Sonnet's in Wadsworth
“Live Coffee — Hot Music — Loud Food”: That’s the slogan proudly emblazoned on the awning outside of Sonnets Espresso Bar and Restaurant in Wadsworth. Add an impressive selection of 75 Ohio-brewed beers to the mix, and according to co-owner Brian Power, you’ve got the formula for this venue’s success.
“The gourmet coffee, fresh food, beer and music all overlap,” Power said, “and the result is a great and unique overall experience for everybody.” The live music happens five times a week, and in the middle you’ll find a very popular Wednesday night open-mic. Signup starts around 6 p.m. and music starts at 7, with each act getting 3 songs or a maximum of 15 minutes.
Solo acts dominate most nights, but duos and trios aren’t uncommon either. Like so many successful open-mics, several singer-songwriters who have been coming for years form the core of regular performers.
One such artist and supporter is Ed Amann, who also regularly plays solo gigs at Sonnets on the weekends. “Sonnets is a place that cares about music and us folks who make it,” said Amman. “I’ve played there for the better part of ten years and I’ve watched the venue grow and evolve; they are constantly improving and upgrading the experience.”
Co-owner Todd Power, who also plays host and soundman, said that over the past couple years the open-mic has attracted a growing crowd of younger performers and listeners, including many teenagers. One veteran long-time regular, Uncle John, acknowledged that the younger crowd can get a little louder and more boisterous than the older folks content to quietly listen, and indicated his approval.
“I find the younger crowd to be very refreshing and energizing,” he said. “Everyone is accepted and the anything-goes atmosphere makes for a great opportunity to interact and be heard, especially for the younger folks getting their first experience on stage.”
With the Wednesday night open-mic having become so full, Sonnets recently added a Monday night “Poets’ Night,” another open-mic strictly for songwriters performing original material. Intended to make sure that everyone interested in performing on the Sonnets stage gets their chance every week, so far it’s decently attended, with many musicians choosing to play on both Wednesdays and Mondays.