Where the Music is Brewin’…the Co-op Coffeehouse!

Lou Mulligan & John Wall; photo credit, S. Harrigan

Let’s look back in time to October 7, 2017, when the Honest Weight Food Co-op held its first Coffeehouse Open Mic Night. Picture a scene with an incredible line-up of musicians and comedians cheered on by a packed audience. Count the 16 acts that came to perform their best for an enthusiastic crowd. Consider how we squeezed so much talent into the Co-op’s cozy little community room, filling every inch of space with people and instruments. Imagine being drawn into the area by the sound of a Beatles’ song playing.

Steve Holmes formally opened the event, when he stood up and captivated the crowd with a soulful acapella tune from a time long ago. Before the night was through, we were laughing with three comedians, serenaded by a lullaby, and entertained by blue grass, traditional folk tunes, original songs, and classic rock and roll.

Dave Drotnar on guitar; photo credit S. Harrigan

There were so many fine performers, I can only highlight a few here. John Wall played a moving rendition of “Old Man” (Neil Young) and “It’s So Hard to Be Without You” (Ryan Adams). Lou Mulligan charmed us with his banjo, singing “Gotta Travel On” (Billy Wayne Grammer) and “Leftover Biscuits” (traditional bluegrass), while accompanied by Roger Allen on harmonica and John Wall on guitar. Soon, we were all clapping along to the rhythm of “Folsom Prison Blues” (Johnny Cash) as Dave Drotar played “I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend, I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when….” And, that’s not all. Laura Hagen skillfully performed Renaissance and Baroque music, as well as bird songs, on an impressive array of recorders.

There can be no doubt that music has a home at the Co-op. You can hear live performances scheduled in the café, attend monthly folk music sessions for guitar and ukulele players, or listen to local bands at special events such as the Homegrown Happening that was held here on October 21st. The Open Mic Night is just the newest addition to Honest Weight’s music scene!

Roger D. Allen, harmonica; photo credit, S. Harrigan

The idea of hosting a Co-op coffeehouse had been percolating for quite some time. The Membership Committee brought it to fruition with the help of dedicated coffeehouse enthusiasts Judith Brink, Steve Holmes, Cathy Holmes, Roger Allen, Cynthia Mulford, and other music buffs.

Got talent?  The Co-op plans to feature the Coffeehouse Open Mic on the third Saturday of each month. The last one for this year will be on Saturday, December 16. All are welcome. Performer registration begins a half hour before the Coffeehouse start time and space fills up. Please check future announcements for details at the Honest Weight Events Page. https://www.honestweight.coop/page/classes–events-5.html

Sheila Harrigan has been a Co-op member-owner since 2012 and started in the Wellness Department on Central Avenue. In her current role, she greets customers with samples of tasty foods and beverages as a service to the Marketing Department. She has played Tai Chi for eight years and continues to practice as both a student and as a certified instructor. (Ed. Note: The practice of Tai Chi is described as playing and practicing.) When not practicing Tai Chi, Sheila works on social services policy issues and plays the ukulele.