Burgeoning Talent at The Barge



Kristen Robinson

Most members of the Colgate community are aware of the diverse musical talents of the student body through the variety of a cappella groups, musicals, bands and orchestral performances on campus. There is another place, however, where the musical talents of many Colgate students and members of the Hamilton community can sometimes go unnoticed: The Barge Café. The Barge has become a musical hotspot in the Hamilton community, offering a variety of free musical events and performances every week. One such event, Open Mic Night, provides a wonderful opportunity for both experienced musicians and amateurs alike to showcase their music in front of a live audience.

For those who enjoy musical variety, last Friday’s lineup did not disappoint. A multitude of artists showcased their vocal talents in conjunction with skilled performances on instruments such as the piano, acoustic guitar, cello, mandolin, violin and harmonica. The music ranged from covers of jazz artists such as John Coltrane, to the music of John Fogerty, to popular bands like Oasis in addition to the assortment of original songs played in between.  The low-key atmosphere of the Barge provided the perfect backdrop for the performances, allowing the artists to interact with the audience in a more personal way and to provide insight into their music. One audience member, sophomore Abby MacFarlane, commented on her experience.

“I think it’s really cool that the Barge provides this opportunity to students and local artists.  It was fun to watch and I can tell the performers had a great time too,” MacFarlane said.

The event ran smoothly thanks to the host of the evening, first-year Will Hazzard. Hazzard played a dual role in not only hosting the event, but also performing. Hazzard displayed his musical talents by opening the show with an original song accompanied by acoustic guitar and closing with a rendition of “Space Shanty” a song by a band called The Senate. Hazzard’s musical stylings, which he currently classifies as “folk rock,” are influenced by a wide variety of artists.

“It’s hard to say what groups inspire me the most. I listen to a lot of the classic bands. The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash all reflect a lot of I what play but some other stuff is thrown in too, like I really enjoy the Dead Kennedys. There are also a lot of groups from right now I learn a lot from too, for example The Lonely Forest, Dutchess and the Duke and Band of Horses,” Hazzard said.

Like any good artist, Hazzard hopes to expand and diversify his music. What can you look forward to in future performances?

“I’m looking for a new sound right now…getting a little bored with the same old folk music and am trying out a variety of different things. I may even have a piano song next time and hopefully some electronic stuff in the future,” Hazzard said.

 As evidenced by the performance last Friday evening, Open Mic Night is great chance for musicians of all background and skill level to showcase their talents, as well as a great opportunity for students and community members to show their support and see some great entertainment.  Whether attending to see familiar faces perform, such as Hazzard, or becoming exposed to a new artist in the Hamilton community, the Barge offers a variety of artists sure to please.

Contact Kristen Robinson at [email protected].