A little open mic night in Emporium with a lot of heart

Photo by Yelena Kisler – Open mic night organizers Bobby Spaeth, left, and Mike Echo perform at the event's 10 year anniversary yesterday at Aroma Cafe in Emporium.
Yelena Kisler
Staff Writer

Every Tuesday at Aroma Cafe on Fourth Street in Emporium, sweet sounds of music and cheer fill the air. For the past 10 years, two guys with a shared love of music have been holding an open mic night there, welcoming anyone and everyone to share their talents. Yesterday marked the event's 10 year anniversary.
Mike Echo and Bobby Spaeth spend every Tuesday hauling in equipment and setting up the stage area for anyone who wants to come and play or sing. Over the years, they estimate that well over 300 people from ages 2 to 92 have performed on the stage. But there's something about the atmosphere that makes this different from any other karaoke or open mic night you may find – it's the no-judgment attitude of everyone who steps through the doors.
"There are two rules we have here, one is 'everyone gets treated equally', no matter how good you are no matter what your level of play is," said Echo. "And the other is we don't have any instruments off stage, so whoever's on stage gets all the attention with no distraction."

For more on this story, see today's print edition of The Daily Press.