Open Mic Nights a successful venture at Messy Jessy’s

Messy Jessy’s Bar & Grill in Aberdeen is offering a new, fun night to its calendar that will allow musicians another platform to share their love of music.

Messy Jessy’s — 212 S. I St. — is hosting open mic nights on Tuesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. Chris Haley, owner of Redact Records and frontman for the band A Lien Nation, explained what’s great about this new venture.

“I try to maintain consistent contact with as many locals as possible in hopes of drawing the community closer together,” Haley said. “I keep tabs on eight to 10 of the local songwriters and have been prepping them with the idea of taking their songwriting to the next step, which is ultimately forming a group. I have expressed that this open collaboration night will allow people to open a dialog with their instruments and peers. Often great partnerships can come from this sort of engagement. If anything, it breeds tons of inspiration and that is what a scene is all about.”

Haley’s band formed in 2011. He talked about how doing such events helped him as a musician.

“I think the biggest lesson in running free-form jam events is to ‘keep your head on a swivel and listen with both ears.’ Ultimately learn to play for the song and not your own ambition,” Haley said.

One performance this past Tuesday that Haley loved was the one Dave Morris, Donna Albert, Ken Albert, Art Sartwell and Bill Proffitt put on. Morris rocked out on the guitar. Donna Albert was on the keys, Ken Albert was on the cajón, Sartwell played the guitar, mandolin and harmonica, and Proffitt was on bass.

“Great soulful singer,” Haley said. “Guitar licks were tasteful and well-chosen. He was fun to mix because he shared the space and dug in with a gritty tone when it was his time. Dirty, bluesy style, he was a standout player to me.”

Morris and his bandmates played covers of Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love,” Eric Clapton’s “After Midnight” and Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road.”

In the future, Haley said he plans to get a few instruments in the club to provide musicians

“However, for now, folks need to bring their guitar, or bass and sticks,” Haley said. “I will be working on some sponsorships as we grow and hopefully be able to provide more tools.”

Haley said he and the venue “encourage all participants within reason.” He explained what that means.

“No super young/inexperienced kids, but if you know how to play, then get up there and cut your teeth,” Haley said. “Age isn’t really a thing. We just don’t want the gear getting beat on by people that have never touched an instrument. Also, this is still a professional establishment and we would like this to be entertaining for patrons as well.”

While screaming off-key notes into a mic during the establishment’s Karaoke nights is fun, maybe Tuesday nights aren’t the right night for extreme novices.

Haley couldn’t speak more highly of the venue’s owners — Jessy and Dustin Knutson.

“They have been a pleasure to work with,” Haley said. “They have huge hearts and a true love of music and art. It isn’t easy running original entertainment and oftentimes it represents a labor of love. They truly believe in the artists and creating a home for quality entertainment on the Harbor. Endless love and gratitude for club owners like them.”

After two open mic nights, Dustin said they have gone “great.”

“We are getting all the local musicians to come together and create an amazing environment with their amazing talents,” Dustin said. “I’m pretty stoked.”

Here are a few of the live music shows happening around the Harbor this weekend:

Friday, Oct. 13

7 p.m. — Dustin Adair — Gepetto’s Italian Restaurant & Sports Bar — 126 Pioneer Ave. E, in Montesano

8 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Karaoke — Porthole Pub — 893 Point Brown Ave. NW, in Ocean Shores

Sunday, Oct. 15

2 p.m. — Hogue & Moore Band, Jacob Weber — Ashley’s Pub Haus — 710 J St., in Hoquiam

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at

Redact Records
John Prentice III rocks his way through the first night, Oct. 3, of Open Mic Night at Messy Jessy’s Bar and Grill.

Redact Records John Prentice III rocks his way through the first night, Oct. 3, of Open Mic Night at Messy Jessy’s Bar and Grill.