The Beatles, Bob Dylan and now the Rolling Stones share something in common with Kanaka Open Mic artists.
Each Rock and Roll Hall of Fame name has been used as an anniversary theme, and this year’s sixth anniversary has those attending brushing up on Mick Jagger trivia and Start Me Up lyrics.
To be held June 10 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Kanaka Creek Coffee, open mic participants will be encouraged to choose from the more-than five decades of songs the Stones have immortalized with performances worldwide. As well, trivia questions will focus on the band’s pioneer status and legendary contribution to their industry.
Organizer, emcee and participant Pam Burns says the artists who typically perform at the event often interpret the music of their role models rather than try and copy it.
“It makes for a more interesting evening,” she said.
Although walk-ins are allowed and encouraged to participate in the event, Burns warns its popularity has made it challenging to simply commit at the last minute.
“The event starts at 5 p.m. and is usually completely filled in by 5:30 p.m.”
A typical evening roster for Kanaka Open Mic can include two or three bands, as well as 15 to 20 solo artists, performing music and poetry. Their performances are as diverse as their age range, which spans from toddler to senior.
Thirsty Bill, who wears a 10-gallon hat and performs Johnny Cash melodies for example, is in his 80s and has been a popular attraction in years past, said Burns.
The event, purposely held in a venue that holds no media distractions, continues to be non-competitive. However, some performers have gone on the bigger things. Ria Jade, a student at Thomas Haney secondary, now has her own TV show, while indie group Alexander France were signed by micro-label Dangerous Pastry Records.