At first glance, Cocoa Beach looked like a typical tourist attraction beach destination. Upon deeper look, it’s a vibrant little community with lots of opportunity for the arts, a great music scene for its size, and even its own Escape Room! On the other hand, the following images show how lazy or perhaps unobservant the folk here are.
I spent a day in Cocoa Beach and ended up taking a short drive south to Melbourne to attend an open mic at Open Mike’s! When I saw the name of the venue, I knew I had to see it.
Open Mike’s is a music store that added being an in-house roast coffee shop and finally became a bar & restaurant and live music venue. I’ve never seen a place quite like it. It’s a large space with lots of local art and instruments decorating the walls which can be purchased at any time.
My performance experience there was a blast. I told the audience I would be playing two sad songs, and upon completing the first one, I asked, “Are you guys good with another sad song or do you want something upbeat?” Several people hollered out, “Sad!” Another added, “Make us cry!” One person said, “Upbeat!” This was my first time being implored by an audience to bring on the sad, and I obliged. I covered Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and told the story of how I learned it. Bob Callaway, my uncle-in-law, recently lost his son and shared a video of the song stating, “This is the song for the rest of my life.” I wanted a way to express my sympathy so I learned the song.
Afterward several people took turns coming to sit and talk with me and a few bough albums. One gentleman educated me thoroughly on the area and the local art scene. Several people signed the van.
Though I didn’t get to see Michael Phaneuf, my kitesurfing friend, I decided I needed to get down to Ft. Lauderdale to really start preparing the 36 songs for the gig with Fanci Collins at “World Famous Parrot Lounge”.
On to Ft. Lauderdale!