Access Showcase will end with jam session |

Access Showcase will end with jam session

Public invited to annual hootenanny

For the past 11 days, the Access Film Music Showcase has presented local and international musicians at The Spur Bar and Grill.

Some of the performers this year included Christopher Hawley, Big Little Lions, Bill McGinnis and Taylor Martin.

The goal for the concert series, as it is every year, is to introduce musicians to filmmakers who come to Park City for Sundance and Slamdance.

As Film Festival week comes to a close, the showcase is gearing up for its wrap-up hootenanny that will be held Sunday, Jan. 29.

The Hootenanny is Access Film Music Showcase director and programmer “Chicago” Mike Beck’s favorite day.

“It’s like my Christmas,” Beck told The Park Record. “Most of the filmmakers have gone home, so this is just a get together to have fun and enjoy the day. We all get to
hang out, relax and enjoy music, fellowship, good beer and food.”

The “we” Beck referred to is a collective term for musicians who have either played
during the showcase or want to enjoy a jam session.

“The event is totally wide open to the public,” Beck said.

Sometimes the Hootenanny is the only day some local and out-of-town musicians show up to the Accesss Film Music Showcase.

And musicians of all proficiency are welcome and encouraged to attend.

“Professionals, semi-professionals, amateurs and people who are just learning how to play can join in,” Beck said. “We do a song-circle format. Everyone who plays or is learning how to play a guitar gets a turn to do a song.

“We go in order and give everyone a shot and it comes back around to those who want to do another,” he said. “If you’re just learning a guitar, this is a great way to watch other people’s hands and learn the chord changes for a lot of different songs, because we do a lot of covers and many do originals.”

The only limitation is the Spur is only open to ages 21 or older.

“Unfortunately, we can’t have younger people in the hootenanny,” Beck said. “But there is no cover charge all day, and it’s also the first day you can park for free at the China Bridge parking lot.”

Sunday’s event will be divided into two showcases.

The acoustic hootenanny starts at 3 p.m., and an electric “fruitenanny” starts at 9 p.m.

“We only used to do an acoustic hootenanny and play from 3 to 8 p.m. and then call it a night,” Beck said.

One day, Gary Allan, a ski instructor at Deer Valley and a musician who has toured with Beck, asked if he could play electric guitar at the hootenanny.

“He’s an amplifier and electric guitar freak,” Beck said. “I said, ‘No. It’s acoustic only.’ And then he said, ‘OK. Let’s do acoustic and then afterwards lets do an electric fruitenanny.’ That sounded so crazy that we decided to do it.”

The fruitenanny will feature a drum kit, bass and guitar amps.

Beck looks forward to the type of talent that will attend the Sunday gathering.

“We used to host a weekly hootenanny in the 1990s at Thea’s, which was a club that used to be at Treasure Mountain Inn,” he said.

That’s when Joy Tlou of the duo Joy & Eric started to sing in front of people.

“He had never sung professionally in his life, but started coming to the hootenanny at Thea’s,” Beck said. “It kind of inspired him to perform, so he met Eric [Sopanen] and formed the duo that has become a luminary of the local scene.”

While the Access Film Music Showcase has helped people such as Tlou further their careers in music, it has also helped Beck with his.

“It has brought so much to my own life as a touring musician, as well,” he said. “At times, it’s all consuming and I think, ‘Oh, my God, what am I doing?’ But it’s a thrill for us when we see an artist get a placement in a film or TV.”

The Access Film Music Showcase acoustic hootenanny and electric fruitenanny will be held Sunday, Jan. 29, at The Spur Bar and Grill, 352 Main St. For information, visit

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