Owner and proprietor Greg Johnson continues to host some of the best singer-songwriting talent from Oklahoma and beyond. Since 1993, Johnson has kept the walls up, literally, to preserve the genuine feel of the music. He has high standards for its performers because he believes it's all about the song at The Blue Door.
On February 27th, I had the opportunity to catch Colorado-based opening act Bryce P Merritt. He sang about his experience with love, but his performance was more than that. It was an invitation into his personal life.
Over a five-song set, Merritt navigated the audience through his courtship of his wife. He opened with "Ordinary Day," a look into his daily infatuation with her, which inspired a collective "aww" from the crowd. Best explained in “Forever by My Side,” he also expressed his struggle to construct vows that accurately conveyed passion and vision while touching on his ability to overcome mistakes. Merritt created rapport with the crowd through his Thunder updates between songs, a nod to his Edmond upbringing.
Johnson then returned to introduce Dallas-born Patrice Pike and guitarist Wayne Sutton with emotional sentiment. Their long-standing musical relationship is an integral part of Johnson's soon-to-be released documentary about the venue. After Pike took center stage, the crowd visibly lit up. The room seemed to glow as she started, evolving to foot stomps and raised Solo cups as the set went on. Her performance epitomized the life of a well-traveled songwriter, exuding charisma and mettle while focusing on the stories behind each tune. For all her touring, though, it's clear she has a special bond with The Blue Door. When remarking on the improvements to the restrooms there, the audience crescendoed into a roar of applause.
Between the red-brick colored window shades, weathered Oklahoma relics and hanging vintage instruments, The Blue Door exemplifies that high mark of a good listening room—connection on a personal level with an artist. The beauty of this venue lies not only with the tan wood paneling and the warm stage ambience, but also with the tradition and history of all who have visited. For those looking for a truly intimate experience, The Blue Door is a necessity.