Doors open at 6 PM. The open mike performances start at 7 PM, with our evening mini-set at 8:45 and the feature at 9:00 PM.
Time* So that we can accommodate as many performers as possible, open mike performances are limited to 5 minutes each, mini-sets to 15 minutes, and features to 30 minutes. Keep these times in mind as you plan your set.
Sign-ups begin at 6 pm, at the table to the right of the stage.
1. You need to be physically present to sign up. "Show up to sign up". No one, except Neal, or his designee, is allowed to sign anyone else up.
2. When you arrive, add your name to the signup list.
3. At 6:45 pm a random draw of performers will be made for the 30 performance slots. Unfortunately, anyone who doesn’t get a slot is out of luck. The random draw will be performed by one of the volunteers.
4. Only the evening’s volunteer, Neal, or his designee, is allowed to make adjustments to the list. For example, school children and first-time ROM performers may be given early performance slots.
5. The open mike starts promptly at 7:00 pm and continues until the mini-feature at 8:45 pm. The open mike will continue after the feature, ending promptly at 10:30 pm.
* Everyone is requested to be tuned up and ready to go when it is their turn and & be sitting by the stage in the designated ROMdeck circle! * Please keep song introductions brief. *
Performers can use one of the two small rooms off the entrance to the performance area for instrument storage, tuning, and practicing (quietly or between performances).
Everyone is requested to maintain a listening room atmosphere and is encouraged to be courteous and respectful of all performers.
We pass the "NOT-HAT" (because it's not a hat, it's a MASSIVE BUCKET!) for the feature. Mike Delaney usually has his "practice session" at 6 PM. So, show up early, stay ‘til late, or drop by when you can.
All refreshments are at NO COST but there is a donation basket, all of which is given to the school to thank them for offering this great venue.
This is an all-volunteer effort, so we would love for you to help out making this open mike a success. Would you like to help us set up, host, mix sound, clean up, etc?
Please consider bringing some food or beverages to share. (And of course this open mike is FAMILY FRIENDLY: non-alcoholic, drug-free, non-smoking and no inappropriate language. Please don't smoke on the school grounds--we don't want to lose this venue due to cigarette butts.)
Recordings: The open mike is recorded multi-track by Steve Friedman of Melville Park Studio. For $15 you can get a studio mixed copy of your performance. See Steve at the soundboard.
Note: ROM now offers a digital keyboard--Yamaha CP-50 stage piano for performers' use. If you plan to use the keyboard for your set, please let Neal or designee know so that it can be set up and ready when you go on.
Please consider arriving early to help us set up, or stay late to help us break down. Random draw at about 6:45. Music begins at 7. The mini-feature goes on at 8:45, followed by the feature at 9:00. Mike Delaney plans to play a "practice set" starting at 6.
A Brief History of Roslindale Open Mike
From the perspective of Mike Delaney
The thread that led to Roslindale Open Mike (ROM) began around 1994 at Java Jo’s coffee shop in East Milton Square, a cozy little establishment, owned by Vance Welch, who now owns both Abby Park and Novara restaurants in East Milton Square. Mark Purcell, a local singer-songwriter, approached Vance and proposed having an open mike, because everyone knows that coffee and live acoustic music are a great fit. When Mark grew tired of running the open mike he handed it off to guitar legend Steve Rapson, who eventually handed it off to Ana Eder-Mulhane. David Jackson refers to Ana as “the Mother Theresa of Folk” and in my “Hey Java Jo’s” song, I refer to Ana as “the sweetest host”, and I think all would agree. Ana’s open mike was the most welcoming place you could imagine.
I learned about Java Jo’s one morning when WUMB had a live broadcast from there, featuring Vance Gilbert. I started playing at the open mike in November 1997 and played there almost every week for about five years.
When Vance opened Java Jo’s II in Jamaica Plain, I asked him if I could have an open mike there, and we had several great years, but Vance eventually closed the open mike down. After that, the East Milton Square Java Jo’s had a fire and Ana’s open mike moved to Jamaica Plain, where it ran until 2009 when it, too, closed.
Along the way, Neal Braverman, our dear leader, became a regular at Java Jo’s. Another Java Jo’s regular was Jimmy Dorr. Jimmy started an open mike at the River Street Grille in Hyde Park. That open mike eventually moved to Emack & Bolio’s in Roslindale Square. Jimmy handed it over to Carlyn Hutchins, but Emack & Bolio’s got a new owner who shut down the open mike.
Neal wanted to continue to have an open mike in Roslindale, so he arranged to start one at the Roslindale Congregational Church. He asked me to be the host and Roslindale Open Mike (ROM) went into existence in January 2009. Neal’s vision, which continues strong after nearly 10 years, is for a welcoming, listening room that is accepting and free for all. In our 10th year we needed to move to a new location, and The Boston School of English has been a gracious, welcoming host since January 2018.
What makes ROM special? Here are my twelve “top ten reasons”…
Roslindale Open Mike