Staging his own uprising

Brian Shepard seeks to help aspiring singers and songwriters with his open mic night.

Brian Shepard seeks to help aspiring singers and songwriters with his open mic night.

A passion for music and a goal to promote live music for youth inspired Brian Shepard to found Musical Uprising, an open mic night for young singers and songwriters up to college age.

The open mic nights began nearly two years ago and were first held once a month at Turkey Creek Golf Center, but now are hosted monthly at Canterbury Hill Winery and Restaurant.

“I was seeing more and more singers’ and musicians’ videos of them singing in their houses and basements, but they had nowhere to perform,” Shepard said. “It inspired me to find a place for them to play.”

Shepard said he already had the equipment—instruments and a sound system.

“So, I set it up like a real venue,” he said. “There’s bands that come and individuals, like a songwriter venue.”

Shepard, 50, has played gigs with bands since he was 14, but he’s played and enjoyed music for much longer.

He plays the drums, guitar and he sings.

He’s also coached numerous sports throughout the years, including soccer, basketball and baseball.

An electrician by trade, he’s also a volunteer member of the Cole County Sheriff’s Posse, a group of trained citizens who assist the department with various tasks. But, Shepard said, he’s mostly a coach and musician.

He coaches the young musicians.

“I try to teach them that this is something you can do for life, even if it’s for friends and family,” he said.

His goal is for young artists to interact with one another, because he said it helps them learn and grow musically.

“I just wanted to teach a different way of being a musician,” Shepard said. “It’s not about all of the equipment, it’s about playing for the love of music.”

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