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

December 4th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
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”).

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Media Watch: Happy Traum Profiled in Fretboard Journal

November 12th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
Happy Traum (photo by Tom Lindsay)

Happy Traum

Photograph by Tom Lindsay

Woodstock’s own Happy Traum – guitarist, singer and the head of Homespun Music Instruction – is featured in the current issue of the prestigious Fretboard Journal magazine, which you can find at Guitar Center. The 16-page story was written by Michael Eck with photographs by Tom Lindsay, the third story that the two members of Lost Radio Rounders have collaborated on for Fretboard Journal.

And you can catch Happy Traum on stage and in the spotlight at 8pm on Friday, December 14 at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, hosting the annual winter solstice concert with a batch of his musician pals including John Sebastian, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs and others.

Festival Fever: Traum Day Festival @ Woodstock, 8/6/11

August 4th, 2011, 3:43 pm by Greg

Happy Traum

Happy Traum performing at Caffe Lena (photo by Thomas D. Lindsay)

The Woodstock Town Board has designated Saturday, August 6 as “Traum Day,” to honor singer-songwriter Happy Traum and his late brother Artie for a lifetime of work that has helped maintain Woodstock’s reputation for musical excellence.

In celebration, some of the Woodstock area’s finest musicians will gather together and perform a Concert on the Green at the corner of Tinker Street and Rock City Road on Saturday afternoon. The free, outdoor concert will begin at 12noon when Happy Traum is presented with the key to the city.

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LIVE: Happy Traum and Andy Friedman @ Caffe Lena, 2/27/11

March 2nd, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Andy Friedman and David “Goodie” Goodrich

Andy Friedman and David “Goodie” Goodrich

Andy Friedman lives on my planet. I’m glad he’s a fellow citizen. He dropped by, Guild in hand, to share an Oscar night double-bill with Happy Traum at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on Sunday.

The awards kept the crowd thin, but Friedman admitted he wasn’t even aware of the telecast until he arrived in Saratoga Springs, ready to folk.

Friedman is an artist. No, really. His work regularly appears in rags like, um, The New Yorker, and he even offered prints for sale at the Caffe, of jokers like Leonard Cohen, Ralph Stanley and some Dylan cat.

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Happy Traum & Friends…

October 26th, 2010, 1:01 pm by Greg

Happy Traum

A few weeks back, we noted that Happy Traum & Friends would be playing their annual winter solstice concert at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 8pm on Friday, December 17.

But we thought that you might want to know who some of those will be – Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, John Sebastian, Amy Helm, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer and more to be announced.

It’s good to have friends like these…

LIVE: Happy Traum @ Crandall Library, 9/9/09

September 11th, 2009, 11:00 am by Greg

Happy Traum

Happy Traum

Even at the age of 70, Happy Traum hasn’t slowed down since he and his late brother Artie emerged as one of the most influential acoustic guitar duos of the Greenwich Village folk movement of the 1960’s. Bob Dylan and the Band, John Sebastian and the Lovin Spoonful and the Eagles, among many others, were inspired by the brothers’ mixture of acoustic blues, bluegrass and traditional folk music.

On Wednesday evening as part of the Crandall Public Library 2009 Music Series, Happy Traum sang and played songs by Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Mississippi John Hurt. His own self-penned “Golden Bird,” Brownie McGee’s “The Sporting Life Blues,” and Pete Seeger’s classic “Kisses Sweeter then Wine” were particular standouts, drawing appreciative applause from the Glens Falls audience. Dipping into the Catskill Songbook, Traum’s warm rendition of George Edward’s “Friends and Neighbors,” caputured the timeless spirit of the evening.

With a smile on his face and an acoustic guitar on his knee, Traum’s captivating performance underscored the fact that old folk and blues songs dealing with joblessness, homelessness, poverty, love and politics are still just as relevant today as they were so many years ago.

Up next at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, area favorites Rick Bolton and the Dwyer Sisters roll into the Community Room on Thursday, September 17 for an evening full of folk, blues, rock and original tunes delivered with endearing three part harmonies.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

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