Northwest NEWS

April 10, 2000

Valley Special

Open mike host scores with performers at coffeehouse

   In his three months as host of Duvall's only open-microphone sessions, Cal Donnolley has introduced rock guitarists, poets, folk singers, and African drummers.

   So pleased is he with the quality of talent and sense of community found at weekly Pumps & Grinds Coffeehouse events, he's written a song about it, which he will play, if there is enough time, at the next open mike at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 15, at the coffeehouse, 15614 Main St. NE, Duvall.

   Food and drink, including "great coffee" will be available, Donnolley says, and, like such events everywhere, you never know quite what entertainment you'll get. Performers sign up on a first-come, first-served basis for 15-minute slots. They perform before an appreciative audience, unlike many bar-based open mike patrons.

   "In a bar, people tend to go to drink and have a good time," he says. "They don't necessarily listen to the music. At Pumps & Grinds, people have a good time and listen to the music. From a performer's perspective, it's gratifying."

   And they welcome all--no matter where you're from.

   Donnolley, a retired dentist of Swedish and Australian heritage, moved from Maryland to a small ranch in Carnation last fall. He'd been a singer-songwriter-guitarist as a young man, had hosted open mike sessions at East Coast bars, and had a public address system for the purpose. Coffeehouse proprietors accepted his offer to host.

   "A lot of people play guitar or something and just don't have anywhere to perform," he explains. "This is a way to just get out and do music. It's always more fun to do in front of people than at home."