J S J B F  Youth Open Mic – March 2022

By Michael Murphy

March’s Youth Open Mic Night, coordinated by board member Joseph V. Riggio, was a fun and successful time despite only three young musicians turning out to perform.  With snacks, including Ghirardelli chocolate brownies, pizza and beverages on hand for everyone, attendees can’t fail to enjoy these entertaining evenings.

First of the three to take the mic was Tanner of local indie band The Nobodies, opening with an original composition Aloha.  With a syncopated rhythm on acoustic guitar and affecting a Reggae vibe, he told of a fantasized trip to Hawaii with a sound reminiscent of Pop Rock band Goo Goo Dolls.  He also covered Sublime’s biggest hit Santeria with notable good expression in his vocal delivery.  In a nod to that date, 3/11/22, he covered a song by funk rock band 311, giving us their beautifully mellow Amber.

Next up was a regular of YOM, Melissa La Rochelle. On acoustic guitar she covered Dylan Conrique’s 2022 release Birthday Cake with beautiful vocals.  Then she shared an original, Somebody Who Will Love Me Better, a breakup song in the style of pop singer-songwriter Halsey.  Melissa ended her set with another cover dedicated to her late father Mark, the founder and original coordinator of our YOM.  She rendered Ed Sheeran’s Supermarket Flowers softly melodic with doleful vocals.

Third performer of the evening was Eve Riggio also on acoustic guitar.  Of her three, the notables were her covers of Nite Song by Lemon Twigs and Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire.  In a unique and creative way to cover someone else’s arrangement, she did the former employing a slow, slight drone, dragging out lyrics on and off which seemed to place emphasis on certain ones.  In Ring Of Fire Eve really showcased her vocal range, making it her own.  It was very well done so that all in the house enjoyed it.

With just three talents present, there was time enough for them to do second sets.  Tanner returned with Lightswitch by local Pop Music star Charlie Puth, in Puth’s typical up-tempo and higher vocal mode.  Tanner’s original Dance With Me was a funky, up-tempo bop in the pop fashion of Ed Sheeran.  This was Tanner’s first appearance at our YOM and he demonstrated a penchant and facility for the Funk/Reggae genre(s).  We were so glad to see and hear him and we hope he returns soon to share more tracks off his upcoming solo album.

Eve’s second set consisted of original Whole In My Chest, which seemed a vengeful caustic torch song sung in a droning, splenetic manner and a cover of the George Michael classic Careless Whisper.  Her rendition performed in a singular and morose style was poignant yet delightful which made it extremely enjoyable.

Our next Youth Open Mic is scheduled for April 15 at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank where any of the local musical youth will find a friendly, supportive and fun forum in which to perform.

Signup sheet available at 6:30 pm.

Music starts 7 pm.

$5 donation to perform or attend.

Under 21 to perform, all ages may enjoy.

Music is not limited to Jazz and Blues.

Full backline provided, musicians bring instruments and pedals.

For further info contact Joseph V. Riggio @ 732-670-2157.

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Instagram: @jsjbf_youth_open_mic