My First Dear John From Cape May
Dear John: No, not that kind of Dear John. Dear John, thank you for filling our Cape May hotels, motels, and restaurants and bars with people, from the eighth Singer Songwriter Conference over the past weekend.
Thank you and your team for bringing to Cape May business at the end of March, that might not be here otherwise. If there was a mechanism in place to estimate the economic impact of Singer Songwriter Cape May, I am sure it would be staggering for winter months. All of the lodging establishments that I spoke with claimed to be sold-out for the weekend.
“It was great to have so much positive energy and creative talent in Cape May once again,” said Ronald Goldstein, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May. He went on to say, “Hotels and restaurants were extremely busy. It was a nice shoulder season event after a long, cold winter. Can’t wait for their next visit.”
John Harris and his team of Maureen Harris and Carl Behrens, once again brought out the best for Cape May. They attracted 150 artists to perform at 18 different venues in Cape May. According to their website, this event is designed for singer-songwriters of all genres and those interested in the music industry. The focus is on emerging and established talent, networking with each other, learning directly from music industry professionals and members of the regional music community.
A conversation with one of my guests Friday morning, brought a lot of clarity about the event for me. Kat Mills, from Blacksburg, Virginia explained with enthusiasm, she was happy to have her 45 minutes of performing time. However she was ecstatic to be in one location where she could hear so many talented singer-songwriters in one weekend. She otherwise would have to travel miles and miles to hear just one or two. The conference brought all these people to her in a sense, in Cape May. I suppose that is a mature artists perspective.
At the venue, Mad Batter Restaurant, singer-songwriter Jocelyn Faro, brought an exuberant energy to the stage. The former Bio-Med major decided to take a break from school to write songs and music. As the speakers temporarily and unexpectedly buzzed in my untrained ears, the supportive sound techs of J.M. Kearns, Dan Barry, and MQ Murphy, in the blink of an eye, surmised that the young musician had a dead nine volt battery in her guitar’s pick-up. Swiftly they pulled out their own bag of tricks replaced Jocelyn’s battery, and wow her guitar playing brought the room to a whisper. The whole process took seconds and captured the essence of the supportive Cape May music community.
Tom D’Ademo found his musical gifts at an early age too. His first instrument was a keyboard and then guitar. When he arrived in Cape May from Connecticut to perform at Carney’s he realized he forgot his power cord and pedal for the keyboard. Enter Mr. J’s Music in North Cape May. Mr J’s provided the young musician with the necessary equipment to make the performance happen. The young, talented musician gratefully related the story to the attentive audience. For Tom, it was a great experience, for me it brought out another example of the supportive Cape May music community. Like Mr J’s website says, “Have they got stories to tell you.”
The weekend culminated with a late-night gathering at the Exit Zero Store on Sunset boulevard. Avi Wisnia emcee’d the ensemble of one-song-a-piece rotation of the finest collection of singer-songwriters ever gathered in one town.
Certainly the Singer Songwriter Conference, organized by John Harris, is primarily for the performers benefit as Kat Mills related to me. Cape May is the ultimate benefactor of the weekend. For that benefit, John Harris and his team deserve a round of applause and our appreciation.
Can’t wait for next year,