Newly Minted Musician Credits Open Mic Scene For Age-Defying Pursuit

Never ever Much too LATE: Len DeBotton travels to Manahawkin weekly to aid the regional open up mic scene, exactly where he received his begin as a performer. (Provided photograph)
The Jersey Shore fosters a flourishing tunes and arts scene. The ever-developing open up mic community has provided rise to possibilities for aspiring musicians to engage in for a captive audience. One part-time resident, Len DeBotton, has produced a determination to that neighborhood, commuting to Manahawkin weekly for the Aged Causeway’s Tuesday evening acoustic open mic, hosted by Chris Fritz.
DeBotton lived most of his everyday living in Pine Brook, and has produced his dwelling for additional than 30 yrs at Berkeley School, exactly where he is now the chief details officer and senior vice president in the IT discipline. He is also a member of the worship group at Beth Messiah Congregation, in North Jersey.
DeBotton grew up listening to traditional rock, but as a trumpet participant all via his school many years, it is unsurprising his beloved bands had been stadium rock band Queen and Chicago, the self-proclaimed “rock ’n’ roll band with horns.” Over and above his significant college job, where he performed in a variety of band ensembles, he did not pursue his aspiration of actively playing rock songs – that is, until eventually a short while ago.
In late 2018, DeBotton’s household procured a next household in the Seashore Haven West part of Stafford Township, and promptly nestled into the community. He credits the Seashore Haven West local community Facebook site for making it possible for him to obtain his way all around and discover the ins and outs of the town, from places to eat to boating.
For the duration of his to start with summer months in Seaside Haven West, DeBotton recalled, Ty Mares was the 1st musician he saw performing at a private celebration. “I fundamentally stared at Ty all night, realizing I desired to do this as properly.” That was when DeBotton, at the age of 51, picked up an acoustic guitar for the initially time and quickly sought out Mares for a few lessons. He has not put his guitar down considering the fact that.
Last 12 months, he created the determination to choose the stage at the Old Causeway’s open mic night time and, with Fritz as his mentor, has not seemed back again.
“It’s inspiring to see an individual in the center age period of everyday living diving so deep into some thing new like playing guitar and singing,” Fritz stressed. “Old Causeway acoustic open up mic has served Len effectively!”
“My nephew, Omri, jokes about my reverse-career path, going from CIO to starving artist,” DeBotton quipped. He has rapidly taken on gigs at venues these as Northside Bar and Grill in Surf Town and Waretown’s Breakers Kitchen area and Faucet. The most fulfilling gigs, having said that, are for area EMS, law enforcement and fire departments. “They all give me a likelihood to give back to these courageous folks,” he shared.
“Our nearby band of regulars at the Outdated Causeway is the most supportive team of musicians you could imagine,” DeBotton said, describing lots of of his peers have yrs of working experience and are happy to share important guidance with him. He is impressed at how much development he has manufactured, which he characteristics to his local community.
“Clearly, devoid of the help of my remarkable neighbors it would have hardly ever occurred,” he stated gratefully. “Many have adopted me from gig to gig. The complete town has taken me underneath their wing. Mad!” He has branded his performances as Lenahawkin to fork out homage to his shore town of Manahawkin.
Lenahawkin performs all of DeBotton’s vintage rock hits, with emphasis on tunes that cater to (or can be modified to cater to) the very low tone of his voice. He cited Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and James Taylor as some of his influences.
LENAHAWKIN: Len DeBotton has named his act ‘Lenahawkin’ as a tribute to his 2nd house of Manahawkin, where his open mic local community resides. (Supplied photograph)
His mission as an artist is to inspire other individuals to follow their desires, regardless of age or other instances, devoid of the worry of discovering a little something new.
“If you asked me three several years ago if I would be receiving compensated to do 3-hour performances over 15 situations in fewer than a year, I would say you were out of your thoughts,” he spelled out. “Do what you enjoy to do, and don’t enable anyone halt you,” he recommended.
Viewing an viewers singing and bopping along to his tunes helps make all the effort and hard work worthwhile. “It’s never ever too late to start off (anything new),” DeBotton encourages. “You just might have to have to place a ton far more time into it to capture up for lost decades. That’s why why I apply virtually every day from the working day I picked up the guitar.”
Follow @Lenahawkin on Fb to examine out DeBotton are living. These intrigued in having in on the action can be part of @OC Acoustic Open Mic on Facebook, or merely show up at on Tuesday evenings. Signups start off at 6:30 p.m., and showtime is 7 to 10 p.m.
— Monique M. Demopoulos

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