Fort Worth has a long and rich history of local, live music. Many, like Luke Wade and Leon Bridges have made national waves lately. Whether famous or not, you can find dozens of talented singer/songwriters and musicians hitting up weekly open mic and songwriter events throughout the week.
Now in its third year, the Jody Jones Songwriter Showcase has grown in reputation to the point that the event's founder Jody Jones is booking artists several months in advance. What started as a creative idea to book a revolving lineup of Monday night gigs at The Grotto has grown into a popular live music and networking event at The Magnolia Motor Lounge that runs every Monday night from 8pm to midnight.
"I put a lot of effort in scouting and booking the show," Jones said. "Six months ago, we moved to Magnolia Motor Lounge since it was a larger venue. The crowds here are great. We've had performers from Europe, Australia, L.A., and all over."
With a mission to bring the the hardest working local, regional, and national songwriters to an intimate listening room environment, the showcase has created new opportunities for local musicians to network with touring acts and reach new audiences without the burden of playing a three-hour set.
"I do open the door to newcomers, but I'm checking their talent level," Jones said. "We're open to all kinds of people and all kinds of music as long as it's got something to say and is well performed."
Every Monday, The Live Oak offers a weekly session hosted by Bobby Dade. In true open mic tradition, musicians are free to sign up the night of the event which begins at 8pm. $2 Lone Star pints and $2 wells, along with a unpredictable music selection from home-grown talent, should make the event lively and enjoyable.
On Tuesdays, the White Elephant Saloon hosts the longest-running open mic in Fort Worth, the Texas Music Showcase. The event is free and starts at seven. Local musician Tim Angsten recently took over the reigns of this venerable program.
And Fort Worth is soon to have its first classical music-oriented open mic night thanks to Open Classical. The Dallas-based group has held weekly open mic session in Dallas and Frisco for a number of years now. The group's founder, Mark Landson, saw a need for the exposure that open mic sessions lend other genres of music. The Open Classical experience begins Feb 19 with followup events the second and third Thursday evenings at The Live Oak yet. You can follow their website to see when you can show off your piano or violin skills soon.
Every popular singer/songwriter started off at an open mic or singer showcase event. The breadth of talent out there is truly outstanding and most of these events don't charge a cover. Checking out one of these weekly events is a great way to get on the ground floor of rising local talent so one day you can say ‘I knew that person before they were famous.'