Club 51 a jam forum for area musiciansPublished 5:08pm Sunday, August 4, 2013
Dowagiac’s new weekend Club 51, 57470 M-51 South, gives musicians a place to jam.
Friday night hit hard and loud with blues guitar by Barry Clark of Niles and vocals by Pokagon Township Clerk Carrie Sandberg.
Her father, Duane Casey, played another guitar, along with Keeler native Martin Caldwell on guitar, bassist Dominic Rappelli Sr., Gary Shelton of Jones on keyboard and Rich Chappell on drums.
They constitute the house band for Friday and Saturday nights of blues, jazz and gospel starting at 7.
Pam Casey, whose in-laws owned Sandy Acres farm and feed store, which divided to form Club 51 and her daughter Carrie’s Sands of Time antique mall, said Mrs. Elzie (Martha Sue) Casey “would absolutely be in heaven if she knew this was going on. She loved people playing and singing. She’d be jumping for joy. Music was her love. If Sandy Acres couldn’t make it, she’d be proud as a peacock about this.”
Rappelli, who manages the club, said, “Duane, the owner, plays guitar. He’s always wanted to create a family forum where musicians could gather to play, sing and become part of the music. We’ve had quite a few people come by already and we’ve gotten some good response since we opened three weekends ago. We’re supposed to have a lady who works at Judd Lumber stop by with her saxophone. Anyone from town can come with an instrument and play or sing. We’re always open to someone sitting in. A family came last week with two daughters still in high school who sang. Another lady pulled out a washboard. A lot of us are born-again Christians and it’s a wholesome atmosphere” with no alcohol.
Rappelli, a handyman, retired from the AM General Hummer plant in Mishawaka, Ind., after 33 1/2 years.
There’s a donation jar and some snacks available.
Sandy Acres closed Dec. 28, 2012, after 38 years.
Call (269) 782-6517 for more information.