If you go
What: Open mic night hosted by Jay Roemer
When: 8 p.m. Mondays
Where: The Boathouse Pub, 607 Yampa St.
Cost: Free, with a free beer provided to performers 21 and older
Steamboat Springs Wet weather may not be great for mountain biking, but it’s perfect for songwriting.
Or at least it is to Jay Roemer, who looked out the window of his Steamboat Springs home Friday morning and announced he would have to stay inside and play guitar all day.
Roemer hopes others are doing the same to prepare for sharing acoustic music and the spoken word with the community at Monday’s open mic night at The Boathouse Pub.
Roemer hosts the weekly event, which is returning from a mud season hiatus.
For the past two years, Roemer has brought a host of sound equipment to the bar for a community music showcase that begins at 8 p.m. or whenever dinner service is over.
“There’s a lot of good musicians in Steamboat,” Roemer said. “There’s a lot of good musicians that don’t play anywhere but their living room.”
The free event is open to all ages, but Roemer asks that anyone younger than 21 sign up before 8 p.m.
“We have an 11-year-old from the Front Range,” Roemer said. “She writes her own songs. She’s going to be famous someday. She’ll thank me in the liner notes.”
Roemer got his start playing at open mic nights in Steamboat Springs when he moved here about seven years ago. Although he said he never gets nervous, he knows it can be intimidating to take even the smallest of stages when starting off as a musician.
“A lot of people are really nervous,” he said. “But hopefully getting up here and playing one or two or three songs can help them with that.”
One open mic regular knows exactly what stage fright feels like.
Mike Pinder, a cook at the Boathouse, said he started playing in public about 10 years ago and that open mic is the perfect introduction.
“That’s the best place to get started,” he said. “It’s super mellow, it’s super supportive.”
While Pinder usually plays metal and rock, he said Monday nights offer an opportunity for musicians to express what they can do by themselves.
“When I do open mic night, it’s a different release for me to play country or blues or anything,” he said.
Roemer provides an acoustic guitar and fills in any spaces with his own singing and playing. Sometimes, he said, his musician friends will file in and provide a backing band. Some nights, it turns into a mini jam session.
He said he also is looking for comedy or poetry — anything that can be performed into a microphone.
While initially he looked at this gig as just another job, Roemer said he’s come to enjoy his time at the Boathouse, giving local musicians another venue for expression.
“I think it’s a niche that really need to be filled in the community,” he said.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com