music venues

Fort Collins Music Experience (FoCoMX) is here!

Fort Collins Music ExperimentMusic played a very significant role during my formative years. I come from a musical family; we have singers, guitarists, pianist, songwriters and composers. One of my fondest memories is falling asleep night after night to the sound of my dad softly playing his guitar in the living room.

I still play a little piano on occasion, but I can no longer read sheet music. I never have the opportunity to sing, unless it’s an intoxicated evening of karaoke with friends.

Whenever I do happen to hear an amazing musician live, I realize that the one thing my life lacks is music. Not music from an Ipod or radio, or Pandora, but real, live music. Live music is an opportunity to watch someone living their passion and sharing it, and for me this is always a powerful thing to experience.

The Fort Collins Music Experiment (FoCoMX) will provide me the chance to see, hear and discover musicians from my own area.

This event is in its third year and is produced by the Fort Collins Musicians Association (FoCoMA), a non-profit providing education, support and networking opportunities for the Northern Colorado music community.

This two-day event will provide me, and others, the opportunity to see 200 bands at 30 different venues for just $15.

FoCoMX runs Friday and Saturday nights, April 8 and 9, 2011. Free buses will be running between venues every 15 minutes between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some of the venues are 21+ only, but others are all-ages friendly. Some of my favorite Fort Collins hotspots are on the list including Avogadro’s Number and Road 34.

To be honest, I don’t recognize the names of many of the bands in the lineup, and also in the honesty vein, I can be a little picky. Musicians are everywhere, but good musicians are really hard to find.

I’m hoping to discover some great, local musicians during this event. If your favorite band is playing FoCoMX, let me know when and where!

Find the Fort Collins Music Experiment (FoCoMx) online at  See the entire line up of bands, venues and purchase tickets.


Mad about Mandolin Cafe

Stoll Vaughan b&w

Stoll Vaughan at Mandolin Cafe in Loveland, Colorado on February 11, 2010. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

I recently discovered Mandolin Cafe  at 210 East 4th Street in Loveland, Colorado.   This relatively new addition to downtown, is a funky coffee shop  with a musical soul.

Last Thursday evening,  Stoll Vaughan, a singer/songwriter and stellar guitarist  played a free show  at Mandolin Cafe. Vaughan had approached owner Alex Zoll about playing at the  coffee shop  after Vaughan opened for The Elders at The Rialto Theater in Loveland, back in January.

Vaughan, equipped with a mic, speaker, harmonica  and a couple guitars, played songs off his “Love Like a Mule” and “The Weatherman” CDs,  as well as  a few  other tunes.   He also spent time chatting with the audience.

Mandolin Cafe is a great venue for true music lovers  because it’s an intimate setting –  the  audience really feels the music and the musician  is able to  interact with the audience.

The cafe also has a wide variety of coffee, smoothies and shakes,  as well as breakfast items, sandwiches, salads and even a kids menu. Our table ordered the Chicken Pesto Panini ($5.99) and Italian Panini ($5.99). Both were delicious.

We will definitely be back to Mandolin Cafe – for the music and the food.

See  Mandolin Cafe’s  entire musical line up at  or find them on Facebook.

Listen to Stoll Vaughan at

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