Open Mic Hosted By Rick Bolton Still Rollin’ Along
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Change.
A unique phenomenon in our town is our love of institutions. Health/HISTORY/Horses y’all. While Saratoga does embrace new stuff, and welcomes progressive updates to our landscape from everything from Fingerpaint to the renovation-in-progress Adelphi Hotel, we are less accepting (to put it mildly!) of change when it comes to things that we have grown comfortable with; those that feel like our favorite broken-in shoes.
Mess with these things at your peril.
And yet, it is a fact that changes are coming to Gaffney’s, our beloved anchor of Saratoga’s “spinal chord,” if you will, at 16 Caroline Street. Some are apparent already as the new owners (Saratoga Hospitality – owners of Max London’s and Saratoga Stadium) have officially taken the reins from Gaffney’s Founder John Baker. Some people will like some changes, others will dislike this or that. As the transition plays out, it certainly will be a topic of discussion among many patrons, long-time and relatively new.
Change in itself is not bad, but it can be achy. As achy as those old shoes are comfy. But some things will not change. Chicken wings will still be sold at Gaffney’s, for instance, though other menu items are not being held over.
When it comes to music, the comfortable shoe on the calendar has always been Gaffney’s open mic – an institution on Tuesday evenings (tonight beginning at 7:30 p.m.). Tonight, just like before, just like for years, Host Rick Bolton will once again put the collegial welcome mat out to the musical community.
He will welcome accomplished pro players, like Rick himself, with decades of experience, perhaps working out new material. He will welcome newcomers to the scene, like Ivy and Drew, two young performers who might someday headline on the weekend of Gaffney’s FIFTIETH Anniversary. And everyone in between. Soloists, ensembles, even occasional a cappella commenters about local/national events.
To be sure, there are many open mics, some very good and cutting edge like Host Nate Solomon’s Thursday late-night tilt at the Circus Café. Others sprout up from time to time.
But on Tuesday, on Planet Saratoga Open Mic, it is all Gaffney’s. The night has continued to grow in popularity through the years – as of this morning, Rick told me he had 13 performers already signed up (contact him through his Facebook page if you wish to add yours). “We try to accommodate everyone,” Rick said, “Young performers who need to get home early, other people who can’t make it till the last two hours. We have regulars, but we always have room for you!” About 20 acts will perform on a typical night – and year-round.
Change is good, but for change to be good it needs to be selective. Wings, beverages, and Open Mic at Gaffney’s. That’s a comfortable pair of shoes that still have years of life in them.
Change is good, but sometimes the best news to report is that there is no change.
Jan. 31, 2017