By Morgan James

Week #9 of the CV Open Mic Competition was one of the most incredible thus far. The immense support of each performer and of the event itself was so great it made this host have to take a step back in awe. The room was not just packed with close to 70 performers and fans cheering enthusiastically, but several of whom approached me, verbally applauding the event itself and the supportive, exciting atmosphere that it provides for musicians and fans alike. Personally I wanted to take a moment for us all to sit in a circle and sing cumbaya, but the show must go on! And go on it did! Not only did the performers pack a punch on stage, but the crowd was right up in their faces, arms in the air, video cameras at the ready, capturing each and every moment of greatness. Audience giveaways like T-Shirts from Brutal Bee Music Group kept the excitement rolling as the crowd warmed up their voices to vote. Even more new faces came out to see what all this fun is about and guest judge Symara Stone gave us all in inspiring closing performance as each novice was awestruck, mouths agape. Once all of our musicians graced the stage and the votes were tallied, it was a tie for 1st place! Marco Thoma, a crowd favorite, played the bucket and harmonica and won for a second time! Marco is already in the semi-finals Jan 4th however, but now he will be joined by Matt Claborn who rocked an acoustic song. If either performer wins there, he will move on to the Grand Finals on January 11th for a shot at a MTV Quality Music Video Production from Desert C.A.M. Studios/Winmill Films and award winning Director Chip Miller, plus a $500 trip to Las Vegas from Crater Lake Spirits, as well as an Artist Development Session from Grammy nominated Producer Ronnie King, a Promotional Photo Shoot from Rav Holly, and a Boss RC-1 Loop Station Pedal from Guitar Center Palm Desert, and an artist Merchandise Package from Brutal Bee Music Group including logos, 25 shirts, stickers, and more. 2nd place was awarded to another crowd favorite, Bino Sotelo whose smooth rap stylings won him the place. Bino and Marco chose to take home each a $25 gift card to The Block Sports Bar & Grill, while Matt chose to take home 2 movie tickets to the Mary Pickford Theatre.

THANK YOU to ALL our performers at the CV Open Mic Competition for putting on a great show AND making the environment so supportive for all of the artists involved: Daniel Scopelitis aka Aviators, Erick Estrada of Zero Sum Game, Jim Holiday, Zech B, Mike Sickboy, Matt Claborn, Jesse James Brewer aka Crown Royal Prince, Chris Guzman of Who Shot the Drummer, Bino Sotelo, Gabriel Reyes aka MCKG, Marco Thoma, and Solus Lupus. I also want to thank all of the fans that keep showing each and every week just to enjoy the show! Also a big thanks to Johnny Carmona, our amazing sound technician. I hope to see you all next WEDNESDAY at THE BLOCK SPORTS BAR & GRILL in Cathedral City! Look for coverage of this week’s event and the announcement of winners in the next issue of Coachella Valley Weekly! SPECIAL THANKS to all of our sponsors: Desert C.A.M. Studios/Winmill Films & Chip Miller, Ronnie King Music, Crater Lake Spirits, Rav Holly, Guitar Center, CV Weekly, Canyon Copy & Print, Stuft Pizza Bar & Grill, Brutal Bee Music Group, and The Block Sports Bar & Grill.

Be sure to “LIKE” for updates! ALL AGES ALLOWED and YOU may compete EVERY week! PLEASE NOTE: Due to our overwhelming number of interested performers, sign in starts at 7pm and will be closed at 7:45pm. BRING YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY and FANS and note that the competition usually ends by 11pm so be sure your friends and family know to stay until the end to voice their vote!!! For questions or information about sign-up, please see or contact creator and host, Morgan Alise James at or (714) 651-1911