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Nov 20, 2018







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Photo by Austin Sorette




True Brew Open Mic
Nite Out NH

11/06/14



True Brew Open Mike

The scene: Thursdays, starting at 8 p.m.
The spot: True Brew Barista (3 Bicentennial Square, Concord, 225-2776, 
truebrewbarista.com)
Cover: Nope
 
Ever since I left college, I’ve had trouble accepting that Thursday night is not the end of my week. But it doesn’t mean I can’t start my (almost) weekend off on the right note, and I did it recently at True Brew Barista’s open mike night.
I had been there a couple of times before just to hear some live tunes on an off-beat night, but even going out “on the job” didn’t feel much like work. 
The cafe/bar is pretty huge, with two sides catering to whatever mood you’re in. When you first walk in, you enter the cafe side of the bar, which is a good place to be if you’re with a small group of friends or with a date and you’re looking to lounge on the couches, converse over a cup of decaf or a glass of wine, and use the music as background noise.
Over on the opposite side of the bar, the room becomes much louder and the music clearer. Performers play 15-minute sets in the far corner of the room, but the room is still big enough to allow spectators to hang back toward the back wall of the room and chat.
Performers are, for the most part, solo acoustic acts. Rachel Vogelzang, the open mike emcee, said that the bar has seen all sorts of musicians, including a solo bass player, ukulele players, violinists and rappers.
There weren’t any specials going on when I was there, but the drinks and appetizers aren’t really that expensive, and the craft brew selection is pretty good. The venue lends itself to listeners and light-conversation havers; with the stops and starts of the music, it would be difficult to hide sloppiness if one was interested in quantity over quality.
The past few times I’ve been there, I’ve seen one particular duo playing a rough-and-tough style blues. Guitarist Hank Osborne said he and bassist Charles “Chaz” Mitchell frequent the True Brew open mike whenever they can. Both Concord-based musicians work day jobs, and the Thursday night spot is a good opportunity for release.
“We’re recovering musicians,” said Osborne. “We both did this for a living, but now we’ve got jobs that keep us busy a lot of the time. If we don’t get [the energy out], we take it with us. [The open mike] is medicinal.”
Osborne said he and Mitchell play around the Concord area, occasionally making a stop at the open mike at The Draft when time allows. But True Brew, he said, has something special.
“There’s a lot of great musicians here — you see so many different styles and guitar players,” he said. “If you wanted to test out what the local scene was producing, True Brew is a good start.” 
 
As seen in the November 6, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

 






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