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Pipestone County Star

 

Kelly's Koffee: The Soft Rock Cafe
There’s something up lately at Kelly’s Koffee other than coffee and food: Owner Kelly LaRock has lately embraced the tradition of café culture and opened her doors to musicians.

Laurie Lewis, a Pipestone classical guitarist and vocalist and Holly Vanden Berg, a Pipestone pianist, are becoming regulars at the Eighth Ave. NE coffee shop and in the future, LaRock has plans to add more musicians to the musical repertoire, she said.

LaRock has been at her current location with Kelly’s Koffee for almost three years and she said business is good and she’s trying different things. 

Vanden Berg sets up a Yamaha stage piano to play at Kelly’s her wide variety of selections, including those from her three albums. Her debut album, “Holly from the Heart” and her second release, “The Sweet Escape” consist of her own songs and arrangements. Her third, “Christmas with Holly,” is basically, “traditional Christmas songs with a contemporary flair,” she said.

For example, “My Jolly Old St. Nick” and “Up on the House Top” she combined and turned into a melancholy melody. “I did some cool stuff with that album,” she said, and obviously it shows: the album climbed to the number-one spot in its Christmas Music category on her distributor’s site, CDBaby.

Vanden Berg, 24, has been playing piano professionally since she was eight years old. She graduated last year from Minnesota State in Mankato, where she majored in music education and public speaking, but her focus ever since as been her music career.

“That what I’m good at and that’s what I want to do,” she said.

Her mother had her in lessons by the time she was five years old.

“My piano teacher said I had perfect pitch,” she said. She continued lessons for 15 years and began composing music when she was 16. “That’s where it’s at,” she said.

Kelly’s reminds her of her college days, she said.

“They have a lot of coffee shops in Mankato that have live music.” At Kelly’s, “it’s kind of a chill atmosphere; nice and cozy and homey.”

Vanden Berg lost her sight when her retinas detached with she was eight months old, but it’s hardly an impediment.

“I don’t remember seeing so it’s no big deal to me,” she said. “I’m having a great life and I enjoy it; I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Vanden Berg will next play at Kelly’s Koffee on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 7-to-9. Lewis will play on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kelly’s Koffee is located at 101 Eighth Ave. NE.

http://www.pipestonestar.com/Stories/Story.cfm?SID=24250
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