Next ‘Congressional Idol’?

For any congressional staffer tempted to step up to a free mic on the House floor or in a hearing room and break out into song, a Capitol Hill coffeehouse is offering a more acceptable outlet.

Ebenezers Coffeehouse has begun an open-mic night on the first Thursday of every month, and organizers are hoping to draw a sizable crowd from the congressional population.

Local artist Gideon Grove saw a need for more live music opportunities in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and figured the café would be a perfect locale. Ebenezers, at 201 F St. NE, is a short walk from the Senate office buildings.

“I know there’s a lot of people on Capitol Hill who want to appreciate music or who are musicians themselves,” said Grove, who’s also the event’s host. He said he hopes to attract a mix of established artists and newer musicians who wish to play in front of an audience for the first time. Grove is also open to having other types of art, such as spoken word or comedy, showcased at the monthly event.

Grove, who was once a summer intern for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), is also hard at work crafting his own skill. A singer-songwriter, his first record is scheduled to be released later this winter or in early spring, and he’s also an accomplished violist who has played for heads of state and other VIPs. (A single from his record can be downloaded from his Facebook page.)

Thursday night will be the coffeehouse’s second open-mic night. Grove said the inaugural event in January was a success: “We had some great songwriters perform.”

The showcase takes place the first Thursday of every month. Sign-up starts at 6:30 p.m.; performances start at 
7 p.m. Grove recommends that people interested in performing also email him prior to the event at gideongrovemusic

More information is also available at the coffeehouse’s website, www