Open Mic Series at Moonlight on the Mountain

jermoband moonlight '13

On Monday, July 22, Moonlight on the Mountain will begin their fall/winter open mic series. On every first and third Monday of each month, Moonlight will open its doors to musicians of all calibers and gives them a stage to play their original songs to a listening audience.

Each musician can sign up to take the stage for up to ten minutes, typically two songs. they’ll enjoy a decidedly different format that many open mics available, as they are the center of attention for the entire venue. Moonlight is a listen room through and through. the intimate feel allows for songwriters and musicians to share their craft who folks who really want to hear it, free from distraction.

“Musicians need small places to relate and react to smaller audiences because it builds trust between the fan and the artist,” says Jeremy Moore, winner of the last Open Mic Grand Playoff.  “It’s encouraging for both the fan and the artist to feel a part of something where there can be a closer relationship between the stage and the audience.”

Original music is highly encouraged and performers will receive the audience’s full attention. Moonlight is a dedicated listening room- all about the music.  “Gotta have a place where the gentle and simple songwriters can get an audience who actually wants to hear the words and structure,” says owner Keith Harrelson. “There’s a time and a place for everything, including original acoustic music, which is criminally underrepresented in Birmingham’s choice of live venues. Good songwriters develop when their stuff is laid out in front of people bare-bones.”

“After winning the last open mic, I was bombarded with support from people I didn’t even know,” says Moore. “The encouragement form listeners blows you away. That’s the kind of energy a beginning artist needs to fuel a successful career.”

There is a competition involved in the bi-weekly events. To determine a winner, all musicians give each other a score from 1 to 20. “Seems to be the most fair method,” says Harrelson. “I’m pleased at the way this has worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.” Whoever racks up the most points after the music is over wins a door pot up to $50 and a spot in the Grand Playoffs at the end of the season. “Dang good pay for doing two songs,” says Harrelson.

At the next playoffs in January, each winner is invited to return to the stage for two more songs and a chance at the grand prize: a recording package with Bud Brown at Higher Ground Studios. the package includes recording, editing, and finishing all courtesy of a seasoned professional.  Bud offered the recording prize to Harrelson and company several years ago, and has brought the prize back each new season. “It was Bud’s idea, and we’ve been grateful for him and his support ever since,” says Harrelson.

Open mics are held on the first and third Mondays of each month. They start at 7:30 with a $5 donation at the door. Come early to sign up.

Above: Jeremy Moore and Tyler Cody, winners of the spring/summer playoff.

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