Urban Soul Tuesdays @ the Red Iguana


I got there early (Maybe a little too early, but I have never been one for that CPT shit).

Keelan Jones and David Given’s Jr. were expecting some real heat for their open mic night, and they promised that the evening would not disappoint.

I decided to give it a chance.

So what was I expecting?

Maybe a fun time, some networking and to expand my readership hear at Urban Word Magazine.  I didn’t know.

Thanks to David Given’s (drummer for Keelan Jones and Company) hook up, I was introduced to Draz Ashbury of Draz Creative Martketing, and we exchanged information bounced ideas around for the look Urban Word Magazine.  ( I look forward to working with him.)  One Hurdle Down.

Next I ordered a Tequila Sunrise, and sipped through band rehearsal.  Keelan Jones and Company sound was hype.  I thought to myself:  to be a crowd of one with a beat like this was a shame, but I had quite a few hours to go.

Their version of Cameo’s ‘Word Up’ was inspired and funky.  People were starting to come in and it was only 8:01 pm.  By 8:15 pm, the food had arrived and I was a little tequila tipsy.

Outstanding.  Anyways.

By 8:35 pm, the band had taken a break, and I was swearing off tequila for the rest of the evening.  By 9:00 pm, I thought that I should really start to reconsider CPT considering that the open mic didn’t start until 10:00 pm.  Being that I have the lowest alcohol tolerance of anyone I know, I could have fallen asleep before the show began.  However, according to the conversations that were happening around me at other tables, the show was slated to start at 9:30 pm.

At 9:26 pm, the band began to tune up, my tequila haze was starting to wear off.  And then the show began.  The band was hot!  I mean Keelan Jones and Company were really bringing it.  Their rendition of Frankie Beverly and Maze’s ‘Before I Let Go’ was awesome and brought back so many memories of playing with my parents record collection as a child.  And I usually don’t wild out in public, but the funk was in everybody’s face.  I couldn’t help but nod my head to every beat.  It was a head banging good time.

To keep the party going Urban Soul Tuesdays has the comedy of Big Drew.  Drew is funny as hell, I can definitely say that I was entertained by this open mic night from the start.   We have some of the best singers and most talented performers in Lake County in here  in the Waukegan/ North Chicago area.  Yes! We are indeed full of talent.  And I think that needs to be acknowledged more often.

Now some of the performers I head before (I have been around) like Shelby Obleton.  If you ever heard this young man sing, you know what I am talking about.  The boy can

Shelby Obleton

blow! Soulful and Sensuous. And he ain’t the only one.









Corinne was up next to the mic, and her rendition of Meghan Trainor’s ‘Me Too’ was outstanding.  She brought her own exuberance to it and she looked like she was having so much fun and loving it.   I definitely had a lot of fun seeing her performance.




Every performer brought their own style, and sang they song like they owned that stage.  With the accompaniment of the band, it was like genuine magic being poured in my ears.  I couldn’t catch every name of every performer, or know every song, but I can say that I was moved and very entertained.

This young lady sang a soulful ballad that nearly brought me to tears


Very funny Host: Big Drew


The vocal style and guitar playing of Kyle nearly brought the house down with Usher Raymond’s ‘Nice and Slow’.




One Tequila Sunrise down and it had already been a long night, but David Given’s Jr. assured me that there was one more act yet to be heard.  So I waited through intermission, and then got the shock of my life when the reincarnation of Rick James came to the stage.

I was not ready for Dirty Mike!

I was not ready for Dirty Mike, but he really did embody the spirit of Rick James with his sound, stage presence and a look reminiscent of the original Super Freak!

(He even left the stage to grind on some of the ladies in the crowd.)

By 10:30 pm I was convinced that I should perform at the Red Iguana one day.  But honestly, Urban Soul Tuesdays doesn’t seem too much like a Spoken Word crowd.  This open mic seems like it was made for the music.  In the opinion of this writer/poet that’s cool.  Still it is an audience I have yet to tap into.

I usually stay away from rating scales, but if I had to give Urban Soul Tuesdays a rank it would be a 10 out 10 for them from me.  Solid.

Please support your local arts wherever you maybe and where ever you find it.

That’s it.  Peace out.

One thought on “Urban Soul Tuesdays @ the Red Iguana

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