The Live Oak in Fairmount will be missed for many things.
I saw some great shows there and met some great people. The place had a great listening-room kind of environment that Funkytown desperately needed — a place where musicians could ply their trade and know that the people in the room were actually paying attention to the music.
Sound man Joshua Ryan Jones was a huge part of that, both for his work behind the board and the open-mic night/recording session he ran at the place.
So when I heard that Jones had restarted the tradition at Main at South Side (M.A.S.S, as it’s known), I had to check it out.
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“Honestly, the only difference is there’s not food,” Jones told me. “I feel like the vibe is pretty much the same — where people are listening, and are pretty serious about the performances.”
When I got there, there was a small crowd gathered around while a singer/songwriter performed on stage. Each artist gets three songs, and access to a receptive audience. We had seasoned professionals that I’ve seen around town for a long time, and new performers just getting their feet wet. Everyone is welcome, no matter what style or skill level.
“We invite poets and comedians and hip-hop artists and singer-songwriters basically to come out, that’s kind of the idea,” Jones said.
There’s no cover, and all ages are allowed. Jones records every performance and for 10 bucks, you can even get a copy.
“I mix the track and master it for internet streaming,” Jones said, “so if you want to upload it to your Bandcamp or if you want to show it to other guys you want in your band — give them an idea what your song sounds like, or if you want to cut a demo — this is the cheapest way to do it.”
Additionally, one of the unique things about the old Live Oak open-mic night was the possibility of landing radio airplay from your performance. Jones had a radio show on FM 97.5 The Pirate.
Although there has been no official announcement, Jones is working on reviving that radio show with recordings from M.A.S.S. The Pirate is steadfast in its promotion of live music in Fort Worth, and this fits right in with their mission.
The open-mic night is every Monday. Signup starts at 6 p.m., but when I was there they added performers throughout the night. There’s no cover, and all ages and skill levels are welcome.
Open Mic Night
- Monday, Aug. 7
- Main at Southside, 1002 S. Main St., Fort Worth