From 2002 - 2005, I was a regular attendee and unofficial photographer at the weekly open mics held at Bill's Records & Tapes in Dallas. I heard a lot of people read and perform there, including such local luminaries as Shanna Hale, Joey Cloudy, Jolee Davis, Karen X., Katy Sams, Max Blair, Desmene Statum, Rhie Azzam, Andrea Rae, Paul Sexton, Jenny Huey, Alex P., and many others. During my tenure as photographer, I captured moments of many of these performances as still images and posted them on a makeshift website every so often as "Highlights From Bill's."
That series of open mics at Bill's officially ended in January 2006. Many of the readers I knew from those days are no longer active, leaving only the photos and scattered reminiscences of those of us who were present as the evidence of their earlier forays into the world of the performing arts. It occurred to me that in addition to the photography, I would really like to have captured some of these performers on tape. Toward that end, in 2007 I dug out an old reel-to-reel machine that I'd had in storage for several years, set up a microphone and mic stand in my living room, and started making some calls and sending some e-mails, and the "Open Mic Project" library was born. The fruits of this effort are sampled here. Each page spotlights the work of one artist, and generally features both the text of each piece as well as an audio recording.
The audio files in this section of the site can be accessed by clicking on the player below the title of each piece. In most cases, you can also view the text of the piece being performed by clicking on the title itself.