BREAKING NEWS: Open Mic At The Barn Returns To Sunday

The open mic brunch at The Barn Co-operative in Meaford is returning to Sundays after a brief experiment with switching it to Saturday afternoon.  “By popular demand,” they say, the open mic session will be tomorrow, Sunday, November 27th, from noon to 2 pm, hosted by David J. Russell.

This is good news for many who found at these Sunday jams something unique and special.

The Barn is a cooperative that places the emphasis on community and a holistic approach to health and happiness.  This credo has an effect on the vibe of the weekly open mic.

There are many open mic jams every week in our area and they are always the best way to catch, for free, some amazing local talent.  The development of talent in any community is really a result of the audience, and Meaford in particular has great audiences, with a marked preference for original songwriters and performers with artistic integrity.  This means that whether you attend Chris Scerri’s Tuesday nights at The Leeky, the legendary Wednesday jam at Ted’s, or head fifteen minutes down the road to join Drew McIvor at The Bruce Wine Bar on Wednesdays, or David J. Russell at The Corner Café on Thursdays, you are guaranteed to see some exceptional performances from both the hosts and the guesting performers.  An open mic is a surprise grab bag for the audience and a chance to stretch their wings for performers.

At The Barn, being midday, the atmosphere is filled with light from the big windows overlooking the highway and enhanced by the original artwork on the walls.  Organic coffee and snacks add a cosmopolitan flair, and the lack of alcohol means the audience is more attentive and respectful of the performers than they will be in any bar or dinner club.  It also makes an ideal launching pad for very young talent, which is in abundance in Meaford thanks to the efforts of Patrick Delaney at the high school.

David J. russell

David J. Russell, shown here at The Bruce Wine Bar, hosts this Sunday’s open mic at The Barn

The Barn’s open mic is hosted on a rotating basis by some of the very best local performers, including Jayden Grahlman, Luke Martin and this week’s host, David J. Russell.  They are supportive of every type of performer and often accompany them.  Often The Bambalamb Kid is in attendance and his presence at any performance lifts everything to a higher level.  There is room for spoken word, an expressive artform that is best served in a quiet environment, with an audience that is focused on listening.  Because of the presence of working musicians as hosts, and because of the genial noon to two timeframe on a Sunday, there are often performances from accomplished musicians who find a special rapport with this audience, or who have been inspired after a lapse to take up their instruments again by the unique vibe that this place offers.

There has always been a spiritual quality to the open mic sessions at The Barn and the return to Sundays is a perfect fit.

If you have never been there, it is worth the trip from Collingwood or Owen Sound.  It’s right on Highway 26.  From Owen Sound you drive right through downtown Meaford and up the hill, and after passing Grandma Lambes’ look for The Barn on your right.  From Collingwood or Thornbury, watch for it on your left before you get to Ormsby’s Garden Centre.  Everyone seems to arrive at noon and the two hours go by too fast, so arrive early.

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