When Eric and Jen Janetsky moved to Flushing from Saginaw in 2019, they brought more than belongings. Packed with the dishes, clothes, furniture and more was a life filled with music and companionship. Each box opened revealed a song and a story, a melody and a friend. It was almost mandatory to share it all with their new home community. “We love the community here and that’s one of the main reasons for creating Farmhouse Folk,” says Eric Janetsky. “We want people to come together, mix and mingle, and listen to amazing music.”
The Janetskys are accomplished musicians in their own rights, both solo and with their band The Lucky Nows. Throughout their travels in Michigan’s lush folk music scene, they have made quite a few contacts in the industry and gained many talented friends. In fact, Farmhouse Folk began years ago in Saginaw with the innocent request of one such friend. “Our friend Rebecca Loebe wanted to do a house show,” remembers Janetsky. “Consequently, she was the first of our house shows in Saginaw and also the first Farmhouse Folk show here in Flushing.” For the last four years, Farmhouse Folk has welcomed musicians from all over Michigan and the country to their little venue in Flushing including Edie Carey, Grace Pettis, Peter Mulvey, Annie & Rod Capps, Sarah Peacock, Drew Nelson, and Jill Jack, to name a few. Each musician brings something different to the table. “We have a good mix,” says Janetsky, “all folk musicians, but each is different. Some are more bluesy, some jazzy, and traditional. In 2020, we really had a great lineup planned but the pandemic ended that. It’s been a slow recovery for us and for all musicians, really.” Farmhouse Folk is quickly getting up to speed again.
We love the community here. We want people to come together, mix and mingle, and listen to amazing music.”
Arriving at the Farmhouse Folk venue, you are welcomed by a well-maintained farmhouse the Janetskys call home. Behind the house in a country barn is where the music happens. “It used to be a literal pig stye,” says Janetsky with a laugh. “We worked very hard to renovate it and we invested time and money to create a great venue for performers and their audiences.” At the head of the barn is the stage where the musician(s) play, immersed in colored lights. Seating for 35 people is no more than five feet away in a double row of chairs. Adorning the walls are musical instruments and paraphernalia – a closer look reveals autographs of artists who have previously played there. “The acoustics are incredible,” adds Janetsky. One of the best things about seeing a show at Farmhouse Folk is the intimacy and audience companionship. It may be Genesee County’s most intimate music venue. “I can tell you that the artists really do prefer a smaller setting,” explains Janetsky. “They play the bigger shows because they pay more, but artists really want to connect with their audience.” At Farmhouse Folk, the audience gets a personal experience with the music. The goal is to have a great night, meet the artist, listen to the stories and enjoy great music. “We are not a bar,” Janetsky says with a chuckle. “The audience isn’t here to yell out requests or anything like that. We like to maintain a good vibe and enjoy the songwriting and storytelling.” That being said, the Farmhouse Folk experience is more than a show. Music lovers are welcome to arrive an hour before the show begins when they can meet fellow audience members, partake of a delicious taco bar and relax. Non-alcoholic beverages are provided; those wishing to bring an adult beverage may do so.
Ticket prices for Farmhouse Folk shows vary by artist but usually are between $15 and $25. “All of the ticket sales go directly to the musicians,” says Janetsky. “We leave the pricing up to them and want to make it worthwhile for them to play here.” Shows are advertised on the Farmhouse Folk Facebook page and tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.com. While tickets may be purchased at the door, advance online purchase is preferred for an accurate audience headcount.
Michigan is special when it comes to musical talent. People move to Nashville from another place; Michigan musicians are made here.”
Eric Janetsky also volunteers as the talent coordinator for the annual Nor-east’r Music & Art Festival that takes place in Mio, MI. He will tell you that the folk music scene in Michigan is second to none in the U.S. and the artists he books to perform at Farmhouse Folk are a big reason why. “Michigan is special when it comes to musical talent,” he says. “We can go toe-to-toe with any other state in the country. Everybody talks about Nashville and for good reason; but people move to Nashville from another place. Michigan musicians are made here.”
Booking for this year’s Farmhouse Folk season is ongoing. At the time of this writing, the lineup included a trio of fall shows featuring Kelly Hoppenjans (9.16), Michigan’s Kyle Rasche & Mike Ward (9.23), and Michigan’s Drew Nelson (10.14). Look for more show announcements in the near future at Facebook.com/FarmhouseFolk.
When Eric and Jen Janetsky first set foot in Flushing, they knew they wanted to make an impact in the Genesee County community and they are doing it in the best way they know how – through the music they love. “The whole reason for Farmhouse Folk is to impact the community in a positive way,” adds Janetsky, “to build relationships between people. This world is so divided on so many things. Why not come together over something we can all agree on and enjoy? Great songwriting and great music.”
Don’t miss a show. Keep an eye on the Farmhouse Folk Facebook page for schedule updates.
On July 12, see The Lucky Nows perform at Flushing’s Riverview Park at 7pm as a part of the Flushing Area Concerts in the Park series.
If you would like a head start on this summer’s folk music season in Michigan, Eric Janetsky urges you to consider attending the Nor-east’r Music & Art Festival in Mio, MI from June 9-11. For festival lineup and ticket info, visit noreastrfest.org.