By: Sam Kayuha, In The Record Store staff writer.
The idea of a potluck conjures up images of plates of potato salad, fried chicken and warm weather. But in the dreary winter months, the minds behind the Rock Potluck have fashioned a new kind of potluck for the people who would rather listen to music and drink beer.
Rock Potluck is put on primarily by Bobby Miller, a local event producer. Miller recruits 40 musicians from 40 different local bands to participate — some are mainstays of the Columbus scene and some are newcomers. The participants are mixed and matched to form eight new bands for a show that same night, where the groups, not even 12-hours-old, perform two original songs and one cover.
Back in September of 2015, James Allison of Digisaurus joined In The Record Store for the seventeenth episode. He and Grant reminisced about their Rock Potluck experience, when they performed as "The Bond Girls" with Lydia Loveless and members of the former Karate Coyote and Tiger and the Mirror. The group played a set that was “very well-received,” according to Grant.
Something about the event has given it staying power. On January 14th, the twelfth annual Rock Potluck will be held at Ace of Cups. Part of its longevity might be the spontaneous approach to music making, according to Allison.
“It is nice to put deadlines on things sometimes and see what you can do,” he said during the episode. “It definitely puts another emphasis on creativity, where you can actually force it into a certain amount of time.”
That attitude hasn’t changed in the years since Allison participated. Liz Fisher, the singer from The Cordial Sins, was approached to perform this year. She says she is going into it with minimal presumptions.
“I like collaborating with a lot of people,” she said. “And I like that it’s only one day. I’m trying not to have expectations, but I think it will be light-hearted, and not too serious.”
This year will be the event’s fourth at Ace of Cups, after running for years at Skully’s. Seventh Son Brewing is back as a sponsor, providing beer for the participating musicians.
Rock Potluck performances begin at 8 p.m., and is 21 and up. Tickets are $5.