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Woody’s Open Mic Mondays

By Terry Steeves on May 28, 2014

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Continuing my series on Open Mic/Open Jam nights in our Capital, this month brings me to the wonderfully snug pub of Woody’s in Ottawa’s Golden Triangle downtown area of Elgin St., a busy street which hosts a wealth of activity throughout the year, including the annual Ball Hockey Tournament, Charity Chili Cook-Off, and has been affectionately dubbed Ottawa’s Sens Mile.

Host Pat Ang.

Host Pat Ang.

Woody’s Urban Pub, founded in 1986, boasts an excellent bistro/pub-style menu, a great selection of draught beers and wines, and a large front window which opens up onto a quaint sidewalk patio. Thursday nights feature live music by one of a multitude of local solo artists. On Friday nights, you’ll find the DJ spinning some old school beats. Sunday nights is the home of their ever popular Karaoke night. Which brings us to Woody’s Open Mic Mondays…a tradition which began approximately 8 years ago.

I strolled in to find host, Pat Ang, clearing tables and chairs to set up the stage area for the performers along the south wall of the modest sized room, sandwiched between the bar and a lovely stone hearthed fireplace. He tells me that on average, he can expect anywhere from 4 to 7 musicians throughout the night, allowing each about 4 to 5 songs in a rotating format, with the opportunity to take the stage again later.

Duo act, J.D. and K.D. spread some of their fun energy on the crowd.

Duo act, J.D. and K.D. spread some of their fun energy on the crowd.

 

Here, you will find one or two performers at a time, in more of an acoustic open mic scenario, rather than a jam which can house full sized bands on the stage. There are 2 mics, 2 stands, patch cords provided for acoustic guitars, and a full PA. Things get underway at 10pm, with Ang playing an introductory few songs to kick off the evening. Before each performer is called up in order of appearance from the sign-up sheet (kept on the bar), he makes sure he has connected with them beforehand, to welcome them and ensure they are set-up with everything they need.

Left:  Songstress Valerie Trudel performs her beautifully sung originals and covers. Right: Phil Kesler performs John Mayer's Neon.

Left: Songstress Valerie Trudel performs her beautifully sung originals and covers. Right: Phil Kesler performs John Mayer’s Neon.

 

The atmosphere was inviting and relaxed, with the front window opened up onto the bustling nightlife of Elgin St., letting in the lovely breeze of a warm May evening. The clientele was made up of students and neighbourhood residents, who come to share a pint with friends, and offer their support to the performers. I found Pat Ang to be a very friendly and gracious host, attentive to the scene, and who truly enjoys what he does. If you’re looking for a comfortable place where you can bring in your acoustic guitar to share a few of your tunes, original or otherwise, then you will feel at home here at Woody’s Open Mic Mondays.

Over the last 20 years, Terry’s vast creativity in the music world has undergone a steady surge of growth, branching out to new facets, and acquiring new connections along the way. She has turned her love of music into the powerful tool by which she voices not just her own passions in life, but showcases the passions of others as well.

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