At the Channel Inn's "Engine Room" Eric Johnson and his band, Natural Selection, pump up a crowd that is quickly filling the bar at 8 p.m. Many here come every Sunday for Open Mike and they know what will come next--talented singers who will woo them to the dance floor by singing their own songs and those of singers like Johnny Mathis,
Smokey Robinson, James Brown, the Temptations, and a host of others that represent the best of Soul music.
As open mike begins, the mostly middle-aged crowd encourages the singers and soon the men politely ask the ladies to dance. As the night wears on, one might spot former Mayor Marion Barry boogying on the dance floor and experience a singer like Jimi Dougans of the famed D.C. band "The Senators" belting out a song by the Temptations. By 10 p.m. it is standing room only and the night is in full swing.