Tag Archives: open mic

Remembering Sherry Snider

This Sunday at The Barn Co-op a special musical tribute has been organized to honour of the memory of Sherry Snider an active and highly valued member of the coop who very suddenly passed away this past week.

Jim and Mary Lang have set up a special open mic at The Barn running from 3 pm to 6 pm, following the regular open mic which, hosted by Kailey Hawkins, runs from noon to two.  This second open mic will be specifically to remember Sherry, who was a consistent attendee at The Barn’s open mics and always brightened the room with her enthusiasm and ear-to-ear smiles.

A founding member of the co-op, Sherry, a retired nurse, was also a central part of M.E.N.D, a unique health collective that teaches the use and benefits of medicinal cannabis.  A recent interview with Sherry by director Kim Saltarski for an upcoming documentary called M.E.N.D. with Dignity captures Sherry’s generous spirit. See https://vimeo.com/260707497

The open mic, in this instance, will include a pot luck dinner.  They are asking you to bring your music, stories and food contributions to help make it a special afternoon that Sherry would appreciate.

For more information contact Jim Lang at 519.270.4380.

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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Hot Vibes at the Corner Cafe

More than the burgers are sizzling at The Corner Café.  Tonight it is Dave Russell with his weekly open mic and tomorrow night the latest coming together of local talents, calling themselves K.E.G. Stand.

exteriorWhen the Corner Café and Grille opened on the corner of Highway 26 and Bruce Street this past April, it was conceived as a place where people could meet and enjoy a community spirit.

sub floor at Corner Cafe

Locals signed the sub-floor during renovations as a symbol of the venue’s goal to become a community hub

The building was purchased and renovated by Randy Litchfield and local restauranteur Adam Politeski was brought in to manage it, with the emphasis on good food and a welcoming atmosphere.  What better way to create a community than with live music?

Facilitating this trend, busy and talented musician David J. Russell came on board to host a weekly open mic on Thursdays.  The magic of an open mic is that it attracts talented musicians from around the area to come out and meet an audience and it attracts music fans to come and see what’s new as well as to enjoy again their favourite performers.  It then becomes the seed of a new branch of the local music scene. The secret of a successful open mic is a welcoming atmosphere, which was the intent of this venue from the start, and an amiable host.

Dave Russell - have guitar, will travel

Dave Russell – have guitar, will travel

Dave Russell is not only amiable but he is an outstanding guitar player and singer (he is also a great songwriter although he puts little emphasis on that aspect of his talent).  Every musician and music fan in the area knows and admires Dave who is one of the busiest players around.  He plays all over the area, often several times a week and often in support of non-profit events.  When he is not performing solo he is fronting his band The Rockafellers.  In addition to his open mic at The Corner Café, he is one of the rotating hosts at The Barn Cooperative (formerly on Sundays, now on Saturdays) open mic in Meaford, and also co-hosts with Chris Scerri about once a month at his open mic at The Leeky Canoe.  He has a warm way of encouraging the talent in others and is always willing to lend his guitar playing to enhance another’s performance when asked.  He is one of those performers that you could watch every night of the week and never tire of it.

The Thursday night open stage starts at 9 tonight and runs “until whenever”.

Jayden Grahlman, Jaret Koop and Rob Elder

Jayden Grahlman, Jaret Koop and Rob Elder

Tomorrow night, three of the area’s most inspiring talents come together in a combination they are calling K.E.G. Stand.  That stands for Jaret Koop, Rob Elder and Jayden Grahlman.  Jaret Koop, who everybody knows from Long & McQuade, and who has played at The Leeky Canoe, is on bass.  Rob Elder, who headlined one of the Meaford Summer Concert Series this year, is on drums.  And front man on guitar is Jayden Grahlman, extremely talented guitar player, singer and songwriter.  A wicked combination!

K.E.G. Stand will be performing from nine to midnight on Friday, October 21st.

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Bambalamb Inspiration At The Barn

There’s really nothing like the open mic jam at The Barn that happens every Sunday.  Partly it’s because there’s nothing like The Barn, an inspired cooperative that brings together so many positive forces that the building itself resonates with a life-enhancing vibe.  Partly it’s the fact that it happens on a Sunday midday and the big windows let in the light from outside.  The evocative artwork that decorates the walls also adds to the ambience.  The fact that it is a non-alcohol, family oriented event contributes as well to the special flavour of the place.  But of course the most important aspect is the music, always piloted by a congenial and talented host (this month it’s Jayden Grahlman) and driven by the heartbeat of the supremely talented Bambalamb Kidd.

Try to remember that feeling when you were very young and you woke up each morning filled with joy and anticipation of the day?  Bambalamb shows you how to reawaken that feeling.  When he adds his percussion to any performance it is lifted to new heights.  Any performer, no matter how reticent or inexperienced, is transformed and inspired, and the audience, always attentive and enthusiastic, is transported as well.

Imagine talent like this adding to a performance:


This month’s host, Jayden Grahlman, makes it that much better.  He has the ability to hear what someone is doing and to provide just the right accompaniment on the guitar.  He knows when to step back and when to lay on the ornamentation and he can always find the right key without having to be told.

Because of these performers, supporters, mentors, and the audience itself, there are many who come to the jam at the Barn to listen and go away thinking, “Next week, I want to try to do something.”  They know they will be encouraged, accepted and loved.

There’s nothing like it anywhere.

The jam runs from noon to two every Sunday and, along with a full slate of inspired performances from all ages, there are healthy organic delicious snacks and beverages available.

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