Since it’s opening in 2008, The Swizzle Stick has become a place for bands and artists from the Greencastle community and surrounding areas to share their talents with others.
Aside from the bands they secure for certain dates and holidays, the bar also has an open-mic night every Thursday beginning at 8 p.m.
Senior Andre Williams bartends at The Swizzle Stick on Thursday nights and thinks the night is a good opportunity for a community such as ours.
“I think it’s cool in that it gives people in the community an opportunity to express their art,” said Williams. “It’s open to anyone and anybody and I think people definitely have a good time both performing [and] just sitting along for the ride.”
Gail Smith, owner of The Swizzle Stick, loves seeing community involvement in her establishment.
“This county is very fortunate to have so many talented musicians,” said Smith. “I am a huge supporter of live entertainment and community involvement, both from town and from DePauw.”
Over January, some members of professor Ron Dye’s Songwriting Bootcamp Winter Term course got a chance to perform their tunes at the bar, including junior Cassidy Richison.
Richison hopes to go into music after college and thought the class, as well as the opportunity at The Swizzle Stick, brought her one step closer to those dreams.
“Participating in the class was an absolute cathartic relief. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was working towards what I want to do after I graduate,” said Richison. “Performing, for a lack of better terms, was awesome. Istvan Csicsery- Ronay and Alex Puga (DePauw professors), due to their musical brilliance, conjured up instrumentals within minutes for a blues song I wrote.”
The class mainly focused on how to create music, both vocally and instrumentally. Richison got a chance to showcase her voice at the bar.
“Standing behind a microphone is one of my favorite places in the world, but at the same time it's the place I feel most vulnerable,” said Richison. “I get really uncomfortable sharing my work with other people, so this really pushed me out of my comfort zone and it was absolutely worth every second.”
In order to further student involvement, Almost Home Restaurant, which founded and runs The Swizzle Stick right next door, features a student or group from DePauw’s School of Music every Wednesday night at 6 p.m.
Smith wants students to know also that they don’t have to be 21 to perform at open-mic nights.
“Students younger than 21 can always perform in the front,” said Smith.
This coming weekend, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, The Swizzle Stick will be bringing in two artists, John Stevens from Crawfordsville and Bro Slaw from Indianapolis. They will be performing on Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Stevens has recently gained popularity for a parody he wrote about the Patriot’s deflated footballs.
The Bro Slaw duo describes their songs as “ridiculous parodies and cleverly idiotic original acoustic tunes.”
It is comprised of Rich Dowell and Greg Curtis who are brothers-in-law, hence the name, Bro Slaw.