Once upon a time I found myself in beautiful Jackson Hole for 14 hours and decided to take a 2 a.m. stroll through the warm, moonlit woods in my bathrobe, like you do.
On my accidental journey I stumbled upon a group of funky hippies jamming in a shed at the end of a winding mountain road. They absorbed me into their fold as though I had always been there and I danced in my bare feet as they strummed guitars and pounded drums and sang. They were cool kids. Cut offs, trucker hats, and floral dresses and…wait for it… PBR. It was inspirational. It was magical. It was like an amazing dream.
That is how it felt to walk into Rhythm Records for the first time. Like it was a special secret spot in a garage in Wyoming in the middle of the night, just for me. And of course the dozens of other potential Pabst lovers who had discovered this incredible place. A storefront pocket of hip as from the bowels of a big city, Rhythm Records rocks original art on the walls, classic video game consoles in the corners, vinyl music, peace swag, Jones Soda and David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Elton John in the bathroom.
On that particular Thursday night, during the outstanding open mic event, Robbie, the young, charming, ultra laid back owner of the joint, smiled over the crowd and the music which were fabulously filling the front room. The atmosphere, lovely and lively and unbelievably chill, restored an urban, indy art appreciation that I had been missing.
That evening’s show featured several small groups and solo artists playing various acoustics, singing sweetly the sounds of folk classics, contemporary soft rock, and stunning originals. In the intimate environment their voices and instrumentation shined and one after the other I was blown away by their casual creativity and sheer talent.
As the event rolled on I had the privilege of talking with the adorable trio of Evan, Richard and Kat who make up the local band “Kids with Beards.” Not a beard in the bunch these youthful, fresh faced old souls emanated a sophisticated understanding of the subtleties of the unplugged, contemporary, folk throw-back sound. Their unity with and admiration for one another as an ensemble swept me off my feet and given the way they looked (lanky, loose teed, babydolled, cute as a button brunettes) it was like being back in that shed with those hipsters having the time of my life. They were as personally enchanting as they were entertaining and gifted.
Every Thursday night at Rhythm Records is open mic night and no Thursday night will disappoint. A stop at the record shop during this event is a guaranteed good idea, especially if there are Kids with Beards in the house. With every artists’ performance as amazing as the next, the only thing these must see musicians need are people with which to share the show. Do yourself a great big favor and get down to Rhythm records on a Thursday night (or any night, really) to be moved, touched, and inspired. Right here in downtown Bismarck, you too can sample some big city flavor, hang out with the cool kids and sip a FuFu Berry Soda while supporting live music and local business. Sounds like a Wyoming sized win to me, folks.
For more information on Kids with Beards email Kat at email@example.com.
Check out the full version of this article on the blog at redamberrae.wordpress.com. Also be sure to “like” Diva Bar Diva on Facebook, listen to her radio show on URL every other Wednesday at 4 p.m.