The Corner Tavern has been an important part of New Brunswick's musical scene for many years. Musician Spook Handy, and his desire to share music and make it an interactive experience, turned the Corner Tavern into a gathering place for musicians of all types.
Spook started the The Spook Handy Show, an open mic night, at the Corner Tavern in 1985. The event was created around Spook's love for playing music, and creating an environment where people can mingle and bond over an interest in music. This stemmed from Spook's early days in New Brunswick as a Rutgers University student and the campus' musical scene of the late 70s. The show ran for 20 years and hosted 1,000 total nights at the Corner Tavern.
Spook has become an acclaimed musician since the start of The Spook Handy Show. He has released four CDs, had his songs chart as high as #6 on the Folk Radio Charts, and has played over 3,000 shows in the U.S. and Canada, alongside legendary folk artists such as Pete Seeger. Spook's contributions to the community via his shows at the Corner Tavern has helped kept the musical scene alive in New Brunswick. The preservation of this musical scene is important because it allows different members of the community to bond over a common element.
The first three or four years I ran the show, there were times that you couldn't find a place to sit down, everyone came out, it was the thing to do... we all knew each other we shared songs, people teamed up and formed duos and trios and full bands, we had awards every year, it was a real fun time" -Spook Handy