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Regulars Showcases Local Talent On Wednesday Nights

Originally Posted: March 04, 2009

Edward Callaghan

Dan Bailey and Brian LeClerc on guitars and Jay Schneiderman on drums at Regulars Talent Night. Photos by John Wegorzewski

Southampton - It's hard to believe that in just a few short months, Regulars Music Café has become the cutting edge scene to hear the best in local - and not so local - talent. From rock to reggae, country to blues, Regulars serves up an always interesting, often eclectic, roster of musicians, singers and songwriters to a very appreciative community when it comes to live music.

In addition to offering an affordable menu of American comfort foods, Regulars offers live music every night. David Saia, co-proprietor with Kate and John Maguire, tipped us to one of the best nights in town, Wednesday, when local and not so local singer/songwriters and musicians gather to showcase their new material. Says Saia, "It's really cool - no cover songs - strictly original music - and new songs each time".

Kevin Burke and Winston Irie take a break between sets.

Wednesday nights are WEHM radio's Talent Nights during which performers take to the stage to hone their skills and maybe impress the audience and station personnel enough to be selected to be on the WEHM music label. Each month one winner will receive a professionally produced recording of one of their songs. They also have the chance of having a song on an upcoming WEHM music label compilation C.D. and the opportunity to be heard on 92.9 and 96.9 WEHM. "Contestants" sign up on WEHM's website and get their performance slot when they sign in with local music master Michael Mas, of Stephen Talkhouse fame.

Unlike "American Idol," this is one laid back, ultra-casual scene where artists are often jumping onto to the stage to back up another musician or singer rather then competing. There is no snarky Simon Cowell, no Paula Abdul, just a warm receptive crowd who want to see every act shine. Co-owner Joe Maguire, who is also a principal of Long Island Radio Broadcasting in Amagansett, acknowledges the supportive conviviality factor noting "this is the most supportive audience in town. Every time you come here, you're going to see some friends and have a good time".

A mainstay of Regulars, and a real crowd pleaser, reggae star Winston Irie took to the stage to get the crowd in the right mood with some bouncy tunes with a Caribbean lilt. Followed by an impressive array of talent from diverse backgrounds and varying degrees of experience - a construction worker from Manorville, a high school junior from Westhampton, a veterinarian from East Hampton, and a college student from Patchogue among others. The things they shared were passion and a real feel for music.

Kenneth Morsch rocks it with a smile.

Then young singer-songwriter Sean McGill hopped on stage for his set. After just a few verses Sean, having a little case of stage nerves, stopped playing and apologized saying, "I have to start over - and breathe." An encouraging audience member shouted out, "You can do it!" Sean then launched into a lovely Simon & Garfunkel-ish song appropriately singing "Don't be afraid - let yourself go." Sean performed several other numbers including one by his brother Colin and exhibited a strong mastery of the guitar on the solos. After his set, the Remsenburg resident said, "It was only my second time playing here but I'll be back for sure."

Veterinarian Janet Ross was joined by master guitarist Brian LeClerc, who wound up accompanying several singers that night. Janet, in fringed suede and cowboy boots looked more ready for the Grand Ole Opry then a Southampton gig, sang several sweet tunes in an ethereal voice that took to the wind. Catching up with Janet we learned of other talents the attractive blonde doctor possesses. Thrilled that the audience had taken to her so warmly, she told us excitedly of another project she was working on that combined both her passion for both animals and for lyric writing. "I have a new book coming out this spring, a little fanciful story entitled, 'Now, Get the Ball' featuring illustrations by a young artist I met at Applied Arts in Amagansett."

Sandi Gillies and Karolina Jer enjoy the evening.

Dowling College's Kenneth Morsch followed and set the room abuzz with his guitar riffs and sexy, husky delivery of his original material. Morsch demonstrated real magnetism and star power in his very self-assured performance and touching lyrics. Brian LeClerc brought a little rockin' country to the beach with smooth sardonic lyrics, and sweet little Jewlee Trudden, channeled an inner Janis Joplin, and delivered a set full of teen angst and rebellion.

Another high point to the evening was popular local drummer and multi-talented musician Dan Bailey who was joined on stage by LeClerc, Michael Mas, and regular drum circle partner, and Suffolk County Legislator, Jay Schneiderman. Having only seen Dan playing the drums at numerous events on the East End, we were totally blown away by his vocal chops, his powerful lyrics, and his equally impressive guitar skills. Dan and his jam band got a well deserved roar of approval from the audience that filled Regulars main room filled with dating couples and family groups to gangs of friends.

High profile performers like Prentiss McNeill have made the restaurant's Supper Club Fridays a major date event and international headliners such as Canadian pop idol Serene Ryder who jammed the house last week with a rockin' blow the roof off appearance are bringing the tiny North Sea Road hot spot the attention of the music industry.


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