Capps and her husband and musical partner, Rod, have played Zou Zou's Cafe since 2002 and have lived out in the country in Linden Township since 2005. They wanted to share their far-flung musical friends with their adopted hometown. Turns out Chelsea wanted that too and needed no heavy-handed railroading from Capps. A number of people, businesses, and organizations have jumped on board. Bob Pierce at the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce has helped find sponsors and has been enthusiastically promoting the series. (The intent is to give performers 100 percent of the gate and raise funds to cover the building rental and other expenses.) A3Radio.com has been webcasting the shows; coffee is being donated by Back to the Roots; and the first two shows were very well attended and received.
The recently renovated old Chelsea Depot accommodates fifty to sixty people. With wall-to-wall windows on three sides, and painted in several tones of Michigan Central Railroad green, it's a charming venue for the informal, interactive shows Capps envisioned. Trains have not stopped at the Depot since 1974, but they still roar by every day and have come past at least once during every concert.
"It's really cool when it happens," says Capps. "Everyone wants to applaud, and the performers play off it--but this is Amtrak, so timing a specific song for a specific train is never an option."
Capps already has some performers lined up for next year's season. She says, "Our hope is that this will carry on for a very long time!"