Posts Tagged ‘Caffe Lena’

Five Firsts: Garry Novikoff

Monday, July 28th, 2014
Garry Novikoff

Garry Novikoff

NAME: Garry Novikoff
INSTRUMENT: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Kazoo

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first album I ever bought with my own money was Don McLean’s American Pie. The song that made me buy it, however, was not the title track. I had heard “Vincent” on the radio, and it broke my heart. I was six and a half years old, so the story of Van Gogh’s life had to be explained to me. The idea that someone could tell a story like that in a song made a huge impression on me.

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Five Firsts: Mike Lewis of the Twangtown Paramours

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
The Twangtown Paramours

The Twangtown Paramours

NAME: Mike Lewis
BAND AFFILIATION: The Twangtown Paramours
INSTRUMENT: Guitar and background vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first record I ever bought was Help! by the Beatles. Some kid stole it from me at school. I vowed to get my revenge before I die.

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LIVE: Dubl Handi @ Caffe Lena, 5/30/14

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

dubi1

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

What exactly is Dubl Handi, anyway?

Well, it’s the brand name of a washboard manufactured in Ohio by the Columbus Washboard Company. (Yes, there is still an American factory that manufactures washboards…)

Ah, but when you put a Dubl Handi washboard in the hands of percussionist Brian Geltner and pair him up with frailing banjo player Hilary Hawke (both of whom have played with the fab M Shanghai String Band) and guitarist Jon LaDeau, well then, you’ve got Dubl Handi, the band, scrubbing out some of the finest traditional and old-timey banjo music comin’ out of Brooklyn these days…

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LIVE: Joseph Arthur @ Caffe Lena, 5/12/14

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Sarah Craig and Joseph Arthur

Sarah Craig and Joseph Arthur

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Joseph Arthur is a Renaissance man kind-o’-guy. He rolled into Caffe Lena and took over the famed Saratoga Springs stage recently in support of his new album, Lou, a collection of intriguing interpretations of songs from the catalog of the late great Lou Reed.

But in addition to his work as a musician – 10 albums and 11 EPs to his credit – he’s also an accomplished visual artist, and while the Caffe Manager Sarah Craig was introducing him, Arthur was already sketching out his next painting – onstage. You gotta admit, that’s something you don’t see very often…

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A Few Minutes With… Steve Katz

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Steve Katz

Interview and story by Don Wilcock

Steve Katz has been on my wish list to interview for almost half a century. This former Schenectadian returns to Nippertown to play Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on Friday night (May 9), on his 69th birthday. In a recent phone interview I told him his name had cropped up in conversation for decades. Another now deceased Steve Katz was our jam master for years with the Northeast Blues Society, and I felt a little weird talking to him.

“You feel weird talking to me now,” he answered. “Maybe you’re coming down with something.” I knew right then that I was in for a Coney Island roller coaster ride of an interview. And, boy, was I right. Katz has a razor quick wit and an incredibly varied background turning him into Forrest Gump with a Jon Stewart attitude.

As a singer/songwriter he’s been associated with everyone from the Greenwich Village movers and shakers Rev. Gary Davis and Dave Van Ronk to the Blues Project. He wrote hit songs for Blood, Sweat & Tears and produced two of Lou Reed’s career defining albums, Rock and Roll Animal and Sally Can’t Dance. With his band American Flyer he worked with Beatles producer George Martin and helped mold Mercury Records’ catalog during the New Wave-era as one of their vice presidents.

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LIVE: Geoff Muldaur @ Caffe Lena, 4/27/14

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Geoff Muldaur

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Since his last appearance on the hallowed stage of Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs back in November of 2012, Geoff Muldaur has been busy with the 50th anniversary reunion tour of Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band. Once again teaming up with old bandmates Kweskin, banjoman Bill Keith and ex-wife Maria Muldaur, the tour made a stop at The Egg in Albany last August, where they were aided and abetted by members of the BBQ Orchestra and fanboy John Sebastian, which made for a mighty crowded stage at the Swyer Theatre.

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LIVE: The Nellies @ Caffe Lena, 4/6/14

Friday, April 11th, 2014
Karen Ann Gilpin and Peggy Lecuyer

Karen Ann Gilpin and Peggy Lecuyer

Photographs by Tom Lindsay

Two of Nippertown’s finest roots-oriented outfits teamed up for a Sunday matinee and a good cause at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, donating their time and considerable musical talents at a benefit concert to raise funds for the Amanda’s Journey Foundation, a local charity that assists children who are battling Mitochondrial Diseases and raises awareness about these genetic disorders.

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LIVE: Timothy Mason & Hiroya Tsukamoto @ Caffe Lena, 3/7/14

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Timothy Mason

Timothy Mason

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

After several impressionistic guitar compositions mixed with Japanese traditional folk songs, including one where he sang in an Okinawan dialect, guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto apologized that his “accent” may be a little off and that he was not sure of the meaning of some of the words. Nevertheless, it was a treat for the audience assembled there on a recent Friday evening in Saratoga’s famed Caffe Lena.

Before the first set came to a close, Tsukamoto invited distinguished poet Timothy Mason up for an unaccompanied poetry reading or two. Mason launched into a refreshing poem about the wonders of chocolate syrup, and, really, how can you not love a guy who loves chocolate syrup enough to write a poem about it? That poem was a tasty morsel, to say the least.

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