Every Wednesday, as evening yields to night at Rain Dogs in 5 Points, a small yellow pad begins to fill up with names next to time slots. At 9pm, host Shawn Lightfoot saunters up to the microphone, and calls the first name. For the next few hours, you’re taken on a whirlwind journey through music new, old, raw, refined, subtle, silly, serious, sweet, and somber. At 10:30, the night’s featured songwriter takes a longer turn on stage. On a slower night, at some point Shawn may step in to fill a time slot without a name, crooning his special brand of bouncy, bluesy tunes. And then it’s back to the list.
If you fancy yourself a fan of live music, especially of the singer-songwriter variety, and have a Wednesday night to spare, you should spend it at Rain Dogs. Each week has a featured songwriter, but aside from that, anyone is welcome and encouraged to show up and perform. Just bring yourself and your instrument. I dropped in one Wednesday with the intent of staying long enough to get a feel for the night and then heading home, but I stayed the entire night and had a blast. The crowd is warm and welcoming to performers, which seems to help ease the nerves and bring out the best of each one. Rain Dogs is a great host venue, too, offering enough interesting drafts to keep beer snobs happy and a good variety of bar snacks to keep your munchies at bay. You can follow the Singer Songwriter Spotlight on Facebook. Sometimes they forget to post the event, but rest assured it happens every Wednesday.