Bill McCarthy’s Open Mic Nights Still Going Strong After 15 Years
Saturday, July 06, 2013
GoLocalWorcester has done countless profiles on dozens of local musicians since its inception back in 2012, but not much has been said about those people behind the scenes who have had an important hand in shining a much-needed spotlight on local music.
One of these men has become a Central Mass music legend because of his incredibly popular open mic nights at locations spread throughout the region. His name his Bill McCarthy, and he hosts some of the longest running open mic nights in Worcester County (since April 1997), for 15 years giving opportunities to both up and coming and veteran musicians to go out on stage and show their stuff to the general public. Many of these musicians can now be found showcased in the archives of this website.
"Music is what I've done all my life," remarks McCarthy. Indeed, he is a musician himself, often performing his own acoustic sets on the weekend, but with his open mic nights he can get more out of his own musicianship, through helping his fellow musicians with theirs.
Musicians can sign up ahead of time for half hour slots at any one of four locations where McCarthy currently hosts his weekly mic nights. Every Sunday you can find him at Perfect Game on Water Street in Worcester 6:30 pm- 10:30 pm; on Tuesdays; you will find him at Greendale's Pub on West Boylston Street in Worcester 7:30 pm- 11:30 pm; every Wednesday he travels out to Northborough to Guiseppe's Grill near the Solomon Pond Mall 7:30 pm-10:30 pm; and he's back in Worcester on Thursdays at Park Grill & Spirits on Park Avenue 8 pm- 11 pm.
Unique and Friendly
Plenty of subtle things make McCarthy's open mic nights uniquely friendly to musicians and audiences alike, as Bill explains.
"People should attend my open mic nights because I allow them to sign up for half hour sets in advance. None of this 'pick a name out of the hat' or 'sign up at 6 PM and go on at midnight' bullshit. Plus, they get to play out of my sweet Bose L1," he states.
The unique scheduling is very easy on the musicians for another important reason as well.
"We provide a venue for people to perform their music without having to have an entire night's worth of material and a huge sound system to lug around."
The most important aspect of all open mic nights, however, is the same.
"I hope that they can hone their craft in front of a live audience and to network with other local musicians," remarks McCarthy.
This combined with the other advantages that uniquely belong to McCarthy's, makes performing at his open mic nights a terrific opportunity that can't be missed for local musicians, and if you aren't a musician but just want to get out on a week night and hear some good music for cheap, Bill's open mic nights are especially ideal for you.
Players can sign up for a half hour sets in advance and schedules can be found on his Facebook page by searching for "Bill McCarthy's Open Mic World." People can also contact at him at [email protected] for more information or to get on the mailing list (make sure you put "open mic night" in the subject box of the email).
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