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Open Mic Night at Pladd Dot offers stage, spotlight to all
Monthly event next set for March 7
Open Mic
With the help of her ukulele, Melanie Avita Rivera puts her own stamp on Billie Eilish's "What I Was Made For" while performing at Pladd Dot music store's first monthly open mic night on Wednesday, Feb. 7. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Musicians and music fans flocked to Pladd Dot Music for owner Chris Mitchell’s latest manifestation of his love for the music community in Statesboro on Wednesday, February 7 as the local music store hosted its first monthly open mic night. 

Mitchell saw how a great stage and space in his music store matched up with a need in the community for musicians to have a place to share their talents and perform without competing with the din typical in restaurants and bars.

“We want people to see it as an event, but first and foremost, I want it to be a community,” said Mitchell. 

Open Mic
After performing some of his own vocal stylings, Gerald Mosley of Swainsboro, left, sits back and listens to James Pittman of Statesboro sing and play the traditional Appalachian tune "Shady Grove" during Pladd Dot's first monthly open mic night on Wednesday, Feb. 7. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

If the first open mic night was any indication, it will be a very diverse community. The evening started out with a solo vocalist singing an original R&B song, followed by a performer sharing his version of the old Appalachian folk song “Shady Grove.” The repertoire spanned folk, country, pop, jazz and more.

In addition to guitars often seen as a staple of open mics, one could hear a fiddle, a ukulele, keyboards, electrified guitars and basses, percussion, and brass instruments. There were solo artists, duets and combo groups. 

Open Mic
Georgia Southern student Patrick Flynn of Augusta sings the first of two original songs. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Most performed covers, but Mitchell hopes this becomes a big outlet for songwriters, such as Georgia Southern student Patrick Flynn, 22. 

Flynn started as a choir kid in church and school, but picked up the guitar and taught himself to play during the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, he’s been writing original songs and starting to perform them live.

“I like how they stress songwriting and intimacy with fellow musicians at the Pladd Dot open mic,” said Flynn.

Mitchell sees an opportunity to experiment with and tweak the open mic nights as they discover ways to optimize the experience for both performers and audience. 

Open Mic
Pladd Dot owner Chris Mitchell gets performer Keith Bradley wired up for his performance during open mic night. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

For the first evening, each performer got to perform one song. Once the end of the sign-up sheet was reached, performers could perform another song and cycle back through the sign-up list. Mitchell plans to let each performer start out with two songs next time.

He also wants to try setting up tables for dining in addition to seats for the audience so guests can enjoy a whole evening of music. They can order some food and a drink, yet to be determined, for $8.

“We want to find ways to keep it fresh so there could be a different experience each time they come,” he explained.

Open Mic
Jay Brown on keyboards, front, Jacorey Lee on bass, top, Kai Parrish on guitar, left, and Judson Lowe on drums, collectively known as The Backstreet Drivers, fill the stage and share their talent. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The next open mic night is scheduled for Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m. The music will last until everyone has their fill of performing. Mitchell says to check in at the Pladd Dot Facebook page and website as details become available, and an advance sign-up sheet is available in the store at 38 North Main Street.

Open Mic
With her guitar slung over her shoulder, Carley Peden, front, enters to try out a new song as Pladd Dot owner Chris Mitchell takes the stage to kick off the music store's first monthly open mic night on Wednesday, Feb. 7. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Open Mic
After taking his turn soloing on trumpet, Justin Wells, right, sits back and listens as fellow Georgia Southern Zeta Omicron Chapter member Jameson Childers takes his turn on trombone as the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia jazz combo plays some Miles Davis for the crowd. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Open Mic
Keith Bradley sits in the back amongst performers' instrument cases as he waits for his chance to take the stage. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

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