Colin McGuire – thank you for your visit – do come back with your guitar. Down a bottle of Morning Glory espresso stout before you play to inject some wickedness into the evening.
Beans In The Belfry, 122 W. Potomac St., Brunswick
When: 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month
Best Moment: Meeting Gary Free, a 76-year-old local musician who wouldn’t stop telling the 14-year-old’s mother that her daughter needed to “learn some standards” for the next time she plays.
Synopsis: Have a family? Feel like hanging out in a 1910 red-brick church building? Like to sit on couches? Love walking into rooms that look like Martha Stewart’s zany new-age nephew might have decorated? This place is for you. Hosted by Tomy “One M” Wright (almost one year of Frederick Playlist, and writing “Tomy ‘One M’ Wright” still delights me to no end), it’s the cleanest, kindest, warmest, most-welcoming option you have on a Thursday night. The open mic has been running for six years, according to Wright, and if you have a kid who can play a ukulele and write songs — much like Gabrielle Zwi, whose mother warned me of her mom-eratzi status very quickly and
somewhat aggressively — there isn’t a single good reason in the universe to not take advantage of this platform. It’s as family-friendly as it gets and the talent in Brunswick is worth the 15-minute drive. There were members of Willie And The Chaperones and Signs Point East there, and Wright, himself, had no problem sitting in with pretty much everyone, making it a communal atmosphere that goes a long way
for parents who don’t want to see their daughter cover a Disney song on a ukulele in the middle of a bar that sometimes smells like french-fried urine. Also: They get bonus points for shouting out to “the guy from the newspaper.” Also (again): They get bonus bonus points for having someone like Free on hand, reminding me every three minutes that he once played with Patsy Cline at the firehall in Brunswick. Legendary.
Quote Of The Night: “My name is Gary Free. Free as a bird.”
Rated On A Scale Of Justin Bieber To Razorblade: The Soundtrack To Disney’s “Frozen.”