Rev Coffee does its part to promote local music in Smyrna with its weekly Open Mic Night. Eight people performed at Wednesday’s offering with diverse acts ranging from a blues guitarist, a folk singer from Denmark, a punk/ska duo and a spoken-word poet.
Kerry Wentworth organizes and performs at Rev Coffee’s Open Mic Night. The rules are simple, she explained. Participants are generally allowed to perform two songs or poems; three if there are few performers scheduled. Performers are only allowed to showcase original work. Covers aren’t allowed.
Rev Coffee has been hosting an Open Mic Night for the past four years, but the original song rule is a recent change that has led some performers to explore their creativity.
“We had a little static from people,” Wentworth said. “We lost a lot of people who stopped playing, but we have gained a lot of people. We have a lot of people who have come back and said, ‘Well, you know I actually never sat down and wrote my own songs because I never really had to. But I really like this place.’ And they actually sat down and wrote their own music. Really that’s what supporting local music is.”
Blues guitarist Eddie Rhoades performed a song about his guitar, aptly named “Baby Blue.” After his performance, Rhoades applauded the audience for supporting Rev’s music scene.
“You’ve got coffee at home,” he said. “You’ve got T.V. at home, but you’re here tonight. And that’s what local music is all about.
Lars Graulund had to come all the way from Denmark to perform at Rev Coffee’s Open Mic Night. He made time to perform some of his original songs while in town on a business trip. One of his songs, “Empty and Pale,” was brand new. He finished writing it while on the plane to the United States.
The Aquards, a punk/ska duo comprised of Anthony Aquard on guitar and Eddie Aquard on bass, were an upbeat change of pace from the other performances. The band performed three songs “I Don’t Know Why,” “Nights” and “Where’s the Gold?” The guys even encouraged the audience to participate by clapping along to the music.
Monte Johnson was the evening’s only spoken-word poet. He performed two original poems: “Love Poem” and “Legend.”
Aegis Vaughan charmed the audience with her songs “Sweetheart” and “Bittersweet,” which she performed on the keyboard. She played a third unnamed song on the guitar.
Harold Richman, guitar, and James Hampton, bongos, performed three instrumental songs: “Strumming Away,” “Just Fast Enough” and “Passing Time Till Sunrise.”
Rev Coffee’s Open Mic Night is held every Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.