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Topic: Open Stage every Wednesday w/ host Joe H

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Dwerimake
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Open Stage every Wednesday w/ host Joe H

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We had some GREAT times on the Big stage in Strasburg VA

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Tommy(Rocker)
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Hey there Ed, although things may seem in flux on open stage night, the last two weeks have been quite smooth, and is bringing out some great regulars. My wife Maggie and I have been helping Robbie and Harry make sure thing are moving along at an enjoyable pace, with her filling in on vocals, Bass,and throwing in some tambourine work to boot. Pete & Alex were a total suprise, and a joy to behold. They were instrumental, but totally captivating, with an up-beat "weather channel" groove(That's a high compliment guys). Steve Waller is another to catch there, doing some Neil Young material that really satisfies that folk rock jones. "We're O.K. " is somewhat an acquired taste, playing original punk-ska type jams. I have to give huge props to Leroy Prince, who shows you can take a lame 80's tune like "Hold me now" by the Thompson Twins, and breath new life into it. Leroy, being a published songwriter has really been great with laying down his originals, on stage, on the fly, and still making it work out well. Covering the drums, quite intuitively is Andy(last name withheld due to contractual obligations..... Or maybe I never asked him) who will find you a beat in a blinding snowstorm to keep things rolling smooth. Another new face is Dennis on Bass who's a great addition to the all-night players roster. Dennis' last name withheld due to witness protection program. (or was it that I neglected to ask him also...Hmmmm). Another new favorite to open stage is "Mountain Mayhem", playing as a full band last week covering some classic jams. They also have a very energetic following that's not afraid to dance, or cheer loudly before, during and after their set. Major kudos Dudes, hope to see them back with their entourage. As always, Robbie does his best, making just about everybody who plays sound their best. Along with Brian who will record any set onto CD-R, though tips are appreciated. Great job to these guys who never get thanked enough; THANK YOU! I do think some folks have legitimate gripes concerning the way things are being handled. That being said, as long as Irene and Steve will have us, Maggie and myself will continue to make ourselves available, along with afore mentioned players, and groups. It's amazing how a little tweaking of things can make a positive difference. It's gonna be a long summer, and the A.C. there is like an oasis, as is the music scene. To quote a famous bar patron (who even has his spot at the bar immortalized with a name tag..LOL) Keep rocking in the valley! Catch 'yall on stage. Tommy

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JH
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When I first started attending open mics, I was always amazed at the wide variety of performers who'd hop up on stage and do their thing.  I'd see not only the usual solo acoustic acts, (both male and female, young and old) but comics, poets and any other type act you could think of. I used to tape the good ones on my little hand held recorder, and sometimes I'll bust out those tapes and have a listen. Many of them still stand up today as brilliant flash moments of creativity. 

With this in mind, and with Wednesdays by far their 'deadest' night, I asked Irene if she'd like me to try and put together a similar sort of thing at the Strasburg Theater.  She had her reservations, but since nothing else seemed to be happening, gave it her blessing.

It's been four weeks and so far, we've had full rock bands, solo acts, and our first female artist grace the magnificent stage. But I'd really like to see more.  There's no reason this open stage shouldn't take off and become something quite extraordinary. I'm interested in getting some spoken word poets, comics, clowns, anyone with a certain degree of talent who'd like to take part in what we're now calling "Open Stage with Joe Herbert" Every Wednesday night.

Sign up starts at 7 PM. Get there early and have something delicious to eat (the Greek items are their specialty) and watch or take part in the most beautiful open stage anywhere.

If you need more information, just write to strasburgtheater@hotmail.com and I'll be happy to provide you with all the details. We do have a sound system, bass amp, guitar amp, and will usually have a drum kit set up as well. Bring your talent, and tell your friends to come along. Let's make "Open Stage" the hub of creativity that it deserves to be.

Open Stage every Wednesday Night at the Strasburg Theater. It's fun!!

~Joe Herbert

P.S

I'd like to see comics, spoken word artists, painters, jugglers and clowns (ok, maybe not clowns) doing sets right alongside the musicians.  Make it fun! Of course we'll need to spread the word about the open stage to areas beyond the immediate vicinity, maybe do some networking down in harrisonburg, winchester, etc.  It'll take some work, but i just hate to see a stage like this go to waste.

~Joe

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Best Damn Open Mic Period
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Well I always thought Joe H. did a fantastic job of putting that open mic together. We've come to a lot of them, (and lots of other open mics in the valley) and this has been by far one of the best.  It's always been a smooth run operation.  Hey, not sure why you're leaving Joe, but I hope you'll stay around to jam with us on Wednesday nights.  And thanks for hosting the best damn open mic period!

Hank 

 

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LeRoy Prince
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Good job Joe,thanks for the kind remarks.I wont be attending this week,as for some reason they will be airing my songs on 95.3 from 8-9.Since I am recovering from a nasty bug I think I will stay home and listen.Best regards,look forward to your continued appearance as a performer

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Joe H.
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Who's Next?

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Wednesday Night Open Stage at the Strasburg Theater has been going just great.  We started this thing up back in July, and since then, we’ve seen an amazing and dizzying array of performers from all styles and genres gracing this big and beautiful stage. Over the past 8 months, I’ve enjoyed working with many different musicians, bands, solo acts, spoken word poets, and a few odd ball lunatics to keep things interesting. 

 

Some of the bands who’ve stepped onto the Theater’s stage have come away with a sense of admiration, if not complete awe.  I’ve heard countless musicians tell me that this was the biggest place they’d ever played, and with the lighting, mics, monitors, enormous curtains and huge sound system, it can be quite daunting, especially for some of the younger musicians.  Open Stage has also served as a proving ground for several bands, who’ve seen a good performance turn into a full fledged weekend paying gig at the Theater.

 

While running the Open Stage, Robbie (house soundman) and I have always had the same goal in mind: to get the performers to look and sound as good as possible.  We’ve taken great strides since the soundboard first arrived at the theater last summer.  With the addition of some professional stage lighting and the big spotlight in the balcony, we’ve been able to turn what would be a normal open mic performance into something very special.  I have a lot of great memories from the Open Stage.  Sometimes, we’d be in the middle of a set by one of the area bands, and just look up and say, “man, this is like being at a rock concert!”  I’ve also had a great deal of positive feedback from many of the musicians who’ve played here.  Some of the best bands in the area have popped up on stage for a quick set.  We’ve had heavy metal, blues, old time, jambands, spoken word, hip hop, acoustic solo, country, and every combination of groupings come together at the last minute for some of the best sets in memory.  Highlights include Dewey and Eyesoar jamming out on some killer old Stones classics, Hank and I playing “The Trees” by Rush, and Catfish Hodge playing my acoustic guitar so damn good, that I was ready to give it up already.  We had Jason Konopinski blowing on that didgeridoo, Old Fred Rutz playing his heartbreaking numbers, that young girl doing the ‘Staind’ songs, and of course local singer/songwriter LeeRoy Prince performing some of the most well-crafted songs anywhere.  It’s been fun, and like I said, certainly interesting. 

 

At this point however, I’ve decided that I need a break from hosting.  There are numerous reasons for this decision, but in short, it’s just not that much fun for me anymore.  I find myself wishing I could be like the other performers; show up when you want, sign up and do your set, then go mingle and hang out with the people.  I’ve also felt that playing the host has become a bit stale for me, sort of like going through the motions.  I’ve also been busy trying to work with the Jam Bands Thursdays - something that’s really starting to come together by the way.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve spoken with Steve and Irene, who’ve been so supportive of Open Stage, and we’ve been talking about getting someone in who’ll bring a fresh spark to the ceremonies.  I think you’ll be happy when you hear who we’ve got in mind.  Starting on March 21st, we will have a new host, who’ll bring a nice change to the Open Stage.  I truly believe that he’ll be able to do a better job than I can.  Of course, I’ll still be involved with promoting, and help out wherever I can, but the hosting thing for me is over.

 

I do want to thank Robbie Sullivan for all his assistance week in and week out. His contributions to the Strasburg Theater sometimes go unnoticed by the masses, but without his support and day to day skill and know-how, I think we’d all be totally lost.  Brian Mullins has recently come on board with the lights and setting up the CD recorder, and he’s been a pleasure to work with as well.  Lastly, the musicians, artists and music fans are what keeps this thing alive, and I hope you’ll all continue to support the scene on Wednesdays and every other night at the Strasburg Theater.

 

Peace.

 ~Joe H.  

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Harry
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RE: Open Stage every Wednesday w/ host Joe H

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Hey all, I'm back and I would like to thank all of you for the kind words and well wishes for the loss of my stepmother. She was a good woman that made my Dad happy. Anyway, let's get on with the show.

Joe started us off as usual with what looked like the friggin King Family up there! :) Jacob on gtr, Tim on bass, Andy on drums, Gene on gtr, Hank Z on keyboards and was joined by Steve on gtr a little later. They started out with a Joe original "Deep" and then moved into another Joe original "Hippie Crack". Then the aforementioned Steve came up and led the band to a nice set of covers. The set included Bob Dylans's "Knocking on Heavens Door", "Long Cool Woman" by The Hollies, "Cold Rain and Snow" by The Grateful Dead, "Maggie's Farm" by Bob Dylan, "Melissa" by The Allman Brothers, "Jack Straw" by The Grateful Dead and they closed out with a nice sort of medley of Richie Haven's "Freedom" that segued into "Long Time Coming" by CSN&Y.

Next up was a gentleman that drove for 2 1/2 hours to play on our stage, Lee Dove. He brought with him his computer as a backing band and promptly delivered a nice set of Country music. His set included "No Good Chain Gang" by Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, "Working Man Blues" by Merle Haggard, "Our Fathers Love" by George Strait, "Good Hearted Woman" by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, "I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash and finished with "You Never Call Me By My Name" by David Alan Coe.

The infamous Bobby V then took the stage in his usual fine fashion to deliver a set that came from everywhere. Bobby has a repertoire that is second to none and never ceases to amaze. This week his set included "Ride With Me" by The Lemonheads, "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley, "Crazy Fool" by Sublime, "Boyz In The Hood' by N.W.A., "Shady Lane" by Pavement, "Bolsheviks" a Bobby V original and closed with "Butterfly" by Weezer. Where else can you hear Elvis and N.W.A. in the same set?

Molly was up next to do a real nice set of covers mixed with a few originals. Her set included "Save Me" by Shinedown, "Who Will Save Your Love" by Jewel, "I'll Cry" a Molly original, "Detached and Broken" another Molly original, "We Belong" by Pat Benetar and she closed with one of my favorite songs ever "Whats Going On" by 4 Non Blonde's.

Ron Wright was joined by Joe, Gene and Andy to jam on a set of some good old fashioned rock and roll. They started out with "Happy Together" by The Turtles and then gave us a heavy dose of The Beatles with "Ticket To Ride", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Nowhere Man" and finished up with "You Won't See Me" off the Rubber Soul Album.

Joe, Gene and Andy took a short break to allow Gary Denick to to give us a solo version of his original "A Hero Cries" that Gary explained he wrote after 911. Very nice. Then Joe, Gene and Andy came back to help Gary out with another Gary original that was really quite funny "Homeowner Blues".

Joe, Gene and Andy were kept quite busy tonight. They stayed on the stage to jam with Ryan Houck and they kinda kept the earlier Beatles vibe going starting out with "Within You, Without You" from the Sgt. Peppers album and "Tomorrow Never Knows" from the Revolver album. Ryan then did an original tune called "Blackhole" and closed with "Rootless Tree' by Damien Rice.

After Destiny was up next to close out the night and they even gave me song titles for once! They're selections included "Come On Up", "To Be" and "I Feel This Latin Rhythm". Phil Ashley and Ian from Phillips Union then joined AD to jam on a song called "Speak" with Ian laying down some real nice Saxophone fills.

It was a real nice night with a lot of different genre's represented. Always remember to tip your bartenders and wait staff. Sign up begins around 7, the music starts around 8. I would like to thank all of you for your help with this by providing me setlists. We have made great strides since I started doing this and it really makes it a lot easier to give you all your just due.

see you next week.



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Joe H.
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harry is off this week, due to a death in the family, and he asked that i fill in for him, so here goes:


This wednesday went by pretty quick, and we were happy to be finished by midnight for the first time in a long while.  still, everyone had a chance to play a decently long set, and we had the usual mix of regulars, newcomers and folks we haven't seen in some time.
i'd have to say it was a good night all in all.


joe h
i was fortunate to have a killer band of musicians sitting in with me this evening, and i'd like to take a minute to talk about them. i was glad to see nick pizzola come out early, as he helped tune up the house drums for a bit before we got underway. one of the finest drummers out there, nick has played some of the biggest venues in the world, including the hampton coliseum.  he's also worked with some of the best in the biz, including the incredible emmylou harris.  nick sat in for my set, and despite never having heard my tunes, the guy didn't miss a beat. 
oh, but that's not all. i also had 'the ringer' jacob rinard joining me on the lead guitar.  those of you who've seen or heard jacob know what he's about. still only in his early 20's, jacob has a style and skill level that's usually found in veteran players well over twice his age.  he just adds so much to the mix, without being selfish or egotistical about it.  it's always a pleasure jamming with him, and this night was no exception. 
but again, this wasn't enough. i also had my buddy tim ambrose on bass, who always adds an element of fun on stage. tim is a multi-talented musician, playing the bass, lead and rhythm guitar, and is a fine singer too. (see below)
topping it all off was harry on percussion and harmonica, as well as steve R. on congas and percussion.  the well-travelled steve has been coming into his own lately, and has shown himself to be quite the hand drummer, not to mention a damn good vocalist. harry also helped out on some of his own hand drums and cymbols, which really fattened up the sound.


molly o'conner
molly came out and delivered one of her very best sets, and the crowd really responded to her music.  the first song was a bit loud in the mix, but after turning down, everything sounded great in the room. fortunately, we've been able to record everyone's set onto CD, and save it for prosperity. highlights were her original songs, 4 non-blonde's version of 'what's going on' and the best version of 'i don't know how to love him' (from jc superstar) that i've heard her sing yet.


charlie and turkey
i've been bugging charlie to take the stage for quite a few weeks now, but he's always put it off. so i was surprised when he walked up and asked if he and a friend could do a couple of beatles songs. despite a bit, ok a lot of nervousness, the two of them pulled it off pretty well. they also had the aforementioned nick p on the drums to help keep things on track.  i'd really like to see more of these dudes at the open stage.


bob v
when you're looking for a varied mixed set of songs you rarely hear, done in a stripped down acoustic manner, "mr. eclectic" never disappoints. this week, bobby V put together a nice mix of unusual songs, including otis redding's 'sittin' on the dock of the bay', skid row's 'i remember you', plus what i think was a really good original. (something about 'i'm afraid of heights, i lied about being, realto tight) not sure what it was, but i liked it a lot. another tune (i think you're crazy?) followed, and he wrapped it up with a song called 'everything'.


jacob and tim
 this was one of the best sets of the night, hands down. these guys have a funky little groove that keeps everyone up and rocking. their tunes included 'kidney in a cooler' by keller williams.  the band's 'the weight', and ended with a rousing johnny cash medley of 'folsum prison blues and the dylan penned 'it ain't me babe'. great fun!


jason konopinski (didgeridoo)
i've said from the start that we encourage an eclectic mix of performers at the theater, and we've been blessed with quite a few since starting the open stage here.  let's see.. we've had some stand up, a little spoken word, some strange music that can only be termed 'avant garde', a bit of jazz, some easy listening, some country, acoustic originals and even heavy metal.
but tonight, we may have passed over into yet another category: that which defies categorization! after trading a few emails, jason konopinski was convinced to drop by and share with us his amazing talent on the didgeridoo.  for those of you unfamiliar with this instrument, i can describe it as a rather large (about 4 feet) section of eucalyptus tree trunk, which is hollowed out by ants (!), then carved and shaped until it's ready to be played.  you play it by blowing into one end, and the guttural, ethereal sound that is emitted simply cannot be described with words.  Jason didn't just set up and jam, he actually took the time to educate us on the instrument's history, origins, and different types of didgeridoos. it was just fantastic hearing this ancient instrument fill the hallowed halls of the strasburg theater.  we hope to hear more from this amazingly talented performer.


brian roberts
brian did a solo set this evening, coupling a few phish songs with some dead. brian's continued to improve, and mixes it up between solo sets and a full band. included were pink floyd's 'comfortably numb', 'bertha' by the dead, and what i think was a phish song, but it could have been an original. (help me out here, brian)


shortness of breath
wow, it was great to see SOB back in the picture, and these guys came on like gangbusters, doing a fabulous job onstage. i was happy to see earl and the boys bringing out some killer originals too. their newest one was the best, in my opinion, and despite forgetting some of the words (as earl said, 'hey, it's only 2 days old!'), the boys brought it home in fine fashion. jacob was encouraged to join on lead guitar, and he traded a few hot licks with brother earl.  i even hopped up onstage and jammed out on one of the new ones too.


from the heart
i haven't seen these guys in a few weeks, and it was nice to have them back for another fine set of mid-tempo tunes, including van morrison 'brown eyed girl', marshall tucker band 'heard it in a love song', 'before you accuse me' and a little skynyrd (simple kind of man).  andy was really pounding out on those drums, and the band's harmonies were as tight as ever. they also had a really hot harmonica player added to the mix, which gave it another layer of sound. i'm hoping this guy can make it out for some more open stage shows in the future.  


hank and company
now that the work was over, it was time to let it all  hang out. i was real glad to see hank return after a few months' hiatus.  here's a guy that can do it all: sing leads, play guitar, sing backup vocals, percussion, whatever. plus, he's just fun to hang out with.  i was asked to play bass, and we had andy up there on drums, not to mention the amazing ralph fortune on lead guitar. hank decided to start off with an impromptu jam, which featured that killer didgeridoo by jason.  unfortunately, this is one of the few songs that were not recorded onto CD. DAMN!  
hank then launched into REM's 'the one i love', followed by one of my favorites 'running on faith' by eric clapton.  nice and easy does it fellas!  next up was 'rain king' by counting crows. it was back to clapton for a killer version of 'cocaine', then hank capped off the evening with a bluesy 'all night long', giving harry some room on that fat blues harmonica, as well as some blistering solos by king ralph.


again, this was a laid back, steady but not too hectic evening, just the way i like it. i'm always surprised with the steady stream of new folks who hear about the open stage and decide to come out and check us out. i also want to thank the regulars who show up week in and week out, cuz you guys keep it all going, and we wouldn't be able to do it without you. thanks!


open stage is held every wednesday evening at the strasburg theater. call ahead if you're coming from out of town and want to perform. i do give special consideration to new folks, or people who travel a long way to get here.  also, if you're a young act, and might need to get home early to beat the curfew, let me know and i'll get you up there in the early part of the evening.


if you ever have any questions, just call the strasburg theater at 540-465-1777. and be sure to check out the new website: www.strasburgtheater.com


 


 



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Harry
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1-3-07


Wow, can you all believe its 2007 already? The years just keep (rocking and) rolling along.


Joe Herbert started us out with in his usual fashion with a little help from some friends including the very talented Jacob Rinard. They started out with a Joe original "One Phone Call" followed by a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Don't Believe You". Then they did a couple more Joe tunes "Truth" and "Another Mirror" before heading into the Johnny Cash signature "Folsom Prison Blues". Jacob then broke into the Pearl Jam classic "Yellow Ledbetter". Man, he can flat out play that song! They finished up with "Hippie Crack".


Next up was a young 3 piece band signed up as Charlie and Rory, armed with acoustic instruments and a fine collection of what was described as acoustic punk. It was quite refreshing to hear a young band actually sing and play acoustic instruments, they did a wonderful job.


Mark Barress hit the stage with a handful of friends and delivered a fine set that was reminiscent of being on Bourbon St including a great cover of "All Along The Watchtower" that reminded me of the way Micheal Hedges used to do it.


Bobby V was up next and delivered a real nice set starting out with Soul Asylum's "Without A Trace". Next he upped the tempo a bit on Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" before performing his own "Bolsheviks". He then covered "She Drives Me Crazy" by The Fine Young Cannibals", "Boyz In The Hood" by N.W.A., "Hey Johnny Dark" by The Foo Fighters and finished up with "Tearjerker" by The Red Hot Chile Peppers.


Following Bobby was local band Divided By Three. They started us off with a fine cover of Tom Petty's "Last Dance With Mary Jane" followed by a DB3 original "Drive". Then they did a killer job on The White Stripes "7 Nation Army" and "It's A Long Way To The Top" by AC/DC before closing with another DB3 original "Discover"


Fred Rutz took the stage next with Mark B, Jacob, Kirby and Nick Rizzola to deliver a fine set of Americana music.


Phillips Union followed Fred with an all original set that included, "Road To Me", "V's Song", "Conqueror", and "Sweet Innocence". It was good to see Phil play with his band again. These guys are tight, check them out if you get the chance.


Leroy Prince was up next with his keyboard. He seemed a bit distracted as he and the drummer couldn't quite get their timing down on "Hold That Line" by Toto, so Leroy quickly took over solo with a Doobie Brothers classic "Taking It To The Streets" followed by "Your Song" by Elton John and the great "Dreamweaver" by Gary Wright. Then he ditched the keyboard for an acoustic guitar and finished off his set with excellent takes on "Twilight Zone' by Golden Earring and "Make Me Smile" by Chicago.


Brian Roberts was joined by Kirby on bass and Curtis from DB3 on drums and started out with"Wolfmans Brother" by Phish, "Taylor" by Jack Johnson and "Drifting by Trey Annastacio. Then John Church joined them on stage as the broke into "Fire On The Mountain' by the Dead when I noticed Jacob running to the stage to deliver some real nice fills and a beautiful wah wah lead. Its cool to see people get inspired like that. Nice job.


John Church stayed on the the stage to close out the night with a nice set that included "Tangled Up In Blue" By Bob Dylan and a few of his own songs.


Another fine open stage with a mix of music as usual, and another fine job by Robbie as usual dealing with all the different musicians, that can't be easy.


Remember sign up starts at 7, music at 8. Tell your friends and remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses.


Till next week......    


 



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JoeJoe
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Once again, another sterling review, Harry.  Thanks for following up with all the background info too. Musicians: Like the man says, stop by and see him following your set and he'll be glad to get your list, chat a while about music and share the fun.


Every week does indeed get stranger and this one was no exception.  I was particularly glad to see some brand new folks take the stage, as well as some rarely seen people like Divided by Three. I really like these guys, they're local, and they have a solid, unique sound that sets them apart from many of the other groups.  They assure me they'll be back this week for more.


It was definitely fun seeing Tayon Malik spit the rhymes to one of Luke Walker's original joints. I'm working on getting a hip hop show together for the Strasburg, featuring some local rappers, as well as Tayon and the fellas from philly. I'd be curious to see how that would go over. The really great thing about this place is that they're (owners) willing to try out new things, and continue to bring better and better shows to the stage.


It was great hearing high praise for Robbie too. Here's a guy who's never run sound before, pulling off the last batch of shows, including Ralph Stanley, Love Sick Blues, Rob Mayer (comedy) and The Darryl Ray Band without a glitch.  I tell ya, this guy's learning curve is steep. He's also been helping out with lights, and did a bang up job as the New Year's Eve DJ. Robbie makes me look forward to every Wednesday night.


One thing that's been missing however, has been bluegrass. If anyone knows where we can find a bluegrass band that's not busy on a Wednesday night, send them my way. I'd also like to see more female performers and songwriters. And where are the jazz cats??  Alright.


See you all at Open Stage!


~Joe




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Harry
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Hi all. I trust you all had a wonderful holiday. Please forgive me, but due to a work obligation, I again arrived a little late this week.


When I did get there, the place was packed! People were everywhere and the list of performers seemed endless. A lot of new faces in the crowd and on the list, so.....


I missed Joe's set, and he did not provide me with any details, but from what I understand, he did open up paying homage to the late great Godfather of Soul, James Brown, (may he R.I.P.) with his take on "It's a Man's World". Nice touch Joe. After that, Joe played a few of his originals.


Following Joe was a new performer in town from the Outer Banks of North Carolina by the name of Megan Flynn. I walked in at the end of her set to hear her play an awesome version of Staind's "It's Been Awhile". Everyone I talked to, raved about her set, telling me she had a real powerful voice. I hope she comes back next time she's in town.


Next we had a trio of fine musicians known as A Plus lead by a charismatic singer named Alice who reminded me of Linda Parry meets Mama Cass (and as Leroy pointed out, with a sprinkling of Patsy Cline). What a voice! I am unsure of what songs they did but it was quite enjoyable.


Fred Rutz followed A Plus with a set of what I would describe as Country Lullaby's. I apologize, but I do not listen to country music so if I seem a little nieve in that area, it's because I am. That is why I ask all of you to please stop by and provide me with a set list so I can give you your due.


Gary Denick (who always gives me a set list! Way to go Gary) went to the stage with Todd Steele and Todd Denick, called themselves One Eye'd Husky and proceeded to play an entire set of Who songs. In order, they played "Substitute", "I Can See For Miles", "My Generation","The Real Me", "Pinball Wizard", "Sparks" and "See Me, Feel Me". Nice!


Steve Waller followed OEH opening with Neil Young's "Out On The Weekend", followed by America's classic "Ventura Highway". Then Steve pulled out the song of the night with a pre-disco Bee Gee's hit, "To Love Somebody"! Ther's something you don't hear very often. Steve finished his set with "Cowgirl In The Sand" by Neil Young and "Aimee" by Pure Praire League.


Leroy Prince was up next with his acoustic guitar and a killer version of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind". Then he did George Harrison a little justice with "Here Comes The Sun". Leroy then did a country turn and played "What Might Have Been" by Little Texas followed by a Leroy original "Hey Moon" and closed with "Do You Love Me Now" by Vern Gidson.


Lee Dove took the stage and opened with Charlie Daniels hit "Long Haired Country Boy". He then did Johnny Cas's classic "I've Been Everywhere" and David Alan Coe's "Perfect Country Song". a perhaps another country song mixed in but I'm not sure as my notes are a little vague at this point in the evening.  


Rick Harris Jr was up next to perform a set of country songs.


Bobby V then shook things up a little bit opening with Radiohead's "Karma Police" followed by "Song To Squeeze" by The Red Hot Chile Peppers. Bobby then did "Something" by The Beatles then moved along to "Gunpowder" by Wyclef Jean and ended his set with "Smoke 2 Joints" and "Attitude".


Kenny Price turned in a fine set starting off with "Never Going Back Again" by Fleetwood Mac. Other songs in his set included "Coming Into Los Angeles" by Arlo Guthrie and another Fleetwood Mac classic "Oh Well'.


Tayon Malik of The Darryl Ray Band came down to work on his freestyling for a little while before turning the stage over to local favorites Divided By Three who also chose tonight to work out some of their originals with "Message In A Bottle" by The Police mixed in as well.


As you can probably tell it was a long night with a lot of performers and a wide range of music, so if you are ever inclined, come on down and check out the best open stage in the area. You will not be disappointed!


Remember folks, if you can, please provide me with a set list, it helps a lot


Signup starts at 7:00, music begins around 8:00 540-465-1777 till next week, I wish you all a safe and healthy new year! 



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harry
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Well now that everyone has had their fun, please allow me to correct Molly's set. She started off with a couple of Molly originals, "In My Dreams" and "I'll Cry". She then followed with Jewel's "Who Will Save Your Soul", "By My Side" from Godspell, and closed with "I Don't Know How To Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar. Thank you Molly for pointing out my mistake.  

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Molly
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Great job, Harry.  Back to 8th grade for you.  The quotes around a song end after the period, like this:


"In My Dreams."  Okay?


Just for future use . . .


(Notice I didn't mention the fact that you didn't give me credit for my own original songs).


Murderers Row:  I shall collect one beer from each of you next Wedensday.


 



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Harry
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Open Stage 12-20-06


Seasons Greetings All! I must apologize in advance if this recap is not as in depth, or I miss a song or two, because I arrived late as I had to go see my daughter play her flute in her school concert. Maybe someday we'll see her up on the stage. Anyway, with that being said, on to the recap.


Joe Herbert started us off with a solo set that included Joe originals, "5/4", the rarely performed "View", and "Truth". Phil and Hank then joined Joe on the stage to help him out with "Leper", "Oxford Town", "Bob Dylan's Dream", and closing out with "Can't Slow Down"


Phil Ashley then stayed on the stage to perform a solo set of 3 or 4 of his fine original compositions.


Gary Denick was up next and also choose to play an all original set, treating the room to such titles as "Open Mic", "A Hero Cries", "Still My Little Girl" and closing with "You Look Good".


Steve Waller followed Gary with a nicely performed set including but not limited to "Tell Me Why" by Neil Young, "Aimee" by Pure Prairie League and (this is where I came in) closing with another Young classic, "Helpless".


Next up was Leroy Prince. At Irene's request, Leroy brought his keyboard with him this week and started off with a killer version of "Your Song" by Elton John. Lately, Leroy never ceases to amaze me with his song selection, and this week was no exception. I definitely took notice when I heard him break into "Kiss You All Over" by Exile and then "Time Passages" by one of my favorites Al Stewart. Then he did a couple of Billy Joel songs, "Just The Way You Are" and "She's Always A Woman" before picking up his guitar and closing out with "Leader Of The Band" by Dan Folgelberg.


Happy Birthday Bobby V!!!!!! Bobby chose to celebrate his birthday with us and wanted to play his best set ever as a gift to himself and I think he outdid his own expectations. He chose to go heavy on Sublime tunes and it worked. He started off with "I'm In The Mood" and "Caress Me Down" before a classic Bobby V take on "The Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground. He then went back to Sublime with "Garden Groove" and "What I Got" before closing with a Bobby V original "Bolsheviks.


Following Bobby was a group of young local musicians called Cutting Strings who hit the stage with a hard edge that seemed to please their rather large following. We wish them much luck in their future and hope we haven't seen the last of them.


Chris Feltner returned after a long absence to a great spoken word set. Some of his selections included,"Future Kings", "Shout Outs", "Who Are You?", "What Happened To Hip Hop?", "Have We Met?", "The X", "Just Never Know", and "In This Life Or The Next". Chris is a unique talent that needs to be seen and heard to be appreciated.


Molly followed Chris in her usual fine fashion despite fighting off the effects of a recent illness, pleasing the room with a fine set that included "In My Dreams" by Jewel, "By My Side" from the musical Godspell and "I'll Cry" from Jesus Christ Superstar.


John Church returned this week to perform a solo all original set. His selections included "Slave To The Traffic Light", "Awake", "Drifting" and "Ballad For My One True Love". Very nice job, John.


Joe, Hank and Ralph Fortune then closed out the night with a very fine set.


I wish you all a very healthy and safe holiday and remember, sign up starts at 7:00 PM and the jamming starts at 8:00 PM. Even if you don't play, come on out and support these fine local musicians, they work hard at their craft.


Peace



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Eye Soar
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Thanks for the kind words about our group



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Harry
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Open Stage 12-13-06


Joe Herbert was joined by Jacob Rinard, Tim Ambrose, Phil Ashley and John from After Destiny, to start out what would prove to be a very interesting evening. They started with a couple of Joe's originals, "Friends III", and "One Phone Call". Then they did a fine rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues" before Jacob did his usual outstanding job on Pearl Jam's, "Yellow Ledbetter". Man, he just smokes on that song. They finished up with a couple more of Joe's originals, "Hippie Crack" and "Small World" with John doing a little drum solo in between.


Gary Denick from Shortness of Breathe was up next. He started out with a Donovan song covered a few years ago by Pearl Jam, "Last Kiss". He followed that with a John Prine penned, "Dear Abbey" Next up was "Lola" by The Kinks, CCR's classic "Who'll Stop The Rain" and closing with Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues"


After Gary, Bobby V took the stage in his usual fine fashion. He started out with John Mellancamp's ode to growing up in the midwest, "Jack and Diane". He followed that up with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Mr. Bojangles" before treating us to a couple of Bob Marley songs, "I Shot The Sheriff", and "Mellow Mood". Bruce Springsteen's, "Blinded By the Light" was next before closing with a Bobby V original, (and crowd favorite) "Attitude".


Brian Roberts was next, and started his set with a Jack Johnson tune,"Taylor". After that he did a Phish song "Strange Design". Brian then did an interesting take on Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" before doing a fine job on "Friend of the Devil" by The Grateful Dead. He closed his set with an excellent rendition of "Blister in the Sun" by The Violent Femmes.


Up next was Leroy Prince. This week, Leroy chose to play the guitar and put on a wonderful set. He started out with Dan Folgelberg's, "Leader of the Band" and a really fine "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper. He then did a cover of Pat Benetar's "We Belong" and some great 80's classics "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowed House and "Hold Me Now" by The Thompson Twins. Nice set of songs you just don't hear everyday.


Phil Ashley then took the stage and started out with a personal favorite by Paul Simon, "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard". After that, Phil played some of his fine originals, including, "Swept Away", "Road To Me" and "What I'm Not".


After Destiny was up next to do some of their fine loose knit jamming. I had asked John for a setlist before they went up, but he told me and I quote,"Dude we're just gonna jam".


Next up was Steve Waller, who always does a great job with Neil Young songs, and this week he failed to disappoint. His selections included, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", "Cowgirl In The Sand", "Helpless", and "Down By The River" before closing with a Willie Nelson song "Cryin In The Rain".


Richard Hardy followed Steve with his usual fine job of country classics. This week, Richard played "Must Be Doing Something Right" by Billy Curington, "Not Back In Love By Monday" by Merle Haggard and "Rocky Tonk" bt The Osborne Brothers.


Absolute Lunacy fronted by John Church was up next to play some originals before closing out with Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue". 


Molly then came up to grace us with her presence starting out with "Save Me" by Shinedown. She then did a great job on "Nights In White Satin" by The Moody Blues, "More Than Words" by Extreme, "The Rose" by Bette Midler, "Verdi Cries" by the wonderful Natalie Merchant and closed with a Molly original, "In My Dreams".


Robert then closed out the evening with a fine set of acoustic music.


I would like to thank everyone who provided me with a set list. (You guys really read these recaps!)  Anyway, thank you, it really makes my job easier.


As always, signup begins at 7:00, festivities begin around 8:00 and remember, if you are going to be late and would like to reserve a spot, just give us a call at 540-465-1777. till next week..



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Harry
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Open Stage 12-6-06


Well this certainly was an interesting night, fairly large crowd and what seemed an endless list of performers.


Joe Herbert started things off as usual, joined by the members of After Destiny. Joe had a pretty good set as he mixed in some traditional folk songs and Bob Dylan's "Tom Thumb Blues" with some of his originals. Good job as always by Joe.


Upon arrival, I noticed that the stage was a little fuller than usual, and for good reason. Local favorites Reign, decided to come down and work on some new songs they are adding to their repertoire. They started out with a song originally done by Fleetwood Mac, then covered by Judas Priest, "The Green Manalishi", then treated us to "Talk Dirty To Me" by Poison and "Wanted Man" by Ratt. It was at this point that Lenny told us they were working on some new songs and they proceeded to belt out a couple of songs by Green Day, "Wake Me Up When September Ends" and "Holiday". Sounded like they nailed them pretty good. They closed their set with another Judas Priest song, "Diamonds and Rust". Nice job!


For the second week in a row, Mainstay Bobby V drew the short straw. Never one to back down, Bobby came out firing on all cylinders with Weezers "Jamie". He then did a couple of originals, "Bottle of Booze" and Bolsheviks". It was during "Bolsheviks", Bobby's set took a sudden turn as he broke a string, but that doesn't stop him, he continues on with an interesting take on Lou Reeds "Walk on the Wild Side" and closes with "Unchained Medley" made famous by The Righteous Brothers.


Next up was another regular, Phil Ashley, who never seems to let us down with his fine guitar playing, songwriting, and vocal stylings I always enjoy Phil's set and I'm sure the others do as well. He is always well received.


Phil Quincy was joined by Brian Roberts on Congas as he worked on a few originals before breaking into "Roll Over Beethoven" and a more J.J. Cale like "After Midnight"


Following Phil, Leroy came up to the stage with a rather large keyboard and proceeded to win me over with a pretty good set. He started out with an excellent version of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Elton John. Next was a slowed down version of a Gary Wright classic, "Dreamweaver". How many times do you get to hear someone do that? Another classic Elton song "Daniel" followed and it was at this point, I was a fan. I just adore old Elton John and Leroy did a fine job on it. He closed out his set with a real good version of "Breakdown" by Tom Petty and an original song "My Breaking Heart". I sure hope we haven't seen the last of him.


Next up, all the way from Charlottesville, was Greg Allen and Buster Brass, collectively known as "Grasping at Laws". Armed with an acoustic guitar and a single conga drum, they did a fine set of original music although I did hear them do The Box Tops classic "The Letter". They seemed genuinely happy to be here and I'm sure we were equally as happy to have them.


Steve Lawler was up next, and if you are a fan of Neil Young, you will like this guy. His set consisted of many Young classics, but what stood out for me were the 2 songs he did that were not by Mr. Young, a real fine rendition of "Danny's Song" by Kenny Loggins and "Aimee" by Pure Prairie League. I do know Joe couldn't help himself and joined Steve on a killer version of "Helpless" to close out the set.


Brian Roberts then came up with Bill on congas to give us his usual fine set, this week starting out with Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue". He followed that with a Jack Johnson song, "Bubbly Toes" and closed with "Uncle John's Band" by The Grateful Dead.


After Destiny then took the stage, this week joined by the aforementioned Buster on congas. I'm not sure if its just me, but they seem to get better every week, and I'm not sure how, because they have been excellent from the first time I ever heard them.


Richard Hardy was up next, doing some classic country songs, but pulled out a (country version?) of The Animals classic "House of the Rising Sun" and closed with the Kenny Rogers classic "The Gambler"


Closing out the night was Gary, who did another fine acoustic set including but not limited to Bob Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" and an acoustic version of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues"


As it has been stated before, we have what is perhaps the absolute best open stage around, something you really need to experience yourself. No 2 weeks are ever the same, and even if you don't play, just to come and listen is a real good time. Sign up starts at 7, Music starts at 8 and if you are going to be late and would like to reserve a spot, just give a call to 540-465-1777.


I would also like to take this opportunity to personally and publicly thank Steve, Robbie and Brian for an outstanding job installing the new stage lights, they just look amazing! Great job, guys.


One more thing, if you feel I don't write enough about your set, stop by and see me with a set list and a last name also helps. While I try, I do not know every one and can only go by what is on the sign up sheet, and as vast as musical knowledge is, alot of times you all pull things out that I have never heard or am unsure as to who the original artist is or if its an original composition, so a little help would be appreciated. If you do not know who I am, ask Joe, I'm sure he'll tell you.


Thanks to all the performers, it is you all that makes this special. 



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Harry
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Hello all. I sure hope everyones holiday went well. Sorry for no recap last week, but I had to work. Anyway, with that being said, lets move on to this weeks festivities.


The night started a little later than usual as Steve and Robbie were finishing up the days work on the new lights. What a great job they are doing. Thank you.


Joe Herbert started us off as usual, this week he was joined by Jacob Rinard on guitar, Phil Ashley on bass and John from After Destiny on drums. They started off with a killer version of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues". From there they played one of Joe's fine origionals and then played an awesome version of Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter". Jacob just smoked on guitar! WOW fine fine job. They finished up with another one of Joe's origionals. Very nice set.


After Joe we were treated to a real good set of local band Reliant's hard edge origional music. This is a band to keep an eye on as they make their way around the local music scene. They have a great stage presence and a sound that I am sure will appeal to many.


Bobby V drew the short straw of following Reliant and was well up to the task with his usual very eclectic set. Some of his selections included (get this) "In The Pines" by Ledbelly, "Butterfly" by Weezer, "Apache Rose Pea****" by Red Hot Chili Peppers and "American Girl" by Tom Petty. Bobby, you never cease to amaze me. He then welcomed Molly to the stage as she just fills up the room with that beautiful voice doing a killer job on Jewel's "Who Will Save Your Soul".


Jacob then came back on the stage with Tim Ambrose and started out with the Bob Dylan/ Johnny Cash classic "It Ain't Me Babe". From there, they played some Keller Williams including "Deliver The Kidney" and some Phish "Bathtub Gin". Then they blew my mind with an absolute awesome job of  a classic by Gerry Rafferty's early band Stealers Wheel the great "Stuck In The Middle With You" I think everyone in the place took notice with that one. They finished their set with a tight version of "The Weight" by The Band.


Phil came back to the stage joined by a few friends to treat us with a set of his very fine, (what I think) Dave Matthews-esque origionals. Phil always does a fine job, very entertaining.


Brian Roberts was up next and to my surprise, was joined by Darrell Collins and the members of After Destiny. What a very nice set of typical Brian type selections. They started out with Grateful Dead's "Franklins Tower", segued into "Wolfmans Bro" by Phish and finished up with "Dark Hollow" by Bill Monroe. Nice job Brian, you really sounded good with the band. 


Richard Hardy then took the stage armed with acoustic guitar and proceeded to belt out a nice set of traditional country classics including Willie Nelson's "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain"


Then someone known to me only as Robert went up with another nice set of acoustic music including a great version of "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.


Molly came back to the stage to treat us with a killer set. She started out with "Nights In White Satin" by The Moody Blues. Never heard that done with just an acoustic guitar, but she pulled it off wonderfully. Then she did "Save Me" by Shinedown and closed out with a personal favorite, "More Than Words" by Extreme. Great job!


Joe then came back on with Hank and Andy to do a set of covers, starting out with "Handle With Care" by The Travelin Willurrys! I don't know what was in the air this night, but the song selections were just coming out of nowhere. My jaw hit the ground so much, I had scabs on it the next day. They then proceeded to rock the crowd with Bob Dylan's "Love Comes Over Me", Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride and Joy" and finished up with "Running Down A Dream" by Tom Petty. Excellent job!


After Destiny then closed out the night with their usual tight yet loose jamming. Thes guys are really good.


As Joe stated in his post earlier, this quite posibly was the best week ever. The crowd was larger than usual, the vibe in the room was electric. If you have never been to or used to come and stopped, you really are missing something, this thing has really taken off. All those musicians in the same room, forming impromptue bands, pulling classics out of the air, things you just don't see and hear everyday. This is truely a good time, come on down. Signup begins at 7:00, jamming starts at 8:00.



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Harry
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Hey all, about 2 weeks ago Joe asked me to take over doing the weekly open mike reviews for him and I agreed without hesitation. I can only hope I can do this as eloquent as Joe, so without any further ado, here goes.


The night started out with Joe Herbert jamming on about 4 songs with the members of the band After Destiny. If you have never heard Joe, his music reminds me as if Bob Dylan was the lead singer of The Grateful Dead. It is quite enjoyable, and jamming with AD, Joe was able to stretch thing out a bit more than usual. When they were finished, Joe and John the drummer from AD stayed on the stage to jam with Jacob Rinard and Tim Ambrose, for a couple of upbeat numbers.


Next up was a newcomer 'Phil' who played an old fender electric that looked like he pulled it out of the closet after a lonnnnng rest. he did pretty good job, hopefully he'll be back.


Next up was mainstay Bobby V who surprised evryone with an obscure Sly Stone song 'Got to get a message to you' in his set. Bobby is an unique talent who never ceases to amaze with some very interesting arrangements of songs ranging from The Subline to Michael Jackson.


Next up was semi-regular Molly. She has a beautiful voice and always does a great job.


Next up was Steve Walsh who did a fine job with a set of Neil Young covers.


Next up was Leroy who chose to play some covers as opposed to some of his origionals. He did an excellent version of Pat Benetar's 'We belong to the night'.


Next up was the band 'From The Heart' joined by Skip on the sax. This band has some wonderful grooves and are a pleasure to listen to. They will be playing the theater on Nov 24th, so be sure to catch them. Hopefully, Skip will show up too.


After Destiny got on the stage again to close out the night with some hot improvisational jamming.


Signup begins at 7, jamming begins around 8, tell your friends.



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Best Week Ever 11-8-06
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Strasburg Theater Open Stage - Wednesday, November 8, 2006


 


This past Wednesday, things started out kinda slow, then seemed to build up steam with more and more performers intermingling with one another.  This followed the trend from last week, which saw the return of Matt Kristovitch’s “Live Band” in top form, as well as a killer set by Dewey and "Eye Soar".  In the end, it turned out to be a very pleasurable night of music for everyone.  We also saw a few bands get to stretch out and jam for a bit, taking advantage of the longer set times.


 


1. First up was Joe H.- your gracious host.  After setting up and doing sound check, the sign up list was still rather short, so I took the opportunity to play a bunch of rarely performed songs, including 'i got it', 'view',' friends III' , 'one phone call', 'heaven' , 'hippie crack' and the never performed in public 'special girl'.  My buddy Kirby joined in on bass, and I even had Big Steve sit in on the drums for a bit!  And another guy named Steve showed himself to be quite the conga/ percussionist. Hopefully, he’ll see fit to bring out his gear next week and really get into it.


 


2. Molly returned to the stage to perform a beautiful set of seldom played songs, including jewel's 'who will save your soul', ‘breathe’ by anna nalik, one song from the godspell soundtrack, and finally, "i don't know how to love him” from j.c. superstar


 


3. Starship Ed Kyle – fresh off their incredible success with the silent film showing of ‘nosferatu’, one half the avant garde and experimental musicial group ‘MIR’, performed just 2 songs for the crowd. I’m not sure what they were, but one sounded like old king crimson or moody blues. (Help me out, Ed!)


 


4. Bob Villian was in good form this evening, and turned in a very good set, playing about 7 songs, then stayed on stage for most of brian’s set.


 


5. Brian Roberts stepped up next, w/ Kirby on bass and John from After Destiny on drums. They quickly locked into a steady version of ‘the harder they come’ by jimmy cliff.  Also included were ‘heavy things’ by phish, and 'uncle john's band’ by the dead.  By now I was feeling the groove, and I simply had to get up and jam on the bass for this one. It’s always great locking into that 7/4 time signature, which invites extensive musical exploratations. After a nice phat ending jam, Brian chased us all off the stage for his closer, which, while I don’t recall the name, was probably the best I’ve seen him sing and play. 


 


6. From the Heart were in a good mood this evening, and turned in a fantastic set of light rock tunes.  Based out of Front Royal, From the Heart impressed everyone, not the least of which was the ST management.  By the end of the night, they’d managed to procure their first gig at the Strasburg Theater, slated for later this month. (nov 24th)  With Andy on drums, and Skip (of Skip’s Cycles) blowing sax, the band launched into some rock solid oldies and 70’s numbers, taking turns between John Landis’ guitar leads and Skip’s incredible sax solos.


 


7. After Destiny- I was very happy to see these guys in the house, cuz I knew they’d be taking us on a musical journey.  These guys did not disappoint. Playing all original improv-jam-rock/jazz/fusion numbers, After Destiny proved that if you hang around the open mic long enough, you just never know what’s gonna happen. Skip hung in there for the thickest parts, adding psychedelic twists and turns to the already eclectic and turbulent mix. I’m telling you, this guy is phenomenal. We really hope to see and hear more from him in the future. 


 


8. Last week saw two newcomers arrive, ‘William and Dave’ who really impressed us with their determined set of simple bass and drums. We spoke about maybe doing a Grand Funk song this week, if they decided to return. Well they did, and I was more than happy to jam out on a very fun version of ‘I’m your Captain’, followed by a mean ‘mustang sally’, which featured Andy on the drums as well as Skip on sax. After a few more blues numbers, we wrapped things up and said goodnight around 12:30 AM.


 


Overall, a pretty damn decent night, I’d have to say. Open Stage is held every Wednesday evening at the Strasburg Theater. Sign up is at 7 pm, sets begin around 8. The Strasburg Theater Open Stage is Free and open to the public. Call 540-465-1777 for more information, or sign up online at strasburgtheater@hotmail.com.


 


~Joe Herbert


 


 


 


 



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Best Week Ever 10-19-06
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What a night it was last week.  I wont' get into the full details, but suffice to say everybody had a great time, and the sets all went over very well. We even had a special appearance by the legendary Catfish Hodge himself! Talk about commanding attention- this guy put together two songs that just had the place truly mesmerized.   I never realized how good my taylor acoustic sounded until i heard him play it. Make an effort to catch this guy when you can.


Newsflash!
Steve has just purchased a new set of drums, which will be used for the national acts who like to have a full backline set up in advance.  With a little push, maybe he'll allow us to use it at the open stage! In either case, it's a beauty, and worth hearing if you get a chance.


Special thanks to Robbie S. for continually running sound and taking care of all the small stuff that makes us sound good. Every week gets better, and why shouldn't it? We have some of the best musicians available, living right here in the Shenandoah Valley. Let's get the word out and keep the fun rolling.


Open Stage is held every Wednesday Night at the Strasburg Theater. Sign up at 7, sets start at 8pm. Call the theater at 465-1777 for sign up, or shoot me an email at strasburgtheater@hotmail.com


See you on Wednesday!


~Joe



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Harry
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Rich wrote:



i stopped by for the wednesday open mic and I couldn't believe it. man, that was the best open mic I've seen anywhere! That band that did the zeppelin songs was killer! i'll be back next week and I'm bringing some friends with me! a Rich




Rich, that band was Eyesore out of Front Royal. They will be headlining the theater I believe sometime in Nov. check the calendar and be sure to come check them out, they put on a great show.

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Rich
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i stopped by for the wednesday open mic and I couldn't believe it. man, that was the best open mic I've seen anywhere! That band that did the zeppelin songs was killer! i'll be back next week and I'm bringing some friends with me! a Rich



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Best Week Ever! 10-4-06 Open Stage
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Open Stage 10-4-06 Recap

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It was an interesting week, with not as large a turn out as we’ve been getting.  This enabled me to relax a bit between sets, and to really listen to the music.  It also allowed everybody to stretch out a bit, and perhaps play a few more numbers than usual.  Also, Mark A. couldn’t make it this week, so we found ourselves without a drummer for the first time in a while.  Again, we made the best of it and ended up having a very nice evening of music.   


 


My Set


I was happy to see Phil Ashley stop by with his killer 6 string warwick bass.  He’s been learning a few of my originals in preparation for the upcoming Indoe Loop show.  Phil brings a great deal of scope and depth to his playing, and is clearly comfortable with this low end instrument.  My buddy Gene was also here tonight, so we got to jam out on a few originals, as well as some choice GD numbers - stuff like ‘the 11’, ‘the other one’ and ‘dark star’.  Gene’s leads were sparkling with energy, and I’m hoping he’ll be back for more.


 


Rich


Here’s the scenario: new guys shows up, says he lives around the corner and has been playing his guitar at home for years, driving his wife crazy.  This is what open stage is all about, right?  Turns out Rich is no slouch- he’s a freakin amazing guitar player, who ended up performing a couple of great tunes with the fellas onstage.  He was making my acoustic guitar sound real hot, as they took it into a bluesy jazzy jam that just soared.


 


John Landis (solo set)


In a break from past weeks, where he’s worked along with some very fine players as part of Front Royal’s ‘From the Heart’, John took to the stage solo- acoustic guitar in hand.  Well, he really impressed everybody in the house with his singing and playing.  John set the bar high, and was clearly in his element this evening.  It was the perfect set for what kind of mood everybody was in.


 


Steve Waller


Steve did a fine job tonight with his Neil Young tribute, but also tossed in a few rarities from the past. I was able to join in on a nice version of “helpless”.  This continued the theme of what would turn out to be a mellow, laid back night at the Theater.


 


Next up was Phil Ashley, but he wasn’t around, having run to the local store for smokes.  So Gene and I did another quick number as we waited.  Doing 8 minute ‘filler’ songs like “Can’t Slow Down” has one up side: it went on so long that Phil got back to the theater, hopped back onstage and played bass on the last solo and ending.


 


Phil


Phil then took the stage to display some more of that guitar virtuosity he’s known for, bringing a 5 song set of originals for the people. He ended with a tip to Dave Mathews with a nice arrangement of ‘some devil’.


 


Brian


I tried to get Brian’s buddy Tom to sign up tonight, but he just wasn’t having it. Brian did a nice version of the Ben Harper penned “steal my kisses”, as well as a tuneful ‘bertha’ and a few others.


 


Bobby V


Villian got everybody’s attention with his own unique version of ‘billy jean’, as well as a few other numbers with Brian.  I for one am glad to see the harmonica back in the mix.


 


Chris


Chris is a spoken word poet who stopped by a few weeks ago, then dropped back out. From someone who’s seen his share of spoken word (both good and horrible) I was paying particular attention to this guy.  I have to admit, Chris has got some very good stuff.  His thought provoking material, combined with a strong delivery and local subject matter made him a voice to be heard.


 


Dewey, Ralph and the all stars


Dewey had been threatening all night to have a drummer on the way, but in the end, it was not to be.  But I hope you don’t think we let that stop us from having a good time!  First of all, this cat dewey’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of songs to choose from.  And he knows the words to these songs. AND he can actually sing like a damn angel, while smoking a cigarette and drinking beer.  So with this, we add one Mr. Ralph Furtune and you got yourself a force to be reckoned with on any stage, anywhere.  I sheepishly volunteered to play bass, and we had Andy banging on the congas on stage right.  Gene stepped back onstage to add some more guitar leads and we were off.


 


To tell you the truth, I don’t even remember all the songs they played to close it out, but one of the highlights for me was doing Todd Rundgren’s “I saw the light in your eyes”.  What fun. I’ve been singing that song all week now.


 


Open Stage every Wednesday at the Strasburg Theater!


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Sign up at 7 start around 8. All styles and genres welcome.  We want bluegrass, rock bands, solo artists, female performers, stand up comics, spoken word poets, jugglers (still waiting for some jugglers-do I have to do everything myself?) and all sorts of other stuff I can’t think of right now.


 


Out of towners: shoot me an email if you wanna get a certain slot and I’ll see what I can do. We’re about 1 hour from the NVA/ DC area, 50 minutes from downtown Harrisonburg, 20 minutes drive from Winchester, and conveniently located at the crossroads of I-81 and 66 in downtown Strasburg, VA.  Call the theater for more information on shows and all sorts of stuff:  540-465-1777.


 


See you on Wednesday-


 

Joe

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Bob
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RE: Open Stage every Wednesday w/ host Joe H

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Joe and the owners of the Strasburg Theater you are doing a GREAT job with the open stage!


And the sound keeps getting better. Please keep working on the sound, at times its gets to loud. I had to leave when Ralph and the boys got up to play it was hurting my ears.


Thanks for all your hard work!



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Best Week Ever!
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Open Stage in Review 9-27-06

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Strasburg Theater Open Stage Review 9-27-06


Was it just me, or was last night's Open Stage one of the best so far?  The Open Stage at the Strasburg Theater continues to thrive, and we get new performers every single week, which keeps it interesting. This evening was no exception.


After being sick for a week, I was happy to be able to get back up on stage, and with the help of Mark Adolphson on drums and Phil Ashley on bass, we actually pulled out a pretty decent set, at least from what several of the listeners told me afterwards. We had a nice line up set to go, so by 7:50 PM, we got off the stage and turned it over to the people who were signed up to play.  


My buddy Hank Z and his band, calling themselves "Colin and the Oscopies" took the stage right after my short set and really set the bar high.  This group of middle agers walked us through four fantastic, well played songs, including "stormy Monday" and a nice version of "Summertime". It was a pleasure having Hank on keyboards for my set as well.  What a wonderful addition to Open Stage!


Next up was Starship Ed, who lent his considerable vocal talents to some King Crimson and other unusual oddities for our perusal. Starship Ed always has something up his sleeve, and rumour has it he's planning another film series with all original live musical score. Watch the boards for more information on this.


Tommy Rocker had everybody up and jamming with a fun set including "celluloid heroes" by the Kinks, and a little known Leon Russell tune.  Maggie was helping out with some fine backup vocals as well.


Phil Ashley took the stage for a nicely played acoustic set of originals, doing his usual great job of it. Watch for Phil later this month at the Indoe Loop Reunion show. He's agreed to cover bass duties in Roy's absence, and I think that six string warwick is just what the doctor ordered.


Next up we had Matt Christovitch and his "Live Band", who've really impressed us all with their jazzed up all original rockers.  His drummer Rob is certainly one to keep an eye on. They also have an extraordinary trombonist in the mix, which adds a lot of flavour.


Ryan Houck stopped by this week, with a friend "Seth". These two performed a very nice set of cool originals and a few covers, with Seth jumping behind the kit for two of the songs.


Bob Villian was next, and he just insisted on doing an all original set this evening, which was well received from the throng.  He even had the aformentioned trombone player sit in on one cut, as well as a conga player who's name i neglected to ask.


Shenandoah Valley based "From the Heart" stepped things up next, and had the place totally rockin' by the time they were finished.  With area guitar master Ralph Fortune in the line up, you just can't go wrong. This really was a tight set, with some Marshall Tucker and Skynrd tossed in for good measure.


Newcomer Tom Harden Jr. nervously took the stage and played about three all instrumental tunes on his lead guitar.  He had a very nice, clean sound on that hollow body, and for all his nervousness, actually did quite well for himself.


But it was the final act that really impressed the crew who'd waited until closing to see it all. Backing up a bit, last week saw the debut of a three peice act called "After Destiny".  Fortunately, they were back for more this week.  "After Destiny" are based out of Winchester, if i'm not mistaken, and they really bring it home with a unique style of jammed out, jazz, blues and groove rock based all originals. I was so impressed, I've asked them to open up for us at the Indoe Loop show on October 21st. (*shameless plug # 2)


The Open Stage continues to draw quality performers for far and wide.  The comraderie that's been built up has been great, and I want to thank all the players and artists who've continued to support this endeavor. We get a lot of positive feedback about the Open Stage, and it's nice to have so many people getting behind it like this.


If you'd like to perform at the Strasburg Theater Open Stage, shoot me an email at strasburgtheater@hotmail.com or just call the theater at 5409-465-1777. See you next week!


~Joe



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bobby v
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RE: Open Stage every Wednesday w/ host Joe H

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 Props to joe for running one of the better open mics I've seen, heard or played. Always fair and everyone gets their turn. So many good players doing their thing with  such a wide variety of players as well, something new every 20 minutes or so. And hey big ups to robbie , every week he trys to make us all happy, changing the monitors or this or that to suit the needs of the whoever is up there. Heres to open stage  we can take down karaoke any day of the week.  And as always tip your bartender well. Shout out to my boys on murders row up on the right side where drinks go to die.


     peace in


bobby V



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Jeff Bragg of The Hootenanny Orchestra
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Hey Joe, I just wanted to drop by and thank you for this great opportunity and for all the great things you've been saying about the Hootenanny Orchestra. We have really been enjoying playing the Open Stage nights you host in this wonderful venue and it just keeps getting better every time.

We'll be coming again this week and we're looking forward to it. Seems we might be developing a bit of a following!

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Harry
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Wednesday Open Stage! wrote:



This past week was another busy one, with plenty of high grade talent vying for stage time.  The sound system I'd have to say sounded the best it's been so far, which goes a long way when you're listening to some of the quieter acoustic based stuff.  Sure, if you're just there to hear some heavy head bangin' music, to most people it usually makes no difference, especially since you can't understand a damn thing they're screaming about anyway.  But when you've got solo acoustic acts like we typically do, you definitely want a system that's clean and bright, rich and full sounding, without being overbearing. To that end, credos go to Robbie for putting it together for everyone. Mixing sound for a dozen different acts is not easy, and most of the more persnickety people had to admit, there was very little to complain about this week. Special thanks to Mark Adolphson for bringing and playing the drums this week. I kept our set short, after jamming with a few fellas who were in town on business or pleasure.   


We started things off with our friends from Sterling, VA- the Hootenanny Orchestra, who were returning for another appearance at the Strasburg. This four piece acoustic based band brought some beautiful harmonies on yet another well played set.  I particularly enjoyed the violin mixed in with three and four part harmonies.


Next up we had Strasburg's prodigal son Dan Lefkowitz, who impressed some of the older musicians in the audience with his Mississippi Delta flavoured blues, along with a number by that troubador/traveller Charlie Patton, to go with some tasteful slide guitar. By the way, Dan returned to the Theater on Saturday night with area musician/ instructor/ producer Michael DeLalla, where they performed a well attended, great sounding show. If you have a chance to see these guys again, by all means make it a point.   


Newcomer Ryan Houk stepped up to the mic next, and continued the old time blues tradition with some killer arrangements from Lightnin' Hopkins and Muddy Waters, and even tossed in a Tom Waits number. Ryan had one of those old Gibson acoustic guitars that makes me green with envy everytime I hear hear it. He also got to jam a bit before we started, along with our Connecticut buddy Big Bill, who lugged along his stand up bass while he was in town on business.  I'm hoping we see more of Ryan in the coming weeks. 


Fans (like me) of Neil Young were pleased to hear Steve Waller come by and play a few nice ones by Mr. Young, and with so many solo acts this evening, I was able to keep things on schedule, despite the large turn out of musicians.


Chi-Town was next, and he coupled some classic material with one of his originals, which I felt was the best of the bunch.  We should be hearing more from this talented musician as well.


Weekly mainstay Bob Villian kept us on our toes with versions of cake's "mexico" as well as "she drives me crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals.  He topped it all off with the Humpty Dance, which only left us shaking our heads.  Good set Bobby V.


Brian Roberts stepped up for our weekly dose of Grateful Dead, and also joined the Villianous one on his last number.


Next up was Phil Ashley, of Phillips Union, slumming on the side with his solo project.  Phil's probably one of the best musicians we have in the area, and can play bass better than most bass players I know. But he's really a guitar player extraordinairre.  After a few originals, including a brand new tune the name of which I can't recall, Phil treated us to that sappy, candy coated yet irresistable "Breakfast at Tiffany's".  Though I'm sure none of us want to admit it, I could see more than a few people in the audience singing along despite themselves. (Ok, me included)


I was hoping to see our friend Matt from the Jay Blammo Trio, but I guess he wasn't able to make it out this week. After looking all over for the mysterious "Tom" who'd signed up, I figured he was a no show, so I moved on.  Because of the quick turnovers, I was able to squeeze in some late comers, including recently signed singer/songwriter LeRoy Prince.  He had with him a buddy named Doug, who also had a wonderful singing voice.  LeRoy treated the crowd to a few well crafted, beautiful songs, and I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from this gifted writer.


Last week, after the open Stage, I was sitting near the bar chatting with some friends.  They introduced me to a guy who seemed a bit shy, but I could tell he wanted to play, as he sat strumming a guitar.  I asked if he was interested in signing up and he said "Maybe next week".  Well, wouldn't you know it, after LeRoy finished up, the mysterious "Tom" showed up. It was the same guy I spoke with last week!  Tom explained that he was a relative newcomer to performing in public, but he ended up proving to be one of the finest singer/songwriters of the bunch! Hopefully, we'll get to catch another set by Tom Parker.


Hank Gorecki was a big hit the last couple of weeks, and this week was no exception. He delivered some rockin' tunes from days gone by, and I was able to help out with some percussion as he brought the crowd back into it.


But the big news of the night was area musician and singer without peer Dewey Sanchez and Eyesoar.  These guys were chompin' at the bit to get up there, and believe me, I kept them waiting cuz I knew once they got up, it was gonna be all over but the crying. Dewey's brother James hung tough on some bass guitar during Hank's set, and also showed some vocal chops as well. If you haven't heard EyeSoar yet, and you dig the Rolling Stones as much as I do, (i'm talkin' CLASSIC stones, with Mick Taylor on lead guitars, circa 1969-74) then these guys are the band for you. 


The band started things off in a big way by performing Led Zeppelin's classic "The Ocean" from their "Houses of the Holy" album.  With off beat time signatures and just ballsy jamming, this band had the remains of what was a big crowd, up and grooving to the music.  Next up came the Rod Stewart monster hit "Maggie May", with Hank pulling off those Ronny Wood mandolin parts on his guitar with no problem. Someone yelled "MORE ZEPPELIN" and the boys complied, giving us yet another totally obscure zep number "Southbound Suarrey" off their "In through the Out Door" disc. Next up was one of the highlights of the evening for me, when they pulled off my request "Can't you hear me knockin" by the Stones.  Lead guitarist Pat Flowers is a Mick Taylor freak like me, and we had a great discussion backstage just before Eyesoar went on.  Dewey kept things rolling by kicking off a mean version of "Street Fightin' Man" (note: did you know there are NO electric guitars on that track??) then we ended the night on a fitting note, with another Stones song that nobody plays: Moonlight Mile! Wow. For me, this was a chance to actually play songs that I've previously only heard by the original artists.   


If you're interested in playing at the Open Stage, send me an email or call the theater at 540-465-1777.  Wednesday nights, sign up begins at 7, music starts around 8. Tell a friend!


~Joe



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JH
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Open Stage in Review, 9-6-06

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9-6-06 Open Stage in Review


Boy, what a great time we had at this week's open stage.  The sets were all tight, timely, well performed, and some were even bordering on the professional! We were fortunate to have Mark return with his dynamite drum kit, and he was a welcome addition to several performances, including mine.


I was also very happy to have Jacob Rinard and Tim Ambrose return to the open stage after a few weeks cavorting on the concert circuit.  I got a lot of compliments about Jacob's playing, and his lead guitar on 'yellow ledbetter' was superb.  Jacob's one of these extremely talented, yet unselfish players that makes everyone around him a better player.  Both he and Tim are with Edinburg based "Boomerang", plus, Jacob plays with about 7 other acts in and around the valley!


After my introductory set, first on the list this week was Mary, a recent transplant from New York.  Mary has a beautiful singing voice, and does the songs we don’t usually hear, including tunes from the soundtrack of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell”, not to mention her own compositions.  Mary brought with her an excellent singer, also from NY, named Toni, who amazed  everyone with her ability to turn a regular guitar upside down and play it left handed. Have you ever tried this? Cuz I have. It's freakin' next to impossible. Most lefties just invert the strings and play left handed, ala Hendrix, but Toni was able to flip that acoustic and play some clear and bright picking on the well chosen (again, not overused) tunes, including Led Zeppelin's "Going to California". 


Next up was Sterling based “Hootenanny Orchestra”.  These guys (and gals) are making quite a name for themselves in and around the Washington DC, NVA music scene, and I expect to hear a lot more from them in the future. With a song selection ranging from fun, accessible tunes like “Black Water” (Doobie Brothers) and “It Stoned Me” (Van Morrison, coupled with some more obscure songs by the likes of The Waterboys, Hootenanny Orchestra proved to be a sweet sounding addition to our Open Stage.  I've been assured that we’ll be seeing more them next week, so watch for them!


9 Pm brought area mainstay Bob Villian to the stage to shake things up with a very cool version of Springstein's "Blinded by the Light", as well as some  Dylan, marked by some fairly decent harmonica solos. I was very happy to see that we were still right on time with the time slots, at least up to this point.


As all this was going on, I could see the genesis of an impromptu band forming at the back of the room. Every time I'd drop by, things would get more and more interesting.  Finally, the players were lined up and the set list was (sort of) figured out, and the supergroup was about to take the stage.


Led by John Landis, (who'd performed solo last week) the newly dubbed "valley boys", brought a great deal of fun and excitement to the stage with their tight harmonies and easy going interplay.  Gary from Shortness of Breath was sitting in on bass, and they had Mark keeping time in the back court. I appologize for not remembering the other lead singer/ guitarist, but he was damn good.  The real surprise of the evening came with featured sax player skip, (of skipscycles.com) who just astounded us all with is brilliant, flowing runs. We really hope to see more of Skip in the weeks ahead.   


Next up, we had Mark Barreres, who's been curiously absent for the past several weeks, along with home town favorite Bill Henry and one very special guest: sax man extraordinnaire Bucky Clark.  Yep, we had not one, but two outstanding sax players in the house this evening, and I wasn't gonna watch them go to waste.  Bucky Clark has been playing and teaching sax for well over 30 years, and you could tell right away that this guy is a pro.  When all was said and done, we covered some Hank Williams (Mr. Henry's turn to shine) and a nice long version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door, which enabled me to sing AND play bass, all at the same time! (ok, lots of you guys can do it, but for me, it remains tricky)

brian finished up the night with a very nice, mellow solo set of old tunes including "Tangled Up in Blue".  A fitting end to the festivities, or so I thought. But then I noticed a few stragglers sitting in the back, led by Lenny, the lead singer of Reign. I'd asked Lenny earlier if he wanted to maybe do a set, but he was non commital at the time.  Now, it seemed he was ready to go, and they were sporting a secret weapon: Mr. Ralph Fortune.  I'd heard about Ralph since first moving here to the Valley, and always wanted to see him play. For some reason, our paths just never got around to crossing.  I can assure you people, it was well worth the wait. This guy can flat out play! After asking (ok, begging) Mark B to go back outside to get his bass, we pulled together a nice unit of performers and pulled off a rockin' set to close it out in style. One of the highlights was doing "A Hard Day's Night" and "All along the Watchtower", complete with electric wah wah fills by Mr. Fortune. A fitting close to a smooth evening at the Strasburg Theater.


To all the performers out there who've taken part in the Open Stage, and to everyone who played last night, I'd like to say "well done, people!"


I hope to see you all -and more- next week!


Peace.....


~JH


PS: I know some of you were asking about stage lights. Steve assures me that they're coming soon.  AND - Don't forget Molly Hatchet this coming Friday night- tickets are going fast!


For sign ups, questions, or further information on the Wednesday Night Open Stage at the Strasburg Theater, please call 540-465-1777 or email me at strasburgtheater@hotmail.com


 



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Jason
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RE: Open Stage every Wednesday w/ host Joe H

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About how long does it take to get to the theater from Harrisonburg/ JMU?


Jason


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Jason it takes a little less then an hour.


Take 81 to the Toms Brook Exit then make right down to RT 11 make left and after a few miles you will see the Theather on the right when you get into town.


 



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Joe Herbert
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Wednesday "Open Stage" In Review

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The Wednesday night "Open Stage" at the Strasburg Theater continues to grow, and we're very pleased to see so many talented people coming out to perform their music.  I want to take a minute to thank my friend Lee Blanton for hosting last week while I was on vacation.  From everyone I've talked to, Lee did a fantastic job of keeping things on track and running smoothly.  BTW, last Friday, Lee Blanton came back and opened up the sold out show for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.  Again, this Shenandoah Valley favorite did a superb job, and really got the crowd into his music. What a time!


I wanted to address a couple of issues that have come up during the Open Stage, in order to keep things on the right track. First off, we start signing up at 7 pm, and get started with the music closer to 8.  If you get there early, and there aren't many people signed up yet, chances are you'll get to perform about 4 or 5 songs.  If you show up a bit later, say around 8:30 or 9, sometimes it's a bit more crowded, the sign up list is longer, and consequently, your set will be shorter. We're now looking at maybe 3 songs. Drummers should make it a point to show up early so that we can set up and run sound checks, etc. Same goes for bands.  If you need anything special in the way of time slots, mics, or what have you, go ahead and shoot me an email and I'll go my best to help put it together.


Another thing -and this is important- I really need everyone to be tuned up and ready to go with a set list prepared in advance before you walk out onto the stage.  No offense, but we don't really have time to listen and wait while you tune your instruments on stage, (after i've already introduced you) chit chat with your buddies and hog up most of your alotted time.  Along those same lines, if you have a 20 minute magnum opus that simply must be heard, don't wait until I give you the "one more" sign before breaking it out.  I want everyone to be heard, and I understand that this is the place to try out new things.  Just try to be mindful of the other performers and listeners when taking the stage, particularly when there are a lot of players waiting to go on.


Now then, this past Wednesday's performers:


Since there was a big crowd, I didn't get to play all that much, but that's cool -honest!  I started off with a solo acoustic rendition of an old Dylan song "Bob Dylan's Dream". This is one of my favorites from the master, written back in the early 60's when he used to hang with Wavy Gravy and the other Greenwich Village scenesters.  Roy Richardson joined me on bass, as well as Charlie from Steel Breeze on keys. Tommy Rocker also sat in for a killer guitar solo. I then did a couple of originals before turning the stage over to the Open Stage performers.


First up was John Landis. This area musician performed a clear and beautiful set of songs that included Gordon Lightfoot and a rare John Prine tune that I hadn't heard in years.  Note: we need more John Prine!


Next up was a newcomer to our stage, Dickey Wolfrey, who impressed the crowd with a too-short set of well crafted original tunes. I hope he returns to the theater, because I'm curious to hear more from this talented songwriter.  


Local musicians "Darryl and Company" stepped up next for some jammed out Grateful Dead tunes, which is always a good thing.  I've attended well over 100 Dead shows over the years, and yet I never seem to grow tired of it. Go figure.


Charlie and Wayne from "Steel Breeze" took the stage next, and really impressed me with their old school psychedelic tinged original jams.  Despite being a two piece, these Winchester based musicians pushed out a lot of music, utilizing their various pedals and effects to fill up the overall sound. Charlie also helped out on keyboards during my short opening set.


Next up was Open Stage mainstay "Bob Villian", who kept the crew rockin' with his upbeat set ala sublime.  The Villianous one also joined forces with Brian and C-dog the bassmaster for an extended segue, which kept things moving along nicely.


Rusty stepped things up next, with a nice set of old rockabilly tunes, coupled with some old Ventures numbers that had the place up and rocking.  Roy Richardson joined in on bass, along with Hank- another relative newcomer to the Strasburg Theater's stage. Together, these veterans managed to put together a nice cohesive set.


The surprise of the evening came with first time performers John Kovac and Bill Dykes, who provided the audience with a peaceful and quiet set of instrumental compositions courtesy of their stringed harp and acoustic guitar.  This unique combination brought a nice soothing touch to the night's festivities. 


We then had Phil Ashley from Phillips Union step up for his acoustic originals. Why does this guy always sound so damn good? His guitar was sweet and clear, with no feedback, just pure musical delight. Expect to hear more from this area musician.


Finally, Hank brought it home with a charging set of mostly 70's classics, including Blackfoot's "Highway Song", made all the more poignant by the fact that the Native American act will be gracing this very stage in a few short weeks. (Blackfoot at the Strasburg Theater! See the Strasburg Theater's Calendar of Events).


Overall, it was a busy, wonderfully eclectic, and well played night of entertainment. 


Note: After we shut things down, my buddy Jamie and I took over the stage for some impromptu hip hop jams like only us white folks can do. We're still looking for more entertainers, comics, spoken word poets, jugglers, and anything else you can think of. Please spread the word!


If you're interested in playing at Wednesday's "Open Stage", you can reach me via email at strasburgtheater@hotmail.com or call the theater and let them know you're coming. 


Peace...
~Joe



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jose' the host
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eeeyowza! what a great night we had once again, people! i just want to thank everybody for coming out and taking part in the wednesday night's OPEN STAGE, whether it's performing or just hanging out listening.  special thanks to mark for bringing and setting up the drum kit and playing so damn well. the sound system just keeps getting better, and every week brings more improvements in that area. thanks to robbie for continuously improving the sound. it makes it so much more fun when you know the big man is in your corner. 


ah, let's get to the performers. no spoken word poets this week folks, but the music was fantastic just the same.  i started things off with an old stones song (heartbreaker) as the fellas tuned up and got the levels set.  neil schwartz then joined us on stage for a few numbers, ending with the old grateful dead classic "viola lee blues". this is a number that i always love playing with neil, because of his spot -on harmonies. 


this particular combo had phil ashley from 'phillips union' sitting in on bass, who also performed his own dynamic solo set of originals later on. my buddy Chi-Town made his debut on the strasburg stage, and I hope to see him back again next week.  But one of the highlights had to be newly-signed songwriter lee roy prince. turning in a superb set, lee roy showed us all just why he's quickly stepping up to the big leagues. i want to congratulate lee roy for his recent and well deserved success.  aside from being a wonderful songwriter, this guy can flat out play and sing too. having the full band join him towards the end of his set seemed to add that certain touch and brought a sneak peek at how these songs are gonna sound fully realized.


hank zimmerman- what can i say? i know the guy's gotta get up at the crack of dawn, but i just kept hammering at him to stay for one more song, and well, he did. hank's one of the finest keyboardist in the valley, and i've been lucky enough to capture some of that talent on one of my recordings. he sat in on a good number of tunes, and brought a beautiful layer to the entire mix.


later in the night, the golden voiced and fleet footed bill henry joined neil schwartz and some others for some old school hank williams and eddie arnold, which got the joint jumpin'.  bob villian kicked it into gear with his fine harmonica playing.  here's a fella that just keeps getting better each week.  brian, another local musician, was able to hold court on a few dead numbers, with the backing of mark on drums, as well as ted from shortness of breath on congas. he also brought an incredible bass player with him, who i'm sure we'll be hearing more from.  nice! speaking of Shortness of Breath, they'll be at the theater this coming saturday night, August 19th, and these guys bring an excellent list of songs from the 60's thru today.  believe me, you don't want to miss them.


after all these solo acts, tommy rocker was finally called to the stage and brought the house down with his rendition of the moody blues' 'question'. wow.  earl howard of shortness of breath also joined in on some leads, as well as a bunch of other folks. to tell you the truth, i don't know what was going on up there at this point.  the thing is, nobody could resist this 'open jam' session, which typically ends the night for us.  as it got later and later, it seemed like we could hardly get to them all,  but in the end, i think everyone got a chance to play a few numbers and have themselves a bit of fun.


so that was our last wednesday OPEN STAGE. am i missing anyone? if so, my apologies. we'll see you all next week at the strasburg theater.  i've already gotten notice that we'll be expecting some new and exciting guests for next week, so this should be a blast!


remember people: every wednesday night, it's OPEN STAGE at the strasburg theater!
sign up at 7, performances start at 8. spread the word.
We encourage all styles and genres of music, art, comedy, spoken word and anything else you might have in mind. shoot me an email at strasburgtheater@hotmail.com if you have any questions about playing. 


peace...


~Joe



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Joe
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8-2-06 Open Stage in review:

What a fantastic night it was. Despite the oppressive heat, we had what turned out to be the largest group of performers yet, coming from as far away as NVA, Reston, Luray and elsewhere. Like every week, we had some brand new performers step onto the stage to do their thing, plus a nice group of the 'regulars'.  I can't wait until the night when everyone who's already played here decides to show up.  It'll truly be "off the chain" as many of my friends have been saying lately.

Last night, we had a very talented 'spoken word poet' perform a great set of original readings, and the response was quite positive. I've actually seen a lot of spoken word poets in the past, and this guy was on it. We'd like to see more of this sort of thing in the future.  

Rick and Amanda Wilkins made their debut on the big stage, performing a few original tunes, as well as helping out on a couple of my songs. Travellin' Jack kept things busy with his reliable bass lines throughout. We'll have to get him to perform his own set next time!

Front Royal based Steve Tracy, who was also making his first foray to the Theater, performed a very solid set, with some way-cool tunes you don't hear every day.  Blessed with a very good singing voice, and a rich and full guitar sound, Steve Tracy is truly a musician to watch.

A new band out of Reston, VA made the trek out to perform a wonderful set of beautiful folk inspired numbers, including some Grateful Dead tunes. (Mississippi Half Step!) Their line up of 2 guys/ two girls, with 2 guitars, fiddle and vocalist was a refreshing mix, and a welcome addition to the open stage. 

Jacob Rinard did his usual fantastic job, tossing a few dave mathews songs in there. Tim Ambrose, nursing a wrapped hand (poison ivy), did his best on congas, but abstained from bass duties. What a trooper!

Tommy Rocker hopped up and performed a nice eclectic set, which was well received.  Special thanks to Tommy for helping to spread the word about the open Stage!

Perhaps the strangest moment came during Bob Villian's set, when Mark B. stepped up on stage and joined in on the 'breakbeat' choruses.

Special thanks goes out to Robbie for setting up and running the new sound system.  We're still working out some of the bugs in the room, as it takes time to get everything just right.  Robbie's been working very hard on that end of the music, and I want him to know that we all appreciate his considerable efforts.

Open Stage is held every Wednesday Night at the Strasburg Theater.  Sign up is at 7 pm, and the performances start at 8. No cover charge, and if you're under 21, please get there early.  (No one under 21 allowed after 9 pm)  

See you at the Open Stage!

~Joe

Member of USA Musicians
Powered by Shenandoah Valley Music



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Bill McCasland (Connecticut)
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It was a real treat to visit Virginia from Connecticut and play on this magnificent stage. Thanks to Joe Herbert and Mark Barreres, I had a wonderful stage experience.  Thanks again and please send the picture.

 

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