Some love open mics, others can do without them, but there’s no doubt that open mics are a valuable part of the indy, grassroots music scene, busy, ubiquitous, and hustling no matter which direction you travel. The musician/songwriter views open mics as a way to network with other musicians, maybe finding someone they can co-write with, hone their talents before a microphone and under the lights, test-drive a new song, and even audition for the nights there are paid talent on the same stage.
Hank’s Texas Grill has offered an open mic for most, if not all, of the years it’s been open. Now, for the third year, the McKinney venue is offering more to musicians — an Open Mic Competition, which started Wednesday (Dec. 5) and continues through December. That night and this upcoming one (12.12.12 — can’t have that reiteration for another 100 years) were and are the rounds for anyone to qualify. There were 21 performers last week who vied to move on into the third round. Eight of them were successful, and will play again Wednesday, Dec. 19. Those are: Sam Gurksnis, Kyle Brooks, Ryan Strober, Vince Lujan, Bryan Adam Joyner, the 2011 champ Kyle Thompson, Jake Reeves, and Saille Branch.
Those who didn’t get selected to move on last week can get back on stage this coming Wednesday for a second try, in addition to those others who chose to wait a week. Each performer gets two songs, and it doesn’t matter whether they are original or cover songs. One, this past week, had an accompanist, the others played solo. Some stand to perform, others sit on a bar stool. Some played only guitar, others added harmonica.
Hosts are Ronnie Scott, Tyler Rogers, and Travis Parker are hosts, kick-off artists, and judges. Suggested that one get there by 7:30 p.m. to sign up. Hank’s is on the southeast corner of U.S. 75 and White Avenue in McKinney.