Posts Tagged ‘Caffe Lena’

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



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.


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

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


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?”


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.


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

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


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.


FIVE FIRSTS: Neil Pearlman of Alba’s Edge

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
Neil Pearlman

Neil Pearlman

NAME: Neil Pearlman

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!


LIVE: Jim Kweskin & Happy Traum @ Caffe Lena, 11/13/14

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Happy Traum and Jim Kweskin

Happy Traum and Jim Kweskin

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Joseph Deuel

Jim Kweskin, the leader of the ’60s jug band revival, has had a revival of his own in recent years, and he’s made several Nippertown tour stops with longtime musical partner Geoff Muldaur in recent years, both at The Egg and Caffe Lena.

Last month, back at Caffe Lena in front of a near-packed house, he switched things up, teaming with Woodstock folk luminary Happy Traum, rather than Muldaur. Traum dubbed the duo of veterans “the Sunshine Boys of Folk Music.” The results, however, were not particularly sparkling. But to be fair, it was their first night playing together and the start of their East Coast week-long tour.

It’s unfair to compare Traum (or anyone else, for that matter) to Geoff Muldaur, who doesn’t merely sing the blues, but rather climbs inside and completely inhabits them. Traum and Kweskin played together on stage for two hour-long sets, mostly alternately who took over the lead vocals. Traum offered selections from such legends as Pete Seeger (“Quite Early Morning”), Jimmie Rodgers (“Danville Girl”) and Bob Dylan (“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”), as well as digging into the blues songbag for selections by Brownie McGee (“Careless Love”) and Lead Belly (“House of the Rising Sun” and “Midnight Special”).


LIVE: The Stray Birds @ Caffe Lena, 11/19/14

Monday, November 24th, 2014

The Stray Birds

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Back in April the Pennsylvania-based Stray Birds trio swooped down to perch on the stage of Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs to create quite a lovely ruckus of rural Roots-Americana sounds. Afterward they flew off to entertain in other parts of the country, only to return to the region and land this past June at the Old Songs Festival at the Altamont Fairgrounds.

Migrating back to Caffe Lena on a recent, cold Wednesday night, the room was busting at the seams with people and songs. Celebrating the release of Best Medicine, their new album – yup, it’s available on vinyl, too – the fab folk trio of Maya de Vitry (vocals, guitar, banjo & fiddle), Oliver Craven (vocals, guitar, resonator & fiddle) and Charles Muench (vocals, bass & banjo) dazzled the audience with their three-part harmonies and instrumental prowess.


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