I can’t take credit for the title of this post. It’s a lyric from a song I heard performed Wednesday night at Caleb’s Poetry Open Mic by songwriter, Aaron Price. There is no shortage of open mics in Asheville, but Caleb’s, which had been held at Noble Kava on Eagle Street in downtown, was one of the coolest. Unfortunately, gentrification has made it’s way to Eagle Street, and Noble Kava is no longer there. So the weekly open mic has moved a few blocks over to the Altamont Theatre on Church Street. (And Noble Kava has moved to West Asheville.)
The poetry open mic was always an eclectic affair – a mix of everything from poetry, to music, rap, magic tricks, whatever. Noble Kava was a small place with exceptional ambiance, and the crowd always spilled outside onto the sidewalk where the eclectic entertainment was usually just as good as it was inside. When I heard the open mic had moved, I was worried that the special ambiance would be lost. Happily, it has not. Although the Altamont is not as funky as Noble Kava, the sound and acoustics are much better, it is still a small comfortable place, and most importantly, Caleb and all the regulars were there. If they can funk it up just a little, it will be perfect.
There are no eagles on Eagle Street, but there is a church on Church Street, and it is directly across the street from the Altamont. The sidewalk was crowded, and the music spread across the street to the steps and the lawn of the church. As I was leaving, I noticed the three guys pictured above hanging out on the church steps. From left to right they are Caleb, (another Caleb, not the one who hosts the open mic) Broden, and Jeremiah. How Asheville is that? Not a Billy Bob in sight.