Posts Tagged ‘Caffe Lena’

LIVE: Chuck Pyle @ Caffe Lena, 3/27/15

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

chuckpyle1

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

From Colorado, Chuck Pyle is a down to earth, warm and sincere singer, songwriter and storyteller. At his recent concert at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, the self-proclaimed “Zen Cowboy” weaved simple guitar melodies with complex and sometimes acute observations about everything from bumper-sticker philosophy to the ever-changing socio-political landscape of the country.

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LIVE: Snowapple / Fish & Bird @ Caffe Lena, 3/13/15

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Snowapple

Snowapple

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Though the Snowapple concert was on Caffe Lena’s calendar for weeks prior to their Friday night show, no advanced tickets had been sold as late as Wednesday. Sarah Craig, the Caffe’s manager was worried. A while back she had discovered the amazing, three-part harmonies of the female Dutch trio and signed them on to appear at Lena’s. And she had excitedly whispered in the ears of several dozen Caffe regulars that this was the one not to miss. Yet here it was two days before the show, and no advanced tickets had been sold.

Craig spring into action and boldly reached out to the press, patrons and the public to generate interest. She knew that this was too good a show to cancel; it had to go on, and people had to know about it.

The trio played within the folk-acoustic idiom, but they also embraced their European musical traditions, as well as a heap of influences from American folk and contemporary pop music. Their layered and powerful three-part vocal harmonies coupled to their instrumental prowess put them squarely in the company of the Wailin’ Jennys, Red Molly and the Boxcar Lilies – same stylistic approach, but with a decisive twist in their repertoire choices. It’s a unique and fun experience to hear – for example, a Kanye West song done up in a singer-songwriter folk arrangement, albeit with three voices, keyboards, acoustic mandolin and guitar.

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FIVE FIRSTS: Scott Ainslie

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
Scott Ainslie

Scott Ainslie

NAME: Scott Ainslie
INSTRUMENT: Blues & Slide Guitar, Old-Time Banjo, Diddley Bow

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … There were two: Phil Ochs’ I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore and The Best of the Lovin’ Spoonful

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Peter, Paul & Mary/Gordon Lightfoot

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LIVE: Winterpills / the Suitcase Junket @ Caffe Lena, 2/20/15

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Winterpills with Matthew Loiacono

Winterpills with Matthew Loiacono

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

For one of the best albums of 2014, Winterpills paired down to the acoustic duo of Flora Reed and Philip Price on Echolalia, a sparkling collection of cover tunes originally by the likes of everyone from Buddy Holly to Nick Drake to Sharon Van Etten.

Last month at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, the twosome proved to be just as captivating as they are in full-band mode, whether showcasing material from the new album (Lisa Germano’s “From a Shell” was particularly impressive) or dipping into their back catalog for gems like their show-closing “Feather Blue.”

They also got a bit of vocal help from Saratoga’s own Matthew Loiacano (of Rosary Beard) on one selection.

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LIVE: Dryer @ Caffe Lena, 2/13/15

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Dryer

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

It was a reunion plus. After an extended hiatus, the three Dryer cohorts – guitarist Bob Carlton, bassist Rachael Sunday and drummer Joel Lilley – have recently returned to the Local 518 spotlight… with a new addition: guitarist Brian Akey, formerly of Winterpills.

And given that the show was at the folk haven Caffe Lena, you might have imagined that they’d be strumming acoustic guitars and tapping away on bongos. But oh no, not these guys. Plugged in and rockin’, Dryer returned to the Caffe stage for the first in two decades, and they were armed with some smart golden oldie tunes that they hadn’t played in a long, long time. And some hot, brand spankin’ new tunes, too.

Now the question is, “Where will the newly expanded Dryer pop up next?”

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LIVE: Sean Rowe @ Caffe Lena, 1/19/15

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Sean Rowe

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

After his Sunday evening concert at Caffe Lena quickly sold out, Troy troubadour Sean Rowe added a second show – a 3pm matinee on Monday, January 19, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. And, yes, that show also sold out.

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LIVE: The Gibson Brothers @ Caffe Lena, 12/7/14

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

gibson1

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

North Country bluegrass favorites the Gibson Brothers have graduated from the regional spotlight to the big time several years ago. In fact, they were named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainers of the Year for two consecutive years.

So the opportunity to catch the pickin’ and singin’ aces recently in the intimate confides of Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs was a real treat.

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FIVE FIRSTS: Neil Pearlman of Alba’s Edge

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
Neil Pearlman

Neil Pearlman

NAME: Neil Pearlman
BAND AFFILIATION: Alba’s Edge
INSTRUMENT: Piano

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … My father ran a CD distribution business for primarily Scottish music until I was about 14 years old, so there was never a shortage of high quality Celtic albums in the house. In addition, since my family really valued recorded music, I was given a lot of albums as gifts from other genres I enjoyed, like jazz. I didn’t really have any thought or desire to buy an album with own money until I was in my teens. Probably the first album I bought myself was either an album of one of my favorite faculty members from the Maine Jazz Camp (100 Dreams Ago by Ben Waltzer is a great one) or else the Live at Budokan triple-CD set by prog-metal band Dream Theater. I went through quite a phase of listening to them in high school, for better or worse!

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