are accepted and go towards future RCC events. —Mary C. Barclay

  • DELICIOUS LISTENING – Traditional and vegetarian lasagna, savory garlic bread, and an array of baked goods, made for some delicious listening at the Royalston Cultural Council’s Open Mic Night, which celebrated the beginning of its 17th season this past Friday, in the Royalston Town Hall. A selection of hot and cold, non-alcoholic beverages were also available. —Mary C. Barclay

Published: 12/13/2018 10:47:16 AM

 A Friday filled with food, fun & music

Royalston’s 17th Open Mic Nights season begins

By MARY C. BARCLAY

For the Athol Daily News

ROYALSTON – A couple dozen people were in the town hall auditorium as emcee Phil Leger opened the Royalston Cultural Council’s 17th Open Mic season this past Friday, Pearl Harbor Day. By the host band’s third number, however, volunteers were setting up additional tables and chairs for what would ultimately be an audience approaching 75.

The classic country sound of The Williams’ Brothers Band, and classic country song, “Come on in” opened the performances. Rhythm guitarists Mark LeBlanc, Hector and Reid Williams; electric bass player Wayne Kellogg; lead guitarist Randy Baker; and percussionist Lisa Tringali offered up a well-received traditional set, including some dance-able music. The Orange-based band is no stranger to Royalston, having performed at both the Royalston’s Country Fair and MusicFest.

Classical guitarist and RCC Open Mic Night regular Carl Kamp took the stage next. The Royalston musician offered just a few selections before he was joined by emcee Phil and RCC chair Jim Bennett for some “assistance,” in the form of good-natured, musical badgering.

Jim McCrae of Warwick, more widely recognized at Open Mic for his keyboarding prowess, caught some by surprise when he took the stage with a guitar. He led the crowd in a call-and-response number, “Don’t Let Go,” and followed with a number of folk-rock numbers. He later jammed in with The Williams’ Brothers Band. He with the band, Spacebar,” will serve as Open Mic host band on January 4, 2019.

Lisa Tringali, drummer with The Williams’ Brothers Band appeared on stage a second time, offering a set of stand-up comedy. The Leominster comedienne announced she would take her material down to the ‘PG’ level out of consideration for the young children in attendance, then launched into her take on life as a single woman, eliciting some knowing chuckles from the audience.

In the don’t judge a book by its cover category, the quintet whose name was up for some debate on stage when they began their set, was clearly popular with the audience. Their love for the Beatles’ music and harmonies evident throughout, the group drew long and loud applause during their set. Members are: Rick Ledford, guitar and vocals; Jim Rivers, congas and vocals; Joe Farrell, percussion and vocals; Brian Mallet, guitar; and Mark Robichaud, bass. For the record, the official name for the evening was either The Amarillo Brothers or Nexus. By whatever name, the group will be the February 1, 2019 Open Mic Night host band.

Phil Rabinowitz’s ballads, folk songs, and guitar accompaniment are not just appreciated, but have become an expected part of Open Mic Nights. He was solo during his open mic appearance, sitting comfortably amongst the squirrel’s nest of cords and wires on the stage. He acknowledged the 100th observance of the 1918 armistice – now known as Veterans Day – with a moving selection entitled, “Private Willie.”

Apparently influenced to some degree by his connections to Prince Edward Island, John Currie sang and provided his own guitar accompaniment to a selection of bluesy folk-rock numbers before The Williams’ Brothers Band closed out the first Royalston Open Mic Night of the 2018-2019 season, with one extra member; Jim McCrae provided keyboard accompaniment.

Sound for the performers was provided by Phil Leger and Jim Bennett. The café corner offerings that night featured non-alcoholic beverages, steaming hot traditional, and vegetarian lasagna, garlic bread, and a delicious assortment of baked goods, and, paying homage to the environment, were served on real plates, with real flatware. All free-will and food donations from the evening will support future RCC events.

The RCC sponsors numerous events throughout the year, many of which have become eagerly-anticipated traditions. May is the month for either Blues Night or the Royalston Follies in the Town Hall. MusicFest draws hundreds to Bullock Park on the second Sunday in July for an afternoon of music, and al fresco dining, in a family-friendly, carnival-like atmosphere. The annual Tree Lighting takes place the first Wednesday in December, with carols, cookies, and cocoa.

Royalston’s Open Mic Night is a 2008 “Gold Star Award” recipient, earning that prestigious title from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Cultural Council. It is one of 329 local Councils receiving annual funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Each October, successful grant applicants improve access to the arts for Royalston residents by providing entertaining and educational programs and projects.

Appointed Council members include Jim Bennett, Chair; Deb Nunes, Secretary; and members Carla Rabinowitz, Patience Bundschuh, and Rebecca Krause-Hardie, but participation by a wide variety of volunteers is a large part of the group’s success. Donations of time, talent, and money are welcome at any time. For additional information contact any Council member, check out the Royalston Cultural Council Facebook page, or the link on the www.royalston-ma.gov website.

 

 

 

 

 


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