Cape Codders venturing out at night in the middle of winter? What is going on?
As we’ve often written in our random musings, the Cape can become pretty quiet in the winter. A mournful “There’s nothing do” is a complaint often heard on the sandbar that is full of fun in the summer and turns into deadsville in the off-season.
But we’re on a mission to shake things up.
We’re not rolling up the sidewalk at our Cape locations this winter. Just the opposite: We are keeping the entertainment rolling right on through the off-season at our Falmouth, Hyannis and Sandwich pubs.
Musicians Underground, a recent addition to our entertainment roster, has locals packing the place on Thursday nights in Sandwich.
“It’s a hybrid open mic night,” Brian Kerins says. “It has the element of a regular show – with tightly rehearsed sets – along with the open mic component.”
As a member of the band Flydown, Kerins knows something about tightly rehearsed sets. Flydown, which plays gigs all over the region including at many BBC locations, includes Shawn Hitchcock and Jay Stupakevich, with other musicians joining in when the mood or need strikes.
Flydown plays shorts bits of their regular set list in between the various acts taking a turn at the mic. A DJ is also on hand, making sure there is never a moment of boredom throughout the night.
“We’re encouraging all musicians to participate; skilled veterans, intermediates and beginners. If someone is there solo, Flydown is happy to hop onstage and be their backup band,” Kerins says.
The night is about more than music, Kerins explained, “We’ve also had comedians and poets come up and do their thing. We plan on having a featured artist each week, too. Who knows? Maybe we’ll end up with a tightrope walker? Anything goes at Musicians Underground!”
Musicians Underground is sponsored by your friendly neighborhood barkeepers – that would be us – as well as the fine folks at Tröegs Independent Brewing, and Charlie’s Music. Tröegs will have reps on hand with free samples and swag, while Charlie’s will be giving out stuff for the musically-inclined.
As Musicians Underground came together, we reached out to Tröegs to see if they might consider adding their signature style to the night (Obviously, they said yes). Kerins then contacted Charlie’s Music.
“When I started playing at 15 I would visit Charlie’s Music and buy amps and stuff,” he said. “I’m always in there picking up stuff and I’ve gotten friendly with a lot of people who work there. We were shooting the breeze and when I mentioned Musicians Underground, they were kind enough to offer stuff for giveaways.”
Charlie’s is providing gift certificates and strings, etc., maybe even a percussion set in the near future, that we’ll be raffling off each week. They’re also coming prepared with an assortment of percussion instruments so that everyone in the audience can join in the fun. Djembe, anyone?
You’ve got to appreciate a little mid-winter love from a fellow local business owner.
While Musicians Underground is still in its infancy – it just started a couple of weeks ago – it’s already off to a strong start, with the place jammed and jumping every Thursday night.
But don’t let a little stage fright keep you from grabbing your turn at the mic. As Kerins says, “What happens at open mic night stays at open mic night.”