MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The pandemic has left few opportunities for musicians across the country to perform, including Mankato’s music scene.
That’s why a group of local performers collaborated in 2020 fashion to bring joy to our community.
“It was the end of March, and I was sitting in my office trying to find money for my business,” Jenn-Melby Kelley, owner of The Coffee Hag and musician, said. “I was just feeling everything really hard, it was really heavy on my heart. Thinking about my family, my friends, my staff, my business, our community. And it was really late, probably 2 in the morning. And I was just frustrated and angry. And I heard “Let it Be” on the radio and I just sobbed.”
Jenn Melby-Kelly, owner of the Coffee Hag and a musician, knew she wanted to do something for Mankato’s struggling music community since the start of the pandemic.
“I have met a lot of musicians coming through the Coffee Hag,” Melby-Kelley said. “These people are really talented and they have gifts that they want to share with the world and I was trying to figure out a platform where we could do that.”
So she recorded herself, and enlisted the help of fellow Mankato musician, Colin Scharf.
“This song is a celebration,” Scharf, who performed on and produced the song, said. “It’s this celebratory, joyful piece of music.”
With a handful of local vocalists and instrumentalists, they formed the Coffee Hag Choir. Performing together, from afar, like we do in 2020.
“It was really, really great to get to work with a lot of talent in town here and capture how good they are on these recordings,” Scharf said. “And then to be able to share it with everybody, it was just really great.”
“What we wanted to do was share the healing power of music,” Melby-Kelley said. “And, personally, I wanted to spread some love, and some music. And that’s the whole idea behind it.”