Sophomore Ben Mohr, a University of Wisconsin–Stout singer-songwriter, played his first Menomonie show at the Raw Deal café on Friday, Oct. 20. Guitar in hand, Mohr laid down a mix of folksy originals and covers.
Mohr is no rookie to performing. He is a regular at Blue Devil Productions’ and Acoustic Café’s open mic nights. Members of the musical community often compare his voice to Bob Dylan’s.
Mohr started playing music at the age of four and was actively involved with bands throughout high school. “I didn’t really start doing my own thing until I started doing open mics here. When I came to [Stout] as a freshman—that’s when most of my growth as a performer started,” Mohr said.
Mohr describes his music as a folk-rock conglomerate of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. “I pride myself that I write my own songs,” Mohr said. “I spend a lot of time just practicing, so being able to share my music with people is pretty fun.” Mohr has recently released tunes on Soundcloud under his moniker Wild Flower Child.
Kristen Hedge, a server at Raw Deal, says that the Raw Deal “creates a safe space for all walks of life.”
“We want to be a platform to show other Menomonie residents how great Menomonie actually is—we wanted to give students a reason to stay in town,” Hedge said.
According to Mohr, if you want to get involved in the music scene in Menomonie, the best thing to do is sign up for open mic nights. “Just do it,” Mohr said, “I feel like when you do an open mic, most people in the audience wouldn’t have the guts to do it—so there’s no reason to be too anxious.”
The Raw Deal, located a short walk off campus on Broadway Street South, frequently hosts music and events on Fridays.