The Half Moon Café, hosted by Clay on Main in Oley, has a harmonious spring planned. This intimate venue is down to earth and welcoming, and the suggested donation of $10 at the door is priced to allow all Berks County residents and visitors to enjoy live music. The first act is, fittingly, a.k.a. , who also kicked off last fall’s series of performances. A.k.a., fronted by the Half Moon’s founder, Mike Petrauskas, features moving vocal duets with a timeless Americana sound. Their performance is on Friday, March 23rd at 8pm, but come early to hear George Ferrio’s finger style guitar as the Dining Room portion of the evening. The Dining Room, an informal preview to the main performance, starts at 7:15. “We wanted to use the venue to its full capacity, and audience members love hearing live music as they make their way through Clay on Main’s gallery and kitchen to the Half Moon stage. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for our local musicians,” explains Paula Taylor of Meadowood Music, who directs the Half Moon along with her husband Mike Andrews. Doors open at 7, and parking is available in the church lot next door. Snacks and coffee will be served.
The next performance, on April 6, is by a group of friends who have been playing together since they were kids, Johnny, Orin, + Jimmy. Their wonderful blend of vocal harmonies, guitar, keyboard, and percussion transports listeners in their original pieces and draws them into their covers. They’ll be preceded in the Dining Room by Nathan Hertzog’s original songs. May 4 brings John Ehlis and Olivia Foschi, whose vocals complement his traditional folk –jazz fusion played on guitar and mandolin. Dan Harakalwill enliven the Dining Room with his jazz guitar. The Undercoats will be on stage on May 18, bringing Oley’s Main Street their pop-rock-country delivered with tight vocal harmonies and instrumental playfulness. May 18’s Dining Room act is the Blue Picket Fence The final show of the season, will be on June 8, when the Half Moon will welcome Too Hot for Cheese,fronted by Rich Dondson. Their traditional Irish music will be sure to get your feet tapping, and don’t miss the Dining Room at 7:15, with Margaret Young on fiddle. Details about each performance and links to performers’ websites are at http://www.clayonmain.org/half-moon-cafe/ and http://www.meadowoodmusic.com/news3halfmoonconcerts.
In addition to hosting established local musicians, the Half Moon serves as an incubator for emerging musicians and a home for amateurs who love to play together. From 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on the first Monday of each month musicians are invited to perform up to three tunes (about 15 minutes) at the Open Mic. The Half Moon asks that performers bring instrumentation that doesn’t require significant set-up time and choose songs with lyrics that are appropriate for a family audience. Clay on Main asks each adult to donate $5 to help keep the lights on. Please park in the nearby church lot, not on the street.
Clay on Main is a non-profit artists’ cooperative, located at 313 Main St in the historic village of Oley. The studio offers art instruction and gallery space for local artists, as well as live music and more. Clay on Main houses a complete clay studio, a slumped and fused glass studio, a live performance venue, and a yoga room, in addition to the co-op and gallery. Clay on Main is open to the public on Tuesdays from 10-2, Wednesdays from 12-9, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10-2. Gallery exhibits are also open on Sundays from 1-4, and additional viewing of the gallery can be arranged by appointment. Parking available in church parking lot, byob.