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US and Canadian Open Mikes - by musicians, for musicians

The Black Duck

Acoustic Or Otherwise Open Mic
Every Thursday at 9:30pm

Hosted by Wendy May

605 Riverside Ave.
Westport, CT


Upcoming Dates

  • Thursday, Dec 03
  • Thursday, Dec 10
  • Thursday, Dec 17
  • Thursday, Dec 24
  • Thursday, Dec 31

I hope that you do return Ed. Thanks again for the feedback. I have friends that run open mics Monday through Thursday. Two use lists, two don't. The main reason why Wendy doesn't use a list on Thursday nights it that, though she wants to include everyone, she likes to have the flexibility to bring folks up at the right time for the best experience for the musicians, and for the non-musicians that are there. The outcome is better when you pair certain people together. That said, those coming in new are likely to get upset because they don't know when they are going to get called up and that can be frustrating to. It's a trade off. She does do a good job of getting everyone up there from week to week and most people seem to be happy with it. As you probably know, it's very hard to make everyone happy but we do the best we can. Thanks again for your feedback Ed. I really appreciate it!
reply to this comment
Ray Simonelli (8/2015)
No list, a 9:30 start, wait for the house band & an hour drive from Clinton are drawbacks. Keeps me from checking this one out. Not much for incentive to burn the gas and be out late to play only so few songs.
reply to this comment
 Mark Fornwald (8/2015)
Mark, thanks for the post. The 9:30 p.m. start time is due to the venue because they want don't want the music to interfere with their dinner crowd. We have to wait for tables to open up to make room in the stage area and that's typically between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. It's true that there's no list, but Wendy May, who runs the jam, does a good job of keeping track of people. If you come down, but have time constraints, let her know and she'll get you up there sooner rather than later. Keep in mind also that the house band is not paid. They provide support and equipment to help Wendy out each week so she does give at least three folks in the house band an opportunity to sing at least one song each on the front end, and then the focus is on everyone else from that point on until closing time. You are likely to get at least three songs of your own but, granted, that may not be worth it to you if you have to drive down from Clinton. Give it a try sometime to find out. She has really great musicians there each week so hopefully it will be worth it for you. Thanks again for the post.
reply to this comment
Ray Simonelli (8/2015)

Thanks for the response Ray. For the record, I'm very experienced with open mics and I get the whole house band thing. I actually felt that the length of the house band's open set was completely appropriate and acceptable. I was watching things from the point when guests began being invited up.

I don't live in CT, though I visit at least a couple of times a year. There was another om that I used to go to on Thursdays when in town and I really liked it, but was discontinued. I was hoping The Black Duck would be a good replacement.

I also realize that the host did not know me. But honestly, I think the lack of a list contributed greatly to dis-organization of the night. A list assists the hosts awareness of how many people are (left) to be accommodated. It also helps the player have an idea how long before it will be their turn. Just my $0.02.

I had pretty much made up my mind to not come back in the future, but I truly appreciate your response, and maybe I will.

reply to this comment
Ed (1/2014)
I appreciate the feedback. I'm sorry that you had a bad experience. We do get a lot of players and Wendy (the host) does make it a point to try and fit in everyone before the end of the night. The folks that you see playing first are the core band for the night to accommodate people that come on their own that do not wish to perform solo so you will see a few people playing pretty regularly for that reason. I encourage you to give it another try. Let me know that you're there (my name is Ray) and I'll remind Wendy that you're waiting to play. Thanks again for the feedback.
reply to this comment
Anonymous (1/2014)
Sorry to be a bummer, but I myself did not feel like I was treated real well here. It was a busy night with a lot of players, but still I felt ignored and blown-off until I reminded the host that I was there (there was no list). People who appeared to be known and/or friends got to play first (even though I am almost positive that I was there before a few of them) and for extended periods of time. Meaning that when it finally did get to be my turn, after waiting patiently for 2 1/2 hours, it was pretty much the end of the night and I was rushed through. Doubtful I would go again. Your mileage may vary.
reply to this comment
Ed (12/2013)

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