Sedona After Dark: 7 Days of Nightlife

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“Fourteen states have anti-smoking laws and I think you’ll see the entire country with similar laws in ten years,” he says. “We have a great outdoor area – there could be six feet of snow and people would still go out to smoke. It won’t be a problem.”

With its proximity to the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa, Full Moon is a hot spot for service-industry professionals, says Joe. Regulars from Sedona resorts pop in after work – peak hours are 10:30 p.m. to midnight. “We’re more upscale and industry people appreciate that,” he says. “This is not a rowdy place.”

The atmosphere is sure mellow on this damp Sunday night. By 10:30 p.m. about 20 people, mostly locals, all in jeans except for a brave soul in shorts and flip-flops despite the rain, are gathered around the bar and pool table. Silver-haired karaoke host Silver Bullet, aka Dennis Caldwell, sings “Fly Me to the Moon,” plays rock ’n’ roll records between singers, and, without being overbearing, encourages audience members to take the mic.

“Regulars bring their own CDs,” he says. “I’ve had singers up here that bring you to tears they’re so good. The new guys usually need two or three beers to get up here.”

By 11 p.m. six singers, including Wayne, have taken a turn on stage. Bill Lyons sings an oldie, “Hooked on a Feeling,” at the urging of female audience members. He says he’s only performed karaoke a few times and never at Full Moon, though he’s in the saloon twice a week. When asked why he chose that particular song he shakes a head full of fuzzy blonde hair and smiles. “It’s a ’70s song and I’ve got the hair to go with it.”

Full Moon Saloon – 7000 Hwy 179 in the Village of Oak Creek at Tequa Festival Marketplace 928-284-1873; Karaoke every Sunday and Thursday at 9 p.m., live music Friday and Saturday – no cover charge

Monday, 6:03 p.m. – Relics Restaurant and Nightclub

It’s Monday – the weekend is over and the work week spreads out before you as an uphill road of obligations, making it a tough night of the week to find the drive to go out. Relics Restaurant and Nightclub has the perfect tonic for those back-to-work blues: Every Monday, Jazz a la Mode takes the stage in the nightclub/dining room from 6 to 9 p.m. You can enjoy the music while eating dinner or sipping cocktails and, as the evening wears on, you might even be persuaded to dance.

The dining room at Relics – Sedona’s oldest bar – has a low wood-beamed ceiling and is decked out with antiques; oil paintings and iron candelabras line the walls. Leather-backed chairs and tables face the relatively large raised stage, which has a red and green Persian rug as backdrop. The large dance floor grows even larger at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays when the dinner tables are cleared out and the area becomes a nightclub. Relics also has a separate bar with a jukebox and old arcade games.

Tonight, couples and groups of locals and tourists from California and Minnesota are enjoying dinner and jazz – the entire dining room smells like prime rib. On stage are Rosemary Chavez on vocals, Frankie Chavez on drums, and Steve Sandner on keyboard and vocals (the trio is part of a quintet but they keep it more intimate on Mondays). They’ve been playing Relics every week for about a year and released a CD in November. During our visit, they mixed original songs with tunes written or made famous by Van Morrison, Norah Jones, Nat King Cole, Sade, and Cole Porter. In between songs, Rosemary talks to the audience and during their break the trio visit tables.

“Even though Sedona has a small population, it has a lot to offer,” says Steve, who also plays solo at Shugrue’s Hillside Grill. “There are musicians here who’ve played all over the world.”

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