Atticus Teahouse presents open mic jams
January 28, 2014
When the Sundance Film Festival called it a wrap last weekend, the ASCAP Music Café went with it.
But there still is a venue presenting live, intimate singers and songwriters on Thursdays — Atticus Coffee, Books and Teahouse.
The venue, located at 738 Main St., presents an open mic jam on Thursdays from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
The host is Park City-based artist Jennie Gautney.
The sessions were originally held on Friday, but Gautney found more people tended to visit Atticus on Thursday.
"It also worked out better for the local working musicians in town to do it on Thursdays," Gautney said. "We also made it a little later in the afternoon, so we’ve been getting a little more people in the coffee shop to hear the musicians at that time."
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The idea was originally a way for local musicians to meet other local musicians.
"I wanted to meet them and give them a place to network, but it has morphed into something different," Gautney said. "Now, it feels like a way for these part-time musicians to get away from their day-to-day lives and join us to entertain and play music together."
Musicians who play different styles are welcome to sign up.
"We have guitarists, bassists, different percussionists and people who play the harmonica come in and play," Gautney said. "Besides meeting people and seeing everyone have so much fun playing, it’s great to see people who come to listen to these musicians.
"I also would prefer if people brought in their acoustic instruments, but if someone brings in an electric guitar, I won’t say no," she said. "We just have to make sure the volume is at a decent level."
The sessions also serve as showcases for these musicians.
"We have people come from the Egyptian Theatre, KPCW and other entertainment outlets come and hear what we have to offer," Gautney said. "That helps all the musicians here in town."
Musicians can arrive a little before 3 p.m. on Thursday to sign up.
"That helps me because I have a list and don’t have to worry about the order or who is supposed to be playing," Gautney said. "People should sign up to play, but if someone comes in late on Thursday and wants to join in, we won’t turn them away."
When Atticus started the jam sessions a few months ago, Gautney felt good about what she was doing.
"I had an idea that the sessions would be a success and I really wasn’t too worried about whether or not we would get people to play," she said. "It’s been very successful, so I haven’t had to worry too much about it."
There is no age limit to perform, but Gautney does ask that those who sign up have some experience and are comfortable playing in front of a live audience.
"I would love to eventually have someone bring an electric piano," she said. "I would be so game for that."
The most artists that have jammed on the Atticus stage at once is four.
"I’ve had everyone from high school students to senior citizens play here and every age in between," she said. "Considering that Park City is such a small town, you feel like you’re supposed to know everybody, but that’s not the case."
Many people who sign up for the open mic are artists Gautney has never met.
"One time there was an older gentlemen I didn’t know, whose lyrics had this deep political message," she said. "Another time we had a guy come in with his harmonica, who just sat at the edge of the stage and played."
One of the nice things about Atticus as opposed to a nightclub or bar, is that people who watch the jam sessions are there for the music.
"The artists don’t have to play cover songs that people know," Gautney said. "The musicians can actually show off your talents and play songs that are intricate and interesting."
The only issue is the open jam is played for free.
"We can’t pay the musicians, but everyone who plays will get a complimentary latte," Gauntey said. "We want people to take advantage of this opportunity."
For more information about the Atticus open mic jam sessions, visit Atticus Coffee, Books and Teahouse at 738 Main St., call 435-214-7241 or visit http://www.atticustea.com.
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