Felton Music Hall
Andy McKee rocks the stage at the Felton Music Hall. — Janet Janssen

As the pandemic wanes, we are moving, going outdoors, connecting and mingling with others because hope is in the air. We are getting full of it. So, I decided to go out on the town, downtown Felton.

A Wee-bit of History

In the ’90s, I moved into the San Lorenzo Valley from L.A., and the Felton Music Hall (FMH) was aka Don Quixote’s International Music Hall. It had a reputation then for attracting good musicians, but in 2017 it sold to Flynn’s Cabaret & Steakhouse, only to sell again to FMH in 2019. Now, we all know what happened soon after that year.

With the fires and Covid-19, the restaurant and entertainment industries got hit hard, and they, like many other businesses, had to pivot and persist.

Lucky for us, FMH persisted. Throughout history, music has transcended every obstacle of life, giving musicians lots of lyrics to write about them in their music.

Andy & Yasmin

I decided FMH is the next buzz-about-town. We need the basic staples of life, but through food, music, art and entertainment, we can enrich our spirits and do what I believe is one of the keys to a happy life: have fun.

I signed up for their early show at 6pm, booking the same day at $34. It was worth every penny. The people sitting on both sides of me raved about the two musicians, Andy McKee and Yasmin Williams. “You are in for a real treat,” they told me with enthusiasm.

On their website, FMH says it “brings unrivaled live music experience to the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

Music lovers of all genres can see both the best local talent and their favorite touring musicians while enjoying fresh craft food and drinks. Their venue is small, but you can order from the bar, and the restaurant is open from Wednesday-Sunday 4-9pm. It was a full house.

I sat on the front row, listening to the buzz of the arriving guests, and then I heard, ‘Janet.’ I wasn’t alone. From my new neighbors on each side of me to old friends in the back, ensuring I was in for a treat. Soon the lights dimmed. I was swiftly hypnotized by the acoustics in this venue and mesmerized by how these two talented and gifted guitarists know how to play their instruments.

I left feeling happy, alive and fascinated by how they turned a guitar’s sound into a harp, hammer and banjo. Their ability to manipulate the strings got raves. You could tell the audience loved what they did and knew how to engage us. Such connection is what our music halls in our Valley and Santa Cruz county bring us and around the world.

Transcending Time

Music transcends time, unifies the diversity of all who listen, and stimulates our minds, body, and spirits. I wanted to get up and dance during and after the show. Last December, Mike Renwick, a local musician for years, has been bringing his brand of R&B and rock songs during the Holidays to FMH. Many a year, I danced and danced and danced.

FMH will bring us eclectic, riveting, and joyful entertainment. You can go online at feltonmusichall.com or email [email protected]. Try apps Medium or Spotify to keep up with their posts and playlists.

“Let’s do the things we love,” says FMH. If music is what you love, join them or go anywhere that makes your heart sing, your soul rock and your feet dance.

Janet Janssen is a life coach, trainer and public speaker. She works with business owners and their staff for personal development and leadership skills. Contact her at [email protected] or 831-335-0553.

Previous articleCougars inch closer to league crown | High school softball
Next articleMother’s Love and Whispers from the Past
Janet Janssen, Life in Business and Speaker Coach, SLV and Scotts Valley Chamber member, Leadership Santa Cruz board member, Cabrillo College Extension Program teacher and TEDx Santa Cruz volunteer coach, is available for group training in public speaking and leadership workshops. Contact her at [email protected] or visit janetjanssen.com.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here