End of a Great Collaboration

Roberta and Mike are no longer performing together as BrookLine Beat, due to differing musical ambitions. Roberta can still be seen performing at various sites around Denver, including La Dolce Vita in Old Towne Arvada on alternate Saturday nights and Green Mountain Brewery in Lakewood on Sunday evenings with other excellent musicians. Keep watching as her post-retirement performing career develops. Mike is working on becoming the best introvert he can be, and accepting the fact that even with 20,000 hours of practice he will never play guitar as well as Eric Gales or Tony Rice. He continues to write songs and enjoy participating in open mics and jams around town. He’s developing an even greater appreciation for the many great bluegrass musicians he’s been listening to since he first heard Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs as a teenager.

Upcoming events, weekend of September 6th

Saturday, Sept 7: La Dolce Vita Coffee Shop

·        Music goes from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. We won’t know our time slot (15-20 minutes) until we get there and sign up.

·        5756 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada CO 80002

Sunday, Sept 8: Green Mountain Beer Company

·        We’re on for a 15-minute set at 7:00pm.  Music starts at 5:30pm. We were the featured act here two weeks ago kicking off the evening with a 45-minute set, then another 15-minute set later that evening. The venue and talent (I’ve seen the evening’s line up) won’t disappoint!  Come join us for a great evening of entertainment.  

·        2585 S Lewis Way #110, Lakewood CO 80227

Cancelled performances at Growler USA

We had a great time playing for two hours at Growler USA last Sunday. We were going to play two more two-hour sets on the next two Sundays, but unfortunately the establishment is not licensed with ASCAP and/or BMI to have live performers play covers of copyrighted songs. So, until Roberta and I can put together a complete set of our own compositions, or until the establishment decides it wants to obtain a license for the performance of live cover songs, we won’t be playing there again. I’m including a link for those who are interested in reading more about this issue.


I’m aware of several other coffee houses and other public places that no longer offer live music because they either could not afford or chose not to pay song licensing fees. This is a shame since most of the musicians I know play mostly as a hobby, not for income (other than to offset some of the expenses of their hobby) and the licensing requirement limits opportunities for us to have fun and share our fun with others. On the other hand, if I ever wrote a song that became a hit, I would want to collect all the royalties that I was due. Then again, there is some controversy about how much of the royalties go to the songwriters, and how much goes to the publishers. I might write more about this at another date. On a related issue, there have been a lot of legal cases over the past several years where songwriters have been sued for songs that are too similar to previously copyrighted and published songs. Here is an interesting discussion: https://youtu.be/0ytoUuO-qvg.

More Upcoming Events

Roberta’s done a great job filling up our calendar with work the next several weeks. First up – we’re going to be playing three consecutive Sunday brunches at Growler USA, 4433 W. 29th Ave, Denver. These will take place on August 11th, August 18th, and August 25th from noon until 2:00 pm. Growler USA boasts 100 different beers on tap, many local, as well as a diverse food menu in the Denver Highlands directly north of Sloan’s Lake.

Later in the day of August 11th we’ll be playing a ninety-minute set at a neighborhood party from 4:30 to 6:00 for the East Bay Community. This is a semi-private party, so if you didn’t receive a flyer and if you don’t live in the neighborhood, we can’t provide further details. But, if you live in the East Bay, come on out. They’ll have a taco bar provided by El Camino, beer, non-alcoholic drinks, and a bounce house for the kids.

We are on tap to be one of four acts playing a 45-minute set as part of the Friday Night Showcase at the Front Range Brewing Company, 400 W. S Boulder Road in Lafayette on Friday, August 16th from 6:00 until 9:00. We’ll be the second act, starting at 6:45.

Friends have been telling us for a while that the Green Mountain Brewery (Kipling and Morrison Road in Lakewood) hosts a great open mic every Sunday evening, but that it’s hard to get on their list to play. With persistence, Roberta finally got us a half-hour slot on Sunday, August 18th from 5:30 until 6:00. Come on out and enjoy another great locally brewed malt beverage and a great lineup of Colorado musicians.

Happy July 4th, 2019

In honor of July 4th, I took the liberty (because in America ‘at least I know I’m free’) of changing the lyrics to “God Bless the USA” to reflect the treatment of those seeking to enter our country from the Mexican Border. Roberta sang it and we made a video recording this morning.

Front Range Brewing Company, July 6th

We had a good time at La Dolce Vita in Olde Towne Arvada on June 22nd. Thanks to George and Joel for sitting in with us for a few songs, and thanks to all the friends who showed up to listen. We’ll be at The Front Range Brewing Company this Saturday, July 6th, from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm. We’ve been working on a few new songs that will be fun to perform in front of a friendly crowd enjoying a few of the great beers (TrHOPical Illusion IPA is my favorite) that they brew up there in Lafayette (400 W. South Boulder Rd, #1650, 80026).

More events for June, July, and August

As a reminder, we’ll be appearing this Saturday (June 22nd) at La Dolce Vita in Olde Towne Arvada from 7 pm to 10 pm. We’ll have friends sit in for a few songs as well. In July, we’re still on board for two Saturday sets at the Front Range Brewing Company on South Boulder Road in Lafayette on July 6th and July 27th. We’re also tentatively scheduled to be one of four performances at the Front Range Brewing Company between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Friday, August 16th. Our set is likely to take place between 6:45 and 7:30. Check out our calendar for more details about these events, and check out our poster for the La Dolce Vita event below.

Upcoming Events

Tomorrow night (Friday, May 31st) we’ll be going to an open mic at the Marriott in Broomfield, CO, hosted by our friend Mike McNeil. Saturday another friend is hosting a party for songwriters to showcase their original compositions. The last Swallow Hill Hootenanny before the summer break will take place on Friday, June 7th. Later in the month we’re performing a three-hour set at La Dolce Vita coffee House in Old Towne Arvada on June 22nd from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There are several other regular open mics at La Dolce Vita and Front Range Brewery that we might attend.

May Garden Party

Well the rain stayed away and although it was chilly we started the Garden Gathering season on May 19th with an enthusiastic audience, flowers in bloom, and peacocks calling in the distance. This was the first of seventeen free, invitation-only events at a residence in Golden, CO with a slate of different, talented musicians each week. Let us know if you’d like more information.

Harry Tuft and Don Pinnella at Swallow Hill

We had a fun night with Don Pinnella and Mary Huckins, two members of Dakota Blonde, and Harry Tufts from Swallow Hill. After the show (see photo of Harry and Don) we shared some time in a song circle of about 12 performers, where each one in the circle got to choose and perform a song. Audience members could also request songs. Yes, we brought our guitars along! I did “If I Needed You” by Townes Van Zandt and Mike did “Pacing the Cage” by Bruce Cockburn (two songs we regularly perform with harmonies). We chatted with Mary and Don afterwards and found them to be genuine, friendly folks. We hope to catch one of their upcoming shows this summer! 

Front Range Brewing Company Happy Hour

We had a great time playing up in Lafayette last Friday afternoon and finished the evening talking with friends and sipping the brewery’s tasty TrHOPical IPA. Next up we’ll be performing at an outdoor garden party this Sunday in Golden. Check out our calendar for a poster with more details, or see below.

New Event Scheduled for May 19th

May 19th, 2019 – We’ve been invited to play a set at an outdoor “Musical Gathering in the Garden” hosted at a private home on May 19th at 5:00. Several of these events are held during the spring, summer and fall each year and we’re honored to be among the musicians she has asked to perform. We’ll be playing a full set of our covers as well as an original composition or two. Email us at info@brooklinebeat.com for further details.

Upcoming Performances

We have three solo performances coming up in the next three months, and we hope to be adding more as our schedules allow.

April 12, 2019 – We’ll be the fourth performers at the Performers’ Showcase, hosted by Jeff Ulrich at Front Range Brewing, 400 W. South Boulder Rd., Suite 1650, Lafayette, CO, 80026. The first performers start with a 45-minute set at 6:00 pm. We’ll be going on at 8:15 pm. They have a great sound system, a nice, open space for both performers and listeners, and a great menu of beers and food.

May 10, 2019 – We’ll again be at Front Range Brewing for Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7:30. This time we’ll be the only performers doing a two-hour set. Come out and taste one of their great stouts, IPAs, porters, lagers, or pilsners, and have a salad or quesadilla while you’re there.

June 22, 2019 – We’ll be performing at La Dolce Vita Coffee House,
5756 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO, 80002, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. La Dolce Vita has a great selection of coffee, tea, sandwiches, breakfast foods, and pastries. If you’ve never been to Olde Towne Arvada it’s a great collection of restaurants, coffee houses, shops, and bars.

The End of a Very Busy Week

We’ve had a busy week. On Tuesday we went to the monthly open mic hosted by Mimzy at the First Universalist Church at Hampden and Colorado Blvd. This event is generally attended by a small group of talented regulars who make for a really fun evening. Thursday we went to the first ever open mic at the Burns Family Artisan Ales at 2nd and Federal (www.burnsalesdenver.com) and had the privilege of being the first-ever performers. This fairly new brewpub boasts some really unique beers and barley wines in a space that has lots of room for performers, music fans, and beer enthusiasts. They will continue to host open mics on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month. Lindsay Barnett, who performs solo and also with the group “Mirrors and Lights”, will be the host. Last night (Saturday) we went to La Dolce Vita in Olde Towne Arvada and ended up filling the last spot on a full list of performers. The talent was exceptional, and John Steideman, the gracious and hard-working host, always opens and closes the night with two sets of his own . The Denver area has so many great amateur musicians that can be heard for free just about any night of the week at any number of coffee houses and brew pubs. After our 4-song set we committed to a three-hour show at La Dolce Vita (www.ladolcevitacoffee.wordpress.com) on Saturday, June 22nd from 7 to 10 pm. Come join us for some great music, coffee, pastries, other food, and great company.

Open Mic at Front Range Brewery, Lafayette

We had a great time last Tuesday (March 5th) at the open mic hosted by Stevie D. at the Front Range Brewery in Lafayette. There were lots of great performers, all really supportive and encouraging of each other. No one made too much of our glitch on the chorus of “World Without Love” and I’m sure we’ll be back at this open mic event, which takes place every Tuesday, many more times in the future. In the meantime, we’ll be performing at the same site on April 12th (a Friday night) when we’ve been invited to do a 45 minute set as part on an evening that will feature 3 other performers as well.

Unexpected Sunday Morning Set at La Dolce Vita

Yesterday morning (February 24th) we went to La Dolce Vita, a great little coffee house in Olde Towne Arvada, to hear a friend of ours perform. As it turned out there was a mix up in the schedule. She was out of town, and no one else had been booked to fill her slot. La Dolce Vita keeps two guitars available for anyone to play, so with the permission of the barista, Roberta and I picked up those guitars, tuned them up, and launched into a few familiar songs. We were somewhat limited, since at least half of our set list includes songs that Roberta does on keyboards, but we were able to come up with close to two hours of material and ended up having a good time.

We’ve also finally decided on a name for our duo. After much brainstorming, consultation with friends and relatives, and debate between ourselves, we’ve settled on “Brookline Beat”, based on a blend of our last names.

Open Mic at Zel’s in Del Mar

We had a good time Sunday evening, January 20th at Zel’s Bar in Del Mar, CA. We had a chance to perform three songs (see videos) and visit with my high school friend Glen A. Hernandez. My sister and her husband joined us for drinks and dinner. Glen also performed two songs, and let us know that he has music available under his name on Spotify (give it a listen). Glen hosts a weekly open mic at Saint Tropez Bistro & Beyond in Oceanside. Now we’re back in Denver and we’ll get serious about finding small gigs around town. We’re looking into an open mic this Tuesday at the Front Range Brewery in Lafayette, starting at 7:00 pm. and then the Swallow Hill Hootenanny on Friday night.

Our last night in Del Mar

We heard about an open mic at Zel’s, just down the hill from where we’re staying in Del Mar, CA. We’re going to see if we can get on the list to do two or three songs there tonight. Then we’ll be heading back to Denver by way of Tucson and Albuquerque. If we get to perform and if we can get a decent recording we’ll try to post a video or two, In the mean time, look at the videos we posted from our performance on January 12th at the Standley Lake Library.

Searching For a Name

We’re brainstorming names for our duo.  We haven’t settled on anything yet.  Do we go for a play on words?  Something ironic?  Something obscure and ambiguous?  Something cheery and optimistic (that’s redundant, isn’t it?)?  A reference to cats (Roberta’s preference)?  Maybe an image taken from lyrics to a song that we both like and view as influential?  We’ll see, but going by “Roberta and Mike” or “Mike and Roberta” will only get us so far.