Welcome to the “Full Moon Open Mic”
OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY WAS MONDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, 2015. We started up again in 2017 on MONDAY JANUARY 30th at the Brewster Ladies Library!
In 2005 Tricia and I had been frequenting a cool general store in South Orleans called the Eldia Market and Coffee House. One morning that fall I looked around and said “this would be a groovy place for some live music”! I approached the owners and suggested that if they were willing to stay open late one night, we could put the word out on a very grass roots level (translation: no advertising, simply word of mouth) to invite anyone interested to come play a song, read a poem, tell a story, or simply watch and listen. We had no idea what kind of turnout to expect. When 7 PM rolled around, the place was packed to overflowing, 15 artists each did a slot, and my little “free will donation bucket” for Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod had a few hundred bucks in it! We were off and running. That was Thursday, December 15th, 2005, the same month I saw my last Peter, Paul, & Mary concert (12/9/05 at Carnegie Hall in NYC) and had my thyroid removed (12/21/05).
Steve and Jon sold Eldia (it’s now the Zia Pizzaria), and when that happened, we were graciously invited to make a home at the Cape Cup (now also no longer there) in downtown Orleans. We will always be grateful to our hosts Bill and Elise for taking us in as we grew, and grow we did. We moved over on occasion to the Chatham Coffee Company on Route 28, another great and gracious (but temporary) home, and then mostly built our “nest” in the Brewster Ladies Library on Route 6A, regularly welcoming a hundred people to our burgeoning community gatherings. They have a great multipurpose room complete with grand piano and kitchen, so we incorporated pot luck snacks into our invitations as well, and each time we’ve accepted (but by no means require) donations for different Cape Cod nonprofits.
Our “mission statement”:
“Welcome to the Full Moon Open Mic, home of high aspirations, low production values, and freedom of speech.” It’s casual, friendly, supportive, respectful, and ART-FULL. They are held on or near the Full Moon on any given month that I’m not on tour AND as long as that full moon doesn’t fall on a Friday or Saturday night…I don’t want to have a free event that might take audience away from other Cape musicians who stand to make their best $$ on those prime-time nights. On occasion, we convene when a musical family member or friend from far away is on the Cape, so I’ve stretched our “parameters” to include “any night in a month that HAS a full moon
That’s our story. We’ve gathered to witness stirring, beautiful, courageous, and stimulating performances. It’s been a great ride! In our first decade we were able to collect cumulative donations totaling more than $13,000. On January 30th our donation bucket went to the Robert F Kennedy Children Action Corps, a non-profit agency and leader in child welfare and juvenile justice in Massachusetts. Every year, they help hundreds of children, youths, and their families deal successfully with behavioral and emotional issues at nearly a dozen facilities throughout the state.
Thanks for your attendance and support over the years! Our next gathering will be WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29TH, 2017, site TBD…
with gratitude from your friendly occasional community organizer