We met at an open mic years ago at what was once North Stonington’s Watermark Cafe, since demolished following devastating floods from April rainstorms in 2010.
Songwriter Bernadette Golden of the band Golden Ratio was hosting an open mic advertised in The Day.
The Watermark was a quaint cafe, and we shared the stage with local artwork, homemade food and a kind of spiritual camaraderie and blessedness that comes with proffered gifts.
I didn’t know Bernadette then, I only knew I had a couple originals which (I had the audacity to believe, given support from a few close friends) deserved to be heard. You know, beyond the walls of my living room.
I practiced, read a book on performing, practiced some more, and showed up.
What greeted me were fellow musicians with compelling songs, strangers who were interested enough to listen, and that petite, articulate host — well-versed in her own intellectually vibrant lyrics, an artistic spirit who lovingly brought diverse minds and hearts together for some soul food.
More of that is in store this Sunday and in weeks to follow at a new open mic Bernadette is hosting in downtown New London.
So, if you’ve got an acoustic solo in you, or you just want to hear those who do, I’m saying, do it!
Dubbed “Originals & Traditionals,” this open mic is taking place at Captain’s Pizza on Bank Street in New London. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Bernadette and guitarist Larry Kern — he of the mandolin, slide guitar, and bongos, who is also known to write a song or two — are hosting. And in what can only be described as a gesture of love and solidarity, Hugh Birdsall of the Reducers and Dogbite will step in as featured performer.
To be sure other open mics are popping up in downtown New London, but this one promises to have the imprint of those lovingly nurtured Watermark showcases all over it.
So come, listen, be heard.