Waves of talent crash onto saloon stage, Adam Lynam at Crooked Creek Saloon
This Side of Berthoud
Open mic starts at 9:30 p.m. every Thursday and features in-house sound. The weekly event is open to not only musicians and singers, but also poets, spoken word artists, comedians and more.
“Just come out and play,” Lynam says to anyone who has doubts. “I’ve been the shy guy. Don’t be scared. It’s what open mic is for. … It’s there for you.”
Like life, open mic is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.
There are at least three Grand County venues that regularly host open mic, and behind each one is a seasoned host who is also a wonderful musician. On the rare occasion hardly anyone signs up, the audience still gets to experience quality entertainment.
Adam Lynam, host on Thursday nights at the Crooked Creek Saloon and Eatery in Fraser, is one such musical talent. He has been running the show there since 2008. It very well might be the longest-running open mic in the county (with previous hosts to include Gary Key and Rob Kadrle).
Open mic is the thing that got him going, he said. “I never played live in front of people until the day I moved here.” Since then he has also played in bands Stoney Credenza and the Hippie Sideshow Hootenanny, has sat in with bands One Time, Hunker Down, David Mayfield Parade, James and the Devil, and more; and has donated his talents to a handful of local benefits (Grand Huts, Riverstock and Trout Unlimited, to name a few).
Lynam is a 10-year Revel8-sponsored skier from Malvern, Penn.. He discovered Grand County when he “came to ride” with fellow skier Brett Conner (whom he had known for a long time). It snowed three feet those first three days, he said. “It was 45 degrees (Fahrenheit) and blue-bird, and I just fell in love with the place.”
Later, while doing tricks here for movie “Buggard Mouse” in the spring of 2007 he met Chris “Pops” Popovich. The fellow musician and former owner of Mackinaw’s on Lake Granby invited Lynam to come check out the place.
Matt Brown (of Hunker Down fame) was hosting open mic that night, and offered Lynam his guitar to come up and perform. Lynam said he played three songs, for what must’ve been about seven people. He was so nervous, he recalls, but it was a “comforting sort-of thing” to play in that kind of format, “knowing you’re not going to get kicked out.” Pops lent him a PA system, and the rest, they say, is history.
Lynam has an “eclectic” music background, starting with his schools’ concert and jazz bands (cello at a young age, and moving on to trumpet in the fourth grade, when the students were allowed to play brass instruments). Dad AJ was also a DJ in the mid-‘70s, so Lynam “was raised on classic rock.” He found his own niche in his teen years (with inspiration gathered from bands like Phish, Dick Dale, Moe. and Sublime).
At age 12, he found his Uncle Ted’s ’73 Martin D35 in his grandma’s attic. Lynam asked her if he could have it and, as long as he was going to play it, she agreed. Lynam admits he “had no clue what (he) was getting at the time.” The “sick” instrument, a.k.a. “The Martin”, “still sounds great.” Later on a Fender strat acoustic was his “workhorse” for gigging. He took it everywhere. Now, “it is currently at peace” on his wall.
Several years ago, after coming into a little bit of money, Lynam bought a 2013 Martin. It turned out to be the exact same model, 40 years apart, from the guitar that started his professional musical path. He’s added a bass to his collection so that he could learn something new and accompany other musicians. He also keeps a lender guitar on stage for people to play.
What’s exciting about open mic, he says, is “never knowing who’s going to walk through the door, who I’m going to be jamming with next,” … and “finding people like Pops, Hippie, and Sasquatch, and forming a band.”
“It’s an on-stage confidence builder,” Lynam continues. “Before open mic, I had zero.” He gives props to the people that come to listen and join in, and for the continued support of friend Jenna Golnik, Toni Hallgren and Melissa Maier at “The Creek;” and for the inspiration he receives from fellow musicians like Pops, Kadrle, Hippie and Chris Williamson.
Each evening’s possible set-list depends on how Lynam feels. Some of the best stuff he writes, he says, comes from when he’s “down and out.” New material also has splashes of his surfing and skiing lifestyle, and “about dreams for the future.” Open mic gives him the freedom to experiment with lots of new things.
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