As patrons arrived through the swing doors of Country Fever Dance Ranch, the band warmed up with a crooning version of “Home on the Range.”
The Dance Ranch looks like a Texas saloon that has been plunked into Michigan farmland. Old Roy Rogers films play on TV screens and you can order a frosty mug of beer before the dancing starts.
Owner Gary Phillips is in the band that plays on Monday nights. While his favorites are Merle Haggard and John Denver, the band mixes it up for the crowd.
“We do a variety of music up there, too. We do a lot of the ’60s rock-and-roll stuff,” Phillips said.
At one point, instructor Mary Rose led a line dance and the music was accompanied by the percussion of stomping feet. Rose also teaches a line dancing class on Tuesday nights.
Country Fever Dance Ranch is the only Western-themed dance hall you’ll find in the area.
It’s one of the many unique music venues here in Calhoun County, whether you want to dance or chill out:
Fridays are vinyl night -- bring your own records or listen to the DJ’s picks. Listen to local music on the weekends (check Facebook for when bands play).
BC Beats is on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can check out the music and shop at the indie stores.
JB’s has more than a huge selection of whiskey -- they’ve built a festival stage on their massive outdoor dining space. Complete with colored lights and a sweet sound system, you’ll get the entire concert experience.
They love music over at Dark Horse: There’s Acoustic Tuesdays, Live Music Thursdays and big concerts on Saturday. It’s all in the beer garden, where you can enjoy the brewery’s famous beers. It’s dog-friendly, too!
Villa on Verona
This boutique hotel and wedding venue in Marshall hosts Music on the Grounds every Wednesday. Tickets are $10, with children 10 and younger free. You can bring your own drinks. There’s also a special concert on Aug. 4, An Evening at the Mandol-inn.
Walk the Beat
Albion is making culture more accessible with concerts at the Farmers Market every Wednesday.
It’s not only movies -- Bohm has live concerts up on the restored stage. Jam along with Blues at the Bohm on the first Monday of the month. Or take the mic for Word Up, which features local hip-hop, R&B and soul musicians, along with poetry. Tickets are $10 for both of those.