Sifting for local talent at Regulars Sifting for local talent at Regulars - 27 East

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Sifting for local talent at Regulars

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authormy27east on May 19, 2009

Say it’s Monday night and you’re craving live music. Not to worry: Regulars Music Café has got you covered. In fact, whatever day of the week the hankering strikes, Regulars has a musician performing on its intimate corner stage. The North Sea bar and restaurant opened last year with a goal of creating a permanent home for music on the East End.

“It was always meant to be a music-based restaurant,” said Kate Maguire, Regulars spokesperson and a co-owner. “There’s nothing like it out here—a place where people can hear local talent and live music without paying a fortune. They can come here, not have to get dressed up, bring their families and just be a regular person in a regular kind of place.”

With the arrival of the summer season, Regulars is hosting live music every day of the week. The lineup includes bands, singer-songwriters, kids’ karaoke, musicians with serious clout and those trying to get noticed.

Last Monday launched the first full week of music with the introduction of Live Reggae with Winston Irie. A staple on the reggae scene, Winston (Irie) Sumner has performed or shared a concert bill with Lenny Kravitz, A Tribe Called Quest, Richie Havens and others. He’s opened for Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, King Yellowman and others, according to a bio posted on the Stephen Talkhouse website. On June 6, Winston Irie will perform at the Talkhouse in Amagansett; he’ll be performing at Regulars Music Café on Mondays from 9 p.m. to midnight through Labor Day.

On Tuesdays, soft rock and pop music are featured. Starting in July, the evening will feature the Doug Dwyer Trio with its soft rock set list and plenty of sing-along songs, said Ms. Maguire. Until then, other bands or single musicians will play similar music on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday night is WEHM Talent Night, hosted by Michael Maz. Mr. Maz plays guitar with Winston Irie and with his band, Disco Sux, on occasional Saturday Dance Nights. He’s also the head sound engineer for the Stephen Talkhouse.

A twist on open mic nights, the WEHM Talent Night features singer-songwriters performing up to three original songs. The performances are recorded and a “best of the month” is selected for inclusion on a compilation CD to be pressed this fall, said Mr. Maz. Cuts from the recording will air on WEHM, he said.

Performers are asked to sign up via email in advance. A lineup is set at the beginning of the night, and the music runs from 7 to 10 p.m.

Thursday is Jazz Night with area favorite Peter Bosco Michne scheduled to appear frequently, said Matt Metaxas, a Regulars managing partner. Mr. Michne appears with the bands Little Head Thinks, Great Caesar’s Ghost, the Annie Morgan Band, Rasta Blanca and others. The evening will feature changing bands and area talent, Ms. Maguire said separately.

Friday night is Supper Club Night at Regulars. One of the star headliners is the Debra Liso Band featuring Prentiss McNeil. Mr. McNeil is a popular performer who always draws a crowd, said John Maguire, an owner of Regulars and the WEHM, WBEA and WBAZ radio stations. The Debra Liso Band will appear at Regulars on May 22 and September 4, according to the band’s myspace page, Supper Club Night is designed to combine music with the down-to-earth menu offered at Regulars, Ms. Maguire said.

Saturdays bring musical fun for all ages. Kids take the microphone from 5 to 7 p.m. during Kids Karaoke. Adults claim Regulars at 9 p.m. when Dance All Night kicks in. Every week a danceable band will take the stage, said Ms. Maguire. This Saturday brings Dan Bailey and the Living Rhythm. The week wraps up with acoustic guitarist Steve Fredericks playing rock from 6 to 9 p.m.

Overall, the Regulars music scene has provided a home for music lovers and musicians alike, said those interviewed. While waiting for their turn on stage, musicians expressed their appreciation for a place to play their music and for the scene that has slowly developed over the last year.

“You’re surrounded by people who come out to support you and urge you to do your best,” said Ryan Tuths of North Sea. “They bring out the best in you.”

Separately, Julie Trudden agreed. “I like the atmosphere. There’s a lot of great people who come out and play. You see new people and some of the same people. There’s a music scene here. Everyone is supportive.”

The music helps draw a diverse crowd to the unassuming eatery, said Mr. Metaxas. Those passing through the door may be locals or summer visitors, single or with a family, teenager or adult, wealthy or struggling.

“Music crosses all boundaries,” he said. “Everyone who comes in for the music already has something in common with the other people around them. There’s a connection because everyone likes the music that’s playing and, because of that, it’s a friendly and fun environment.”

Musicians interviewed last Wednesday night went a step further. “It’s like a big family,” said Janet Ross, who performed several originals after being coaxed by the audience. “We all support each other. It’s a great place to be.”

Regulars Music Café is located at 1271 North Sea Road, Southampton. The café is open for dinner nightly and for lunch and dinner on weekends. For information, call 287-2900 or visit

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