Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sing It Like You Mean It

Piano bars are awesome. Everyone loves to drink and sing along to their favorite songs, so why not provide a venue for everyone to gather and make sweet music together?

I had a dream to open a piano bar in Richmond. My dreams were dashed when I heard a radio ad a while back for a new bar opening that had dueling pianos. I had never been to a piano bar before but Mike had, so we decided to gather up the troops (Libbie and Weston) and scout it out.

The bar is beach themed, and the piano bar section is called "The Keys." It took me at least 15 minutes to get the joke.

If you've never been, this is how it works: you request songs on a slip of paper and place it on the player's piano. If you really want your song to be played, you attach some money to that piece of paper. The musician's rotate every week to keep it fresh.

The first time we went I was hooked. We were graced with the vocal stylings of Dean. Oh Dean. Amazingly talented, would play any 80's song we requested Dean. I still dream about you.

All four of us vowed to go the next weekend. The next weekend came and....not so good.

I'm not sure if we were blinded by the glow of the new experience, but every time we have gone to the bar since that first time has been a let down.

Yet, we keep going. Why? Because it's hysterical.

Mike and I and all our friends have made a game out of going to the piano bar. Each outing starts with an obligatory round of tequila shots. It's become a contest to see who can get the worst
song played (I'm the winner to date with "What's Going On" by 4 Non Blondes). When people request songs we don't like, we sing at the top of our lungs to ruin it for them. Pure class, I know.

My favorite story from The Keys thus far has to be when Lauren and her husband Chris came into town. It's always a guessing game when you make a request: will the player know the song? Will he play it? Chris had requested a song, and luckily, the musician knew it.

"This song is dedicated to Lauren from's called "Song for the Dumped."

*Awkward Silence*

Mike, Chris and I start doubling over in laughter. Lauren felt the need to explain to the entire audience that Chris and her had been married for four years.

The piano bar. Providing priceless memories for years to come.


  1. Erinn, Mike and I went to a piano bar in Charleston last spring. We didn't stay long--only long enough to have a beer and join in a raucous chorus of Sweet Caroline. It was awesome!

  2. When I worked at "the World," Tuesday nights were castmember nights at Jellyrolls (a piano bar) on the Boardwalk. I always requested "Country Roads." On my last Tuesday night there before coming back up the country roads to go to grad school, the piano players rocked it and all my fellow castmembers sang to me. *sigh*


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