Last Friday night, the Wrightwood Blues Society (WBS) presented Open Mic Nite at the Wrightwood Brewing Company. The inaugural first Friday of the month event attracted a full house of music fans enjoying 17 different performances by local musicians and singers. The house band included WBS President Greg Jones on keyboards, Irwin Williams playing bass guitar, Mark Barrera on guitar, Andy Leich playing drums, with John Burcher on saxophone and clarinet, and Craig Kupka on trombone. Leading off, Jones welcomed the audience and then performed his version of the song “Doctor Brown”. Up next, Gayle Dowling and Brittan E sang their song “Mystic Mountain” followed by a song Brittan learned from her Great Grandmother, with clarinet and trombone sliding in. Continuing from Wrightwood’s Got Talent, Isabella Celaya sang the Etta James classic “I’d Rather Go Blind” with Jones singing harmony and the horns adding to the moody presentation. Performing another bluesy song, Leslie Mihalko then belted out Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me” with strong and emotional vocals. Completing a trilogy of sorts, Jones and Williams sang harmonies for The Temptations dream-like soul song “Just My Imagination.” After that, John Mark Veazey took over on keyboards singing two original songs, the second of which was a post-Pandemic anthem entitled “Welcome Back Inside” celebrating the reopening of restaurants and music venues. Continuing to add more performers, Sophia Egnozzi played drums, Brittan E played acoustic guitar and sang, Ben Kantor joined the horn section on saxophone, and Greg Jones scatted on the keyboards. And then slowing things down, Terry Bottorff, Gayle Dowling and Brittan E with Tony Egnozzi on drums, performed John Prine’s “That’s The Way The World Goes Round.” The same cast then performed “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes. Moving on, Mark Barrera and Brittan E then sang lead vocals for a pair of Neil Young songs, powering into “Motorcycle Mama” with the audience cheering and applauding. Additional audience favorites to follow included Mandy Osborn singing a riveting version of “Me And Bobby McGee” and Megan Lucker performing a terse rendition of “House Of The Rising Sun.” Open Mic Nite continues on the first Friday of each month in the Wrightwood Brewing Company, where great music, delicious food and unique brews abound.
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