New location proves to be
a cozy environment for performers
By Denise K. James, Special to The Post and Courier
Thursday, March 25, 2010
A long-running literary event in Charleston, Monday Night Blues,
has called the East Bay Meeting House its home for a while. But just recently,
the East Bay Meeting House moved into a different building across the street
from its old spot. The first Monday Night Blues in the new building took place
early this month, after a long break since December.
Jim Lundy, the event's emcee, expressed joy that the series has
resumed. "I am definitely excited about everyone being back," he
says. "Monday is normally my favorite day of the week. Without Monday
Night Blues, it was just another day."
The owner of East Bay Meeting House, Robine Kattas, decided to
find a new location for his coffee bar after the lease expired. He was lucky
enough to get a new place right across the street, and still on East Bay.
"Of all things, they are putting a wedding chapel into the old
location!" laughs Lundy.
The new environment is decidedly more intimate, which can mean
good things for folks looking for a real listening experience. "The
interior is perhaps half the size of our old home," says Lundy.
"After holding the event in the new location, I think it's actually
better. Everybody feels connected to what is going on at the microphone. You're
in the midst of it all, no matter where you're sitting."
The lineup usually begins with an hourlong feature, followed by
open mike. The show welcomes both writers and musicians, and typically features
a healthy dose of each. "The first evening was a success by any
standards," says Lundy. "The show's format is unchanged. We had a
strong turnout of our core regulars, plus first-timers for the open mike. Our
featured musician that night was Aaron Levy of White Rhino. The open mic list
that followed was heavy on talent. Whenever a new person performs, they get an
extra round of applause since it's a special occasion."
No doubt the new location of the EBMH will be just as popular,
and Monday Night Blues will continue to thrive. Become a Facebook Fan of Monday
Night Blues for the best updates and information about feature performers.
"My association with Monday Night Blues has been the
impetus of my growth as a poet and songwriter," says Lundy. "The
shows constantly change, due to new people drifting in all the time. It is
never the same show twice."