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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble

Open Mics are for Lovers.

The last anyone has heard from us, we were having a tough time in Vermont. We're okay, now. Thanks to a few concerned phone calls, emails, a couple of donations through The Will Gray Blueprint to keep us fed and gassed up in our distress (thanks, Devon, Kelli and Ryan), and the help of some great new friends (hello, Russell's! Hello, Joel!) and audiences in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and even Bradford, Vermont-- we are spic and span and ready to keep on keeping on.

We all needed a little persuasion to keep going.

Also, because we learned something amazing:

There are people out there who like to listen to music.

Really. We aren't kidding you. There was a minute there where we all laughed at The Rough & Tumble for their hilarious dream of carrying on an act that is going the way of Vaudeville. We were laugh-crying with you. But after a couple of pints of Ben & Jerry's (thanks again, Vermont) we stumbled into a place in Somerville, MA called The Burren. And we were greeted with fifty or so somebodies who sat clustered in the back room holding fiddles and mandolins and upright basses and even a banjulele. And they played old standards the best everyone knew or didn't know how. Just for fun. Just for Sunday night shits and giggles. Because, unbeknownst to us, these people like music.

We were greeted with a jovial sound man/host (another anomaly) and loaded our things to the stage. We looked out nervously at the crowd, anticipating the heckles of Burlington college kids or the disdain of fellow musicians or the general disregard of the bar. But as the lights dimmed, so did the voices in the crowd, and we found ourselves squarely in a room of listening ears and enthusiastic applause-- a land where musicians and non musicians alike came to hear music, and still loved playing it.

We stayed the evening through to the last song, witnessing the talented bartender hopping up for a turn to share his latest tune and stragglers from other open mics dropping in just to see if they could catch the last notes, too. It was familial and supportive and pure and necessary. We aren't the types who relish those 2AM load outs, but this night made us grateful that our office was full of hilarious, talented, and attentive coworkers. Music for music's sake. So we found ourselves there again two nights later for fun as the Featured Spot in the open mic. And, by god, we stayed til 2AM again. Because we are suckers for love and music. And Magner's on tap.

A community radio show in Portsmouth, NH (thanks, Shawn and Steve at WSCA Stay Tuned Radio for fitting us in), a couple more shows in Massachusetts, a music lovers festival in Cambridge (thanks, Club Passim!), and we are believers again. Not in that Valley of the Shadow of Death way, anymore either. And now, we are out of New England and headed west-- Michigan bound by the end of the week with a quick stop in Canada along the way.

Really, we are better now. Thanks to you and a little bit of exposure therapy. And we even got a couple songs out of the deal. We hope to share them with you real soon.

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