As I pull up to Turk's Bar and Lounge for Tuesday night's "folktrician" open mic, I'm thinking it can't possibly be the right place. At 8 p.m., the scheduled start time, there are only two cars in the parking lot of the dive bar tucked into the back of a strip mall on Flamingo near Maryland Parkway.
Double-checking the sign outside — weathered and painted with what appears to be a tropical flower — doesn't clear things up; no evidence of the "newest, hottest, rock club lounge," as a recent Turk's press release advertised.
But upon entering the bar, the roots of which appear to have been planted in the 1970s — "It's been here since Vegas was built," jokes bartender Joe Robinson, son of the joint's owner — the night starts to make a bit more sense. A decent-sized stage area fills the right side of the room, and the hanging lights and scattered sound equipment vouch for its potential to house a modest rock club.
Thus far, the only musician onstage tonight is folktrician host Dekan Luos, but Robinson assures me past nights have been more successful since Turk's kicked off the night on February 6. "Averages from five to 10 people," he says of previous sign-ups for the open folk night, though he concedes it hasn't drawn the venue's largest crowds. "Friday and Saturday, punk rock, metal nights [are the most crowded]," Robinson says. "We were here until 3:30 the other night; it just depends."
- Weekly Bar Guide
- Turk's Bar and Lounge
The idea behind folktrician night: songs and the stories behind them. "I'm a convicted fibber," says Luos, as a couple more storytellers file in around 10 p.m. "I figured, I'm pretty good at making up stories, so I may as well write songs that go along with it."
And the name? "I was the lead guitarist in a band called The Folktricians," Luos explains. "I held onto the name."