Ridge Rock open mic a gig opportunity

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – It’s an opportunity to take your music skills to the next level, performing in front of a live audience.

The Ridge Rock Brewing Co. holds an open mic afternoon the last Sunday of every month and it’s hosted by Gambit Music Academy owner and music teacher Jennifer Johnson.

Johnson, opened her business roughly in 2019, after more than 20 years as a working musician while also earning a Masters Degree in Music.

She started hosting the Ridge Rock’s open mic last October. Originally it was a Thursday evening affair, but has now settled quite comfortably in to Sunday afternoons. The open mic concept is musicians bring their own instruments, hook up to the Ridge Rock audio system and can play a couple songs for the audience. Just show up, put your name on the sign-up sheet, and then rock out.

Last Sunday (March 26), was one of the open mic’s largest lineups with 12 different acts, usually solo or a duo, performing.

“We had a great turn out for this one,” Johnson told West Carleton Online Thursday (March 30). “It’s been hit or miss, but it’s starting to gain momentum.”

Johnson hosted the odd open mic night in Montreal while a working musician in the city during her 27 years there.

“I just thought it would be fun to do one here, so close to home and being a part of the local music scene and getting the chance to meet new musicians,” Johnson, who’s own business the Gambit Music Academy, is literally just across the street from the Ridge Rock.

Last Sunday featured a wide variety of musicians performing a wide variety of music. Ages range from teenagers to the senior set, and not all of them are local.

“One young singer was just housesitting in the area, and dropped by,” Johnson said. “She said she’d be back.”

Johnson says several of the musicians performed locally in the past in pre-COVID times.

“I heard quite a few of Sunday’s performers used to play at the Juke Joint,” she said.

Johnson hopes last Sunday’s turnout is a sign of things to come.

“If we keep getting great turnouts like last Sunday, we’ll try to do it more days,” Johnson said. “We’re looking forward to summer and maybe doing a couple outside on the patio.”

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