By Joy Dorvinen
HOUGHTON - Where can you go locally to find entertainment at its best?
On Oct. 31, at 4 p.m., Good Times Music in downtown Houghton hosted musician, singer-songwriter, composer, engineer and music producer Bernie Larsen.
A photo of Los Angeles musician, Bernie Larsen, left, with Good Times Music owner Susie Landers and her husband Tim. Above shows Good Times Music in downtown Houghton.
"We just want more of you," yelled a fan as Bernie asked the crowd what they wanted to hear?
As his smooth voice came floating through the store, one couldn't help but become caught up in the moment. The crowd stood in awe as Bernie's hands danced around his guitar, and a sweet sound echoed through the air.
Once a resident of Houghton, Bernie now lives in Los Angeles. He has made and produced scores of albums, and has played and worked with such talented artists as Melissa Etheridge, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Public Enemy, Rickie Lee Jones, E.G. Daily, Brian Joens and Rosie Flores, just to name a few.
As the songs flowed freely at Good Times Music, the fans became quiet, except that the rhythm had them tapping their feet.
In a 2008 Vintage Guitar Magazine article, Bernie said, "the time I spent in Michigan was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I'm proudest of that. I've played on some big records, but that's my legacy."
Local entrepreneur and owner of Good Times Music Susie Landers and her husband Tim have been longtime friends with Bernie.
Good Times Music produces a relaxing atmosphere for those who love music. The store is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Whether you are a gifted musician, or just enjoy listening to music, Good Times Music is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere. "We just want to provide a place for people to purchase their instruments," Susie said, "(as well as) a place for everyone to feel welcome and to meet other musicians."
With a laugh, Susie talked about the good old days when she was just starting in the music business.
With eyes glistening, she spoke about when the store opened in 2004: "The local musicians helped me .... everybody pitched in."
She said that Bernie was a huge part of her success.
After his show ended and the store began to clear out, a group of friends and local musicians gathered around as Susie reminisced on how Bernie use to tell her, "Susie, if you get in a panic just call me." But Bernie said that it was really Susie who had helped him out during those years. Since 2004, Good Times Music has provided a place where all of the old and new friends are able to gather together like a family and share their passion for music.
"I don't think of this as a music store, it's kind of my home" Susie said.
Susie's fond memories about the store are endless.
"It's amazing how many friendships have (started) because of coming in here" she said. "I'm personally not a musician, so I welcome everybody."
With a charming smile she talked about her relationships with local musicians and music fans and how she loves when they come into the store.
"That's why we have the jam corner," Tim said.
"We welcome them to come in and sit and play," Susie said, "whether you're a musician or not, just come and hang out."
For more information about Good Times Music, call 482-0245 or visit goodtimesmusic.com.
On Thursday, Nov. 12 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Good Times Music will be hosting musician Tom Katalin. Be sure to stop down to enjoy the live music and free refreshments!
Also, this holiday season when you're searching for the perfect gift, remember from now until Dec. 24, if you purchase any string instrument, drum or piano you will receive two free music lessons from one of the talented instructors at Good Times Music.
If you make this purchase on Nov. 12, you will also receive a free instrument stand or music stand.
Good Times Music is a full service music store that provides quality service for all of your musical needs, including instrument repair as well as music lessons.
For more information about Bernie, visit his record company at spinoutrecords.com.
Bernie, and his group, Cry on Cue, have a new album Love + Trust, which can be purchased at Good Times Music on Shelden Avenue in Houghton.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Good Times Music of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.