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A & E Last Updated: Oct 18th, 2006 - 16:01:59

Open Mic? Oh Hell Yes!
By Grant Gifford
Oct 18, 2006, 16:01

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Musician Tom Rooney has performed and hosted open mic events in Seattle for about a year. A regular at Mr. Spots Chai House, he performs everything from old Bob Marley covers to the bluegrass tunes he picked up from his dad while growing up in upstate New York. As just one of the countless musicians attracted to Seattle’s welcoming vibe, he explained his views open mic events and how it has affected his music.

Interview with musician Tom Rooney:

Q: What is the best part about performing in an open mic event?
A: The audience is pretty much obligated to be open to what’s up there. There’s no pressure because everyone that goes to play is doing the same thing. Everyone is open because it’s usually a community of musicians listening.

Q: Where is the best spot in Seattle to listen to free live music?
A: Pike Place Market

Q: Have any other artists from an open mic ever inspired your music?
A: Hell yeah. Each open mic has its own scene, so everyone plays off one another. It’s sort of like a healthy competition. Most of the people I have jammed out with, I have met at an open mic. It’s great because people who don’t have time to be in a band or set up a gig still have a chance to perform. Otherwise, you may never get a chance to hear them. It is really localized. It gives people a chance to get a few songs out of their system and be involved in the neighborhood music scene.

If performing for small audiences sounds like fun to you, or if you are interested in catching local talent for free, check out the locations and times listed.

Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
104 17th AVE S
Seattle, WA 98144
All ages, $5 cover, Every 3rd Saturday at 7:00pm

Wit’s End Bookstore & Tea Shop
770 N 34th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
All ages, Free, Sundays at 7:00pm

Mr. Spot’s Chai House
5463 Leary AVE NW
Seattle, WA 98107
21+ after 10pm, Free, Thursdays at 8:00pm

1021 E Pike
Seattle, WA 98122
21+, Free, First Thursday of every month at 8:00pm

Molly Macguire’s
610 NW 65th St.
Seattle, WA 98117
Free, Mondays at 9:00pm

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