Amy Henderson: Chapter Two
Amy Henderson will host her final open mic night at Shenanigans with this week’s December 7th show. The owners of the building have decided not to renew Shenanigans lease, so it will be the end of an era for Shenanigans but not for Henderson.
The long-running series began when she played a show with a band in 2001. The owner told her that he didn’t like the band, but he liked her and a once-a-week gig was born.
“I can’t believe I’ve been there this long,” she laughs. “I haven’t been home on a Wednesday night in years.”
She admits that there have been some performers they’ve had to kick off the stage. “But there have been some amazing musicians, too,” she says. “We had a bagpiper, a guy who’d made his own violin and played it, and a guy who played bass and only sang Dionne Warwick songs.”
Seeing so much talent has had an effect on Amy’s sound. “I’ve taken on the influences of people who were impressive. I was intrigued by a guy playing tambourine with his feet. That changed my sound. It was ten years of playing and trying new songs, so you can’t help but get better. Take all that in and it molds you a little bit.”
One thing she has gotten away from is playing covers of Indigo Girls songs. Back in the ‘90s, she used to play the Trackside Tavern’s open mic night in Decatur, Georgia where the Indigo Girls played the final set every week.
“So of course they influenced me,” she explains. “But then every review would say I sounded like the Indigo Girls, so I stopped playing their stuff.”
Amy was at a marathon party when she heard the news of Shenanigans’ closing. “Part of me was like, the open mic thing has to end. All things must pass, but it’s devastating. It’s really the only music venue on Northside that brings in that caliber of talent. People like Dale Watson.”
But she also acknowledges that with change comes great opportunity. She allows that with two young children, ages five and eight, it was easy to be complacent about seeking out additional gigs. That’s changing now.
She plays in several bands: The Orderlies, Dirty Blonde and Endymin, where she plays bass. She’s been writing a lot of new material lately and is looking forward to playing the new material for audiences at different venues.
“And not just Babe’s. Maybe the Camel. It’s good to be a little hungry,” she says about her future.
She’s working on learning the harmonica after being asked to sit in and play it. “The more you know about an instrument, the more you realize you’re not that good.”
She can’t imagine a time when she won’t play guitar, but admits that she may not always play out. She says at times when she gets low, she sees her guitar and it seems to say to her, “I can help you.”
“It’s how I express myself.”
Open-Mic Night is Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Shenanigans, 4017 MacArthur Ave.
Karen Newton is a freelance writer and full-time nerd who isn’t happy unless she’s going out every night for food, music or art and blogging it at www.icouldgoonandon.blogspot.com.
“You are mine” is about “one teenager dreaming about another, even though they’ll never be together.”December 16, 2015
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