Open Mic with Ryan Sims - Nabers Music, Bar & Eats - 1/21/14

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Open Mic with Ryan Sims at Nabers in Chandler Tuesday night gave me so much more than what I was expecting, which I love when it comes to live music.

I had the opportunity to listen to and really get to know some amazing local talent. There weren't too many people in the restaurant at the time -- which is a shame seeing as that means a lot of people missed a great show -- so those who were there enjoyed the talent on a much more intimate level. Add that to the friendly and family-like atmosphere already provided by the bartenders and waitresses and it became a fun time for both the musicians as well as their audience, regardless of how small it was.

"Nabers is the only bar on this side of town built around promoting live music," says Sims.

There's no denying that the acoustics were perfect, making it easy to sit back and enjoy the show. A few people even got up to dance.

Sims, a country/rock artist from Cave Creek, has been playing music professionally for 12 years and draws inspiration from James Taylor, Dave Matthews, and Johnny Cash. Normally a part of the band EastonAshe, Ryan recently released a self-titled solo album, which he performed part of last night. He sang "The Bottom Ain't the Problem" and "Hurricane" from his album as well as covers of songs such as "Somebody Like You" by Keith Urban and an enjoyable cover of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."

Sims' talked to the crowd, drawing out a few laughs, and joked with the other artists throughout the evening. His raspy vocals captivated the crowd.

Following Sims was 19-year-old local singer-songwriter Christie Huff from Mesa. It was her first time performing at Nabers and I'm pretty sure they're going to want her back. This girl has a phenomenal voice. Not only can she sing, but her songs are wonderful as well. They're the kind of songs that I find stuck in my head on a regular basis.

Categorizing herself as a country/pop artist, Huff has a tantalizing country twang in her voice and the right kind of instrumentation to smoothly fuse together the country and pop genres, as is exemplified on her album, Sweet Love To Come Home To, off of which she performed some songs. Although she was the quietest of the performers - as far as the fun banter went - she was still a wonderful and charming performer. Even the waitresses stopped to listen to her sing and play guitar.

Next up were two guys who usually perform as a duo, but decided to do some individual performances last night. Known formally as Struck Match, Harley Davidson and Dave Yount brought on the laughs as they took advantage of every chance they had to comically insult one another and Sims.

Davidson covered bands such as Led Zeppelin and Flogging Molly--for which he broke out in an Irish accent during "Worst Day Since Yesterday."

Yount brought along his 12-string guitar and played several covers including the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There."

The intimate setting of this venue really helped create a tight-knit friends and family feel that allowed us to get to know the artists who performed for us last night. Open Mic with Ryan Sims happens every Tuesday at Nabers and is a fun time to go out with friends to enjoy a little bit of local music. You can even bring your own instrument, if you'd like to perform.

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