David LaMotte drops in to conclude a very nice White Horse open mic

This past Tuesday evening, as host of the open mic at White Horse Black Mountain, I had an experience that exemplified what I want an open mic to be: An event where musicians come together and share their music and spontaneous things happen that make it all worthwhile.

This week, after beginning the evening with a short set of songs, I had the pleasure of introducing a singer-songwriter I hadn't seen or heard for at least a couple of years, and he did a handful of great folk songs on his 12-string. About Lance (from Lance Kurland.com): "I have written songs all my life since the age of 14 and have over 130 songs I have written either on my own or co-written with others. Political, humorous, romantic, lullabies, and some Spiritually profound songs have found voice. I have played at coffee houses, benefits, the SEEE Expo, motorcycle rallies, local markets, 2 Rolling Thunder Events, and I am the musical director for the yearly Organicfest celebration (www.organicfest.org). I am the founder of the rock group HighLight, and the Spiritually oriented group Innergy."

Next up was another singer-songwriter I admire and met through Jenny Greer's Brown Bag Songwriter's Contest. Ken Kiser is an accomplished singer/songwriter who was the winner of the 2006 Flatrock Folk Festival Songwriting Contest. He has a self-titled debut EP containing seven songs. He infuses rock, alt-country and folk/americana. As always, he gave a great performance. For one of the tunes he was joined on stage by Hope Griffin, who sang a beautiful harmony.

Hope then took the stage and performed several of her songs, all with perfectly selected and emotionally played chords and rhythms backed by a star-quality voice. A native of Alaska, she now calls Black Mountain home and has a degree in classical music from Carson-Newman College. Can't wait to here her perform again soon. Wonderful!

Finally, the highlight of the evening was provided by David LaMotte, who needs no introduction. Rather than take the stage, he asked us all to form a circle of chairs, played two beautiful songs, and then we passed the guitar around our circle and shared some additional tunes. We talked about music and the stories behind the songs. With David on the guitar Kim Hughes sang a wonderful rendition of "Amazing Grace" that we all joined in on, and Bob Hinkle performed a native American corn song he learned firsthand many years ago. (Kim and Bob own the White Horse). And David concluded the evening with a moving a capella tune he wrote in the middle of a Scotland night during one of his many trips around the world.

Singer-songwriter David LaMotte performed at White Horse open mic hosted by Dave Turner

Musician, speaker, author and humanitarian David LaMotte

These are the kind of experiences and performances that make open mics special. The White Horse provides a perfect setting, and to all the musicians and music fans out there reading this: I hope you'll join us for the next one! We're there every Tuesday night. Sign up is at 8pm, and the open mic starts at 8:45pm. Come early and enjoy the free Irish Music Jam each week from 6:30-8:30pm.

Wanna go? White Horse Black Mountain is located at 105C Montreat Rd., Black Mountain, NC 28711. Phone: 828 669-0816. Website www.whitehorseblackmountain.com

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