Welcome to year #16 of the “Full Moon Open Mic” – our next event will be Thursday, May 21st, 2020, site TBA soon…
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 fine 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, 16 artists each did a slot, and my little “free will donation bucket” (created on the spot when I saw so many people pouring in) for Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod had $208 in it! I decided this was something worth continuing.. Each of our 50 subsequent events has had a donation bucket for a different non-profit org on the Cape or in New England, and our cumulative collection is now approaching $15,000 … all started on 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 surgically removed on the Winter Solstice (12/21/05) for papillary thyroid carcinoma. THAT was a month.
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 home to the Corner Store) 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 then Chatham Coffee Company (now called Chatham Perk) 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 50-75 people to our burgeoning community gatherings. They have a great multipurpose room complete with grand piano (not perfectly in tune, but then neither am I) 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 last recipient was the Orleans Community Exchange (OCE) headquartered at the thrift shop across from Friends Market. They raise scholarship money for Cape students from Nauset Regional and Cape Cod Regional Technical School to further their education. WE raised $636 for them!
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 Wednesday or Thursday nights on any given month that I’m not on tour AND never on 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, and stimulating performances AND helped our neighbors in need. It’s been a great ride! Thanks for your attendance and support over the years! Join us, bring friends.
with gratitude from your friendly occasional community organizer