Weekly open mic night showcases local talent

Catching good live music in the Amsterdam area can be a challenge, especially in the fall and winter months, and even more so if you’re looking on a Tuesday night. But in recent years, Sharpshooters on Main Street in Amsterdam has been carrying the torch, offering a regular line up of bands ranging anywhere from country to metal-core to 80’s cover bands. Earlier this fall, the venue launched an open mic night for the second year in a row. The Tuesday event provides the opportunity for up-and-coming musicians and tried-and-true veterans alike to take the stage and showcase their talent.

Yesterday evening, I got to chat with three of the guys who make up the yet-to-be-named host band for the event.

Mike Marzullo, who sings and plays bass, said the owner of Sharpshooters reached out to him about forming the band. He had already played at the venue several times with his regular band, Redline.

“We didn’t know what to expect in the beginning,” said Marzullo. “But we’re having a lot of fun!”

Doug Villano, who sings and plays guitar, said he has known Marzullo for years. He currently resides in Schenectady and performs regularly with a band called Max. Both Marzullo and Villano complimented the quality of the stage and sound system at the venue.

“This place is great,” said Villano. “Look at the size of the stage. Around this area it’s really hard to find a place to accommodate the big sound.”

“It’s a great thing for a new band, to play a great venue with a professional sound system back-line and possibly get a date here in the future,” said Marzullo.

Mike Miseno, who sings and drums, currently plays with a cover band called Jukebox Killers. He has also served as the front man for the now mostly-retired metal cover band Black Tooth Grin.

Miseno said the open mic event is a good way for musicians to connect with each other, especially if they are looking to put together a group.

Villano agreed and said, “I’ve already met ten musicians I didn’t know.”

“We welcome everybody to come down…all styles,” said Villano.

The host band provides a drum set and guitar amps for anyone who wants to play. In addition to the three host band members, approximately a half dozen musicians from around the area were there Tuesday, sometimes playing solo, and other times jamming with each other and the host band members. Patrons at the mostly full bar were treated to a variety of music including rock, country, and several classical guitar numbers.

Open mic night at Sharpshooters is scheduled for every Tuesday, with musician sign ups starting at 7:30pm and music starting at 8:00pm. Visit Sharpshooters’ Facebook page for more information.

(Photos by Tim Becker)

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.