To the editor:
It’s hard to believe, but on Friday, June 14, Manny and Cathy Perry will step away from the Open Mic night at the Coffee Depot in Warren after nine years at the helm, in this case, a mixing board. Actually Manny started it back in 2003 at the Cafe La France in Bristol and after several years moved into the Coffee Depot. Cathy used to just come listen back then and she and Manny met, fell in love and well the rest is history, as they say. Ahhhh, the power of music, it lightens the heart and speaks to the soul, it picks you up when you are down and at times it is the only thing that keeps us from just floating away.
What they have meant to the local music scene is immeasurable and really cannot be expressed in just words, as they are completely inadequate. I have spent many a Friday night there over the past six years and both watched and felt the magic that happens over and over again when you put musicians and music lovers together in the same room. The countless lives that Manny and Cathy have touched over the years, the careers that they have helped spawn, the encouragement they have given to those just getting up the courage to get in front of a microphone and perform to an audience, (no small task). They have created a special place where people can come and live out their dreams, it doesn’t get much better than that.
In the words of one such performer, Allysen Callery, “I cut my teeth performing at Manny and Cathy’s open mic. It was a safe and homey place place to play when I was new to being in front of a group. I met some people who would become my closest friends. I have really good memories.”
People like JJ Baron, Michael Troy, Chuck Williams, Joanne Lurgio, Matt Borrello, Elliot Ricci, Mark Small, gosh I could go on forever about the people who have crossed their stage on the road to bigger places as they chase and live their dreams of live performance.
What these two have created is something really special, something that has changed lives forever, I know it has mine. They have created the point in the sand where one can begin the journey into the world of live music and hundreds have passed through their doors and many return for visits as they can, for you never forget your home, your roots, the place from whence you came. You certainly never forget those who helped you pack and head on out the door.. We love you, we thank you and we will miss you dearly, but we will, keep the dream alive. I hope I can make you proud as I slip into your chair behind that mixing board.