The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 14, 2011

Blackthorn brings back open mic night

JOPLIN, Mo. — An open mic night at a Joplin nightspot is back by popular demand. Blackthorn Pizza and Pub welcomes anyone with musical talent to take the stage every Tuesday night.

“We did this when we first opened, then stopped because so many others were doing them,” said Roger Hannifin, owner of the pub. “But a lot of our customers really wanted us to do it again.”

Each night’s entertainment is hosted by Asher Poindexter, bassist and vocalist for the band Me Like Bees. The band has played regularly at Blackthorn for about a year, he said. Poindexter said he was recruited by one of the pub’s bartenders.

“I enjoy playing there,” Poindexter said. “They have a good crowd, and I thought it would be cool to host an open mic every week.”

The first open mic night was held during the first week of January. Each session includes Poindexter playing some solo songs, and then whomever brings an instrument or voice can take the stage.

Poindexter said while the open mic night is not yet set up for full bands, any individual or duo with instruments is welcome to share a song. Or poem. Or comedy bit.

“We’ll accept pretty much anything,” he said. “Comedy, poetry, something you’ve written.”

Open mic sessions give artists a place to try new material and get valuable stage time. Poindexter said such sessions are big deals for musicians and bands just starting out.

Hannifin said that there is plenty of talent in the Joplin area to take advantage of such a session.

“This is a pool for talent,” Hannifin said. “I’m from California, and it’s tough there. A band has to rent rehearsal spaces and doesn’t get the opportunities. But there’s not a lot for kids to do here, so they play, and get talented.”

And the crowd at Blackthorn is well suited to hear what they have to perform.

“There’s no gong here,” Poindexter said. “The crowd is so easy-going and relaxed. They’re acceptable to all kinds of music. I really doubt that anyone not trying to get booed would get booed.”

Want to go? Or play?

Blackthorn Pizza and Pub hosts an open mic night at 9 p.m. every Tuesday. There is no cover charge. It is located at 510 S. Joplin Ave.

Details: 417-623-2485.

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