Sharing Gifts of Time and Talent

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It was just a few weeks after we opened in June of 2003. A customer sat at the bar stool sipping coffee and casually suggested we start having live music. When we asked around for names of potential performers, we got a list of some local talent and—before we knew it—we had a flyer typed up, a musician sitting on a stool with a guitar, and a gathering of about 8 people.

Live music nights have been a part of life at the café ever since.

We’ve moved the “stage” a few times, added lighting, installed window shades, obtained an outstanding sound system with the help of good friends, changed the flyer format more than once, and increased our audience size. But one thing has stayed the same: the $5 suggested admission fee!



You name it, we’ve had it. Folksy groups with fiddles and dulcimers, jazz trios on guitar, high school heavy metal guitar students stretching out of their comfort zones to perform classical pieces, bluegrass bands, and even rock ‘n roll bands with a blow up doll named Evelyn sitting on the drum stand!

They come from all over Alger county, the U.P., the state, the country, and even the world! Some of them work day jobs. Some of them are full-time musicians. Some of them write their own songs, and some of them play covers. Some play one instrument, some play a dozen! But all of them perform with their hearts on their sleeves. All of them leave with a few extra bills in their pockets. All of them share their talent and love for music, community, friendship, and performance. And all of them fill our café with love and light and joy.

After 14 years we decided it was time to change our sign for the donation basket. Our bright piece of poster board with sharpie marker writing was getting worn and frayed. It wouldn’t even stand up on the table next to the basket anymore!

I consulted my sister for some assistance. She writes whimsical poetry straight from the heart and I knew she would come up with something for a new sign. (Check out more poetry and inspiration by Jet Widick on her website, GlutenFreeSage.)

live music upper peninsula michigan falling rock cafe and bookstore munising

I sat with my laptop and she threw out phrases and words. Before I knew it, we had a rhyme that expressed who we are and the appreciation we feel for our musicians and our audience. Combined with the artistry from Kristen Alden, Jet’s words were transferred to a beautiful framed poster, and we now have a new sign!

Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore