Open Mic Night at Reflections

By on March 18, 2015

“Get ready to be lifted up,” said Joe Lerman, as he introduced Kayla Estrella at Reflections’ open mic on Sunday, March 15.

Lerman Richards, a Lancaster County band made up of Lerman and Kevin Richards, hosts the open mic at Reflections every Sunday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. Their band performed at the General Sutter Inn for Second Friday on March 13 and are known to play classic rock, country and vintage oldies at locations all over Lancaster County.

But at open mic, it’s not about them but about the other musicians. They give everyone else “their moment of glory,” as Lerman put it.

“Kevin and I like to make everybody who comes look their best and feel their best,” he said.

Joe Lerman and Kevin Richards host the open mic at Reflections on Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m.

Joe Lerman and Kevin Richards host the open mic at Reflections on Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m.

And following Lerman’s introduction, Estrella of Lancaster had her moment of glory, silencing the room as her strong vocals resonated a powerful version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Let’s just say, if the American Idol judges were present, they would have probably commented on her ability to stay in tune despite reactions from the crowd. She was confident, steady, and emotionally connected to the lyrics. She would have made Jennifer Lopez proud. Keith Urban might have said, “I want to hear more of that, baby.”

At Reflections Restaurant, everyone clapped and Estrella received numerous hugs and praises from strangers after her singing.

Estrella usually has her moment of fame at George’s in Mountville during karaoke on Thursday evenings. She recently started attending open mic at Reflections, one of the many talented performers who come out.

“I just love doing it, and I just love being able to share my gift,” she said. A Lancaster County resident, Estrella has plans to join the Air Force within the next year.

Kayla Estrella of Lancaster sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Kayla Estrella of Lancaster sings Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Last fall, Lerman Richards approached restaurant owner Jim Garland about using the venue for an open mic on Sundays. Since it began in October, the open mic took off. It usually hosts at least 12 musicians every week. With deck weather approaching, they have plans to move the open mic to an outdoor venue in April. Over the summer the open mic will be held at The Station at Reinholds Inn and will return to Reflections in the fall.

But until it warms up, unwind from the weekend at Reflections. With a daily happy hour special from 5 to 7 p.m., patrons can enjoy half off appetizers at the bar. Top that off with a Southern Lemonade Martini, and you just might forget about Monday as you enjoy the professional and local sound

A unique open mic, the musicians play a decent amount of originals. Although you’ll hear some familiar songs, they’re not the typical bar songs that everyone is sick of hearing. With a full band, they have drums, bass, guitars, tambourines, harmonicas and the talent to create a mesmerizing sound.

Lerman described the open mic as a “mix and match buffet,” and they welcome any genre of music as long as it’s family friendly. They represent a little bit of everything from southern and classic rock, blues, country, folk, and hippie music.

“We don’t have much for rap,” said Lerman.

The musicians come from as far away as Reading, Allentown and Gap to play at this open mic. Terry Strongheart of Reading is another established songwriter who has been coming out since the open mic started.

Tom Chestnut and Jim Folker performed their rendition of the country classic “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn at Sunday’s open mic. (Photos by Lenay Ruhl)

Tom Chestnut and Jim Folker performed their rendition of the country classic “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn at Sunday’s open mic. (Photos by Lenay Ruhl)

“It brings a lot of musicians from all over,” said Strongheart, amazed at the talent that is in the area. He doesn’t mind traveling to play. “I go anywhere there’s music,” he said.

The show ran a little late on Sunday night. Lerman Richards ended it with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary,” and dedicated it to Mary Adamson who was bartending; a lyrical thank you to her for letting them stay past nine.

Adamson, a manager at Reflections, admitted that she rolled her eyes when she first heard they were going to start an open mic on Sunday nights, expecting “bad karaoke.”

“It’s fun,” Adamson said, laughing at their song choice. “They really have a following.”

Reflections is located at 1390 Oregon Road, Leola. Learn more at reflections-restaurant.com.

Lenay Ruhl is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at lenay.ruhl@gmail.com.

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