It is said that you should never give a mouse a cookie. Apparently, that same witticism doesn’t hold true when it comes to whiskey.
Yes, the Three Blind Mice Irish pub in historic downtown Mount Clemens Michigan turned five this weekend, and with it, Carl and I spent the night in an nostalgic mood.
After all, in the many years that we have been singing on this very spot, we have poured a great deal of sweat, sinew and truth into each performance.
Some of them great, some of them entirely forgettable. But even at those shows, we worked hard giving everything we had as performers to make this great venue succeed.
We realize that we are simply caretakers passing through this world, one song at a time. Singing vagabonds, as it were, lucky enough to have an audience.
The real star is always the venue. We work diligently to promote the place in which we are lucky enough to be able to play, wholeheartedly. After all, if it doesn’t succeed, we would have no where to set down our microphone stands.
We begin each and every show the same way, trying to let the audience hear what talent we have, by selecting the music that will communicate best with the people that shared their night with us.
Some venues, simply by their nature prohibit many kinds of music. After all, who would go to an jazz club and sit there while their ears were being assaulted with rap music. How would country music go over in a disco bar? How about oldies in an upscale blues house?
Maybe, yes, maybe no.
However, the type of venue has a lot to do with the music inside. The great thing about The Three Blind Mice is that pretty much all types of music is excepted. If it is good and true, then it will fly here at the Mice.
Seeing Brad, (one of the owners) and driving force behind the establishment was icing on the anniversary cake, as we walked in to set up.
It reminded me of how, many summers ago, Carl and I were driving through Mt. Clemens, on our way to a funeral home, to pay our respects to an old high school friend whom who always wanted to play music in a band.
While traveling down Market street, we came across the Mice, as it was being created. So awestruck were we to see an Irish pub being opened in our own home-town, that we had to stop and give it a closer look.
I walked in and saw all three men at the bar, taking break from their labor of love: Brad, Tony and Jake.
I even remember our conversation. I walked up to the three and asked these questions, that day: “Are you the owners?” “Yes.” was their answer.
“Is this gong to be a real Irish Pub?” “Yes.” they said.
“Are you going to have entertainment?” “Yes.” was the last answer.
“Well then, you need to hire us!” I said, handing them our card. After a quick tour, Brad told me that he would call us when they were ready to open. Sure enough, a month later, the phone rang and they asked us if we could entertain for their “soft” opening that weekend.
Long story short, we played every Friday night for the first two years.
On this night, the nostalgia was everywhere we looked. The bar, the tables the chairs and the waitstaff. In those five years, we have meet so many hard working, wonderful people that it would be impossible to mention all of them here.
Though it seemed that just when we would get to know them, they would move on to their next great challenge in life, and another would take their place. Danielle, Meghan, Jessica, Eliza, Brittany and Sam, to name a few.
Tonight, we marveled at the new crew, taking their place, and passing the legacy on from those who served here, to those serving now. Always smiles, always caring and always hardworking.
They do the difficult work while we play the music.
Since Brad was in the house on this night, we thought that we would crank it up a little bit to begin the evening. He likes, up-tempo music as the heartbeat of the bar. No argument on our parts. Go big, or stay home, some would say.
Since it was the very first snow of the season, and pretty cold and gloomy out there, we knew that it wouldn’t be the best of nights. People would most likely wait and go out on Saturday. That’s ok, we would just work that much harder to please the folks that were there.
From the first song, Simon & Garfunkel’s immortal The Boxer, we set the bar pretty high. Great music to be listened to with a slight hint of nostalgia. We played The Beatles during that first set, five years ago, so why not tonight? After Things We Said Today, reverberated from the walls, anything would go at that point. More Beatles, some Dylan and even some Cat Stevens, to start. The requests were beginning to flow as easy as the alcohol was being poured.
Our second set was more of the same, as most of the people on hand we’re deep into their own conversations. Upstairs, Doin’ Time was cranking things up and entertaining the dance crowd. They were all seasoned musicians with a solid sound.
Five years is enough time to judge if something will last or not. In this case, The Three Blind Mice, has been around for a long, long time. Both the story, and now the pub.
All ages and demographics of patrons frequent this bar. They all come for different reasons, but all stay for just one: they feel at home.
The walls are welcoming, the lighting is soft and crips and the ale is within easy reach! Now if the music was just as satisfying.
It’s not just Carl and I that have found a home here at the Mice, there are many other local musicians who have poured out their heart and soul from within these walls thru melody, lyric and sweat, over the many years.
It was an instant hit, right from the beginning. People were drawn to its power, its atmosphere and its electricity, since the doors first opened.
We start from the beginning, each set, each night. Our goal is to win the audience, one song at a time. We work as hard or harder than any group that has ever taken the stage.
We enjoy the people, the staff the patrons and the camaraderie that comes with being a part of something important. That is how we look at the opportunity we have in entertaining at this venerable establishment.
We have sung many a songs over these years. We have met a plethora of amazing people, heard several incredible bands, and drank a whole lot of spirits.
It’s been a great ride so far, and know that there is much more in store for the Mice. We are so glad that you have been a part of it, and wholeheartedly hope that you will come back to support wonderful venues like this that support music in our community in the future.
Here are pictures from our very first weekend at The Mice, back in November of 2013.