The Atmosphere was engaging, the lighting gave the vibe of walking into a upscale jazz juke joint. Fully equipped service bar, (with a light menu that includes Steak), if you want something hearty. I was delighted to see butterfly Shrimp on the menu. On stage the live band performing melodic sounds of rhythm and blues had the scene swaying to the groove. Everyone from the door greeter to the host was pleasant. The atmosphere was comparison to Cheers where everybody knows your name, southern hospitality. This is beyond doubt the place to come an unwind, Crescent Lounge caters a different host every night so you have something new to look forward to when you walk through those doors.
As the night went forth the reason for my visit was to engage and find solace in some ink that has bleed on the pages of life. The Spot Light of the Night was Killeen Poetry Slam. This particular night featured several known local artist and open mic as well. Spoken word is a society that is definitely growing by word of mouth. It does not carry the same venue platform as many other expressive art forms such as music or theatre. The gift of voice expression demands resolution while given rise to truth. Supplying True comprehension of a dialect is the most empowering thing you can do for a person. That is the Grass Root of Spoken Word the very fabric of its cloth.
The conception of Killeen Poetry Slam from the limited gatherings I accumulated started in 1997. John Crow & Christopher Micheal have been the forerunners spearing the format venue for this special nook in Texas. The host at that particular time was Under the Hood Out Reach Center, where they held events 2nd & 4th Fridays. Currently events held at (Crescent Lounge) are hosted once a month. They have been maintaining a small but dedicated audience. The artist receives their actual footage from their taping. There are several venues connected in Austin, Texas as well I am to understand.
I want to just acknowledge a few artists that stood out to me, they all were great in their own right obtaining a wonderful gift.
The show began with a general unknown open mic. Artist came nervous yet dedicated to the art presenting their pieces. In the midst of transitioning to different artist the room on occasion became filled with much chatter. As an Artist it is critical to understand that once behind that mic you have to vocally express with the intent on captivating attention. With that being stated, A few highlights stood out as follows….
Ignatius, this brother, farfetched for first timer, his voice so eloquently arrested the room from the moment he opened his mouth. Very intriguing piece thought provoking, wishing him the best.
John Crow (one of the founders) did a piece that spoke to the essence of a people enslaved an challenged them to pick up their pens and address social economic change.
“Memory loss the only reparations they will offer you!” Powerful line from Christopher Micheal
Ebony Stewart is a beautiful Being that is very much comfortable in the skin that she is in. She does a piece called “Cupcake” that is amazing. The piece that she does entitled “Wash” Class was definitely in session. Her presence is very warming; she is truly genuine to her gift. She breathes life into her words as they dance the melody of transcending across the meadows of comprehension.
Killeen Poetry Slam may very well be a whisper in the ears of many over the years but I have no doubt with the accolades this group of men have under their belt an what they have built will go far beyond their wildest dreams.
I must say that as a writer within the art itself I was pleasantly surprised with finding this little piece of treasure tucked away in Killeen, Texas.
Via Von Nichols (ThatTruthSpoken)