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New Ancient Victory Open Mic tonight at the Antique Sandwich Co.

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A reunion of sorts is brewing in Tacoma. The old gang from Victory Music’s hey day will gather once again to share music, memories and renewed friendship. This will be a very special open mic where only those who played at one of the Victory Music open mics (at Antique Sandwich, OtherSide of the Tracks, Court C Coffeehouse or The Folk and Blues Workshop) prior to 1995 are eligible to perform. Victory Music founder Chris Lunn says he knows everyone who ever performed going back to 1969 so he’ll know who’s an old timer and who’s not. They also have a list to fall back on that has all the names of people who signed up to perform at the open mics dating back to the very first one.

The idea for the reunion happened last year at Dianne Schulstad’s birthday party. Schulstad, a lifelong member and super-volunteer for Victory Music, was the head of its Children’s Concert Series and spent five years as editor of Victory Review Magazine.

Schulstad’s birthday party had an open mic and a lot of dear friends came by to wish her well and sing a song.

“It was wonderful time and afterward we sat around talked about musicians we had lost, active musicians that went down at early ages,” says Lunn. “We decided should get together more often and connect with each other.

“I talked with both Diane and Rob Folsom and the three of us decided to approach the Antique and ask them to allow us to have a shot at it once every three of four months.”

The Antique Sandwich Company welcomed the idea and the plan was set into motion.
Lunn turned 70 on April 19 so this first gathering will also serving as a late celebration of his birthday.

“Chris is an amazing man,” adds Schulstad. “He has dreams, and has tremendous energy and the will power to make those dreams happen.”

Lunn has a legacy he can really be proud of with Victory Music. In a recent press release it was announced that over the last 40 years 2,947 musicians have performed at the Victory Music Open Mics. That equates to 8,841 songs or 29,470 minutes of music. None of it would have been possible without Lunn.

“The goal really is just to get everybody back together and document it a little bit,” explains Lunn. “Patrick Dennis, a major programmer, will video tape the event. Local Legislator Dennis Flannigan, a good friend of mine, will record a CD for it.” Lunn also says that several photographers will be on hand to capture the essence of the evening.

“This is not a Victory function,” he explains, “its independent. It’s just the three of us putting it on. Diane and I will run the door. I’ll run the stage and Rob will do the sound.”

Lunn says he is looking forward to seeing old friends, some of which were there at the very first open mic in December of 1969 like Tim Noah, a nationally known children’s singer and Mike Dumovich, a 12 string blues guitar player and singer from Olympia. Other performers who are expected are Sam Weiss, Neil Woodall, TR Stewart, Andy Blyth, The Country Dave Harmonson Trio and many more.

After this, the next gathering will be at Antique Sandwich Company on Sept 13. Lunn says he already knows that Tanya Opland from England will be here for that one and he said Jim Page and Cat Eggleston hope to attend too.

[Antqiue Sandwich Co., Thursday, June 7, 7 p.m., all ages, $3-$5, 5102 N. Pearl Tacoma, 253.752.4069]

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