LIVE: Caffe Lena’s 50th Anniversary Open House, 5/22/10
Open house? I think not. It really was an old-time, down-home city block party and more!
On the beautiful, sunny Saturday, Phila Street was blocked off from Henry down to Maple with a tented stage and a few tables set up in between. At one, the iconic Hattie’s Chicken Shack offered a wonderful gumbo in a cup – free of charge. Caffé Lena had a merchandise table with a whole mess of mason jars lined up with the day’s individual performers names on them – in case you wanted to throw a bit of financial love their way. After all, they came as far as Boston to perform – for free.
Another table had the individual performers’ CDs for sale, and off to the side at the edge of the parking lot another table distributed free “Stone Soup” in a cup..
Some people came by for just a bit of time. And many others stayed from beginning to end. Friends, musicians, longtime Caffe devotees and the casually curious mingled, danced and just listening to the music – smiling all afternoon long.
Upstairs, the Caffé stage was buzzing all day long, too. Performers from all throughout the Caffe’s rich musical history stepped into the spotlight, including the lyrically poetic Susan Trump, the lovely Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, the mesmerizing duo Alien Folklife, passionate singer-songwriter Torey Adler and the sensational Frank Jaklitsch in a duo performance with Michael Eck.
Meanwhile, the roster on the outdoor stage read like a who’s who of the region’s best and most talented musical groups and individuals. The Barefoot Boys kicked off the morning, followed by Bob Warren and Michael Jerling.
The fabulous Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys swung into action and passed the baton to the folk styling of Don and Victoria Armstrong.
By the time that Rick Rourke and his rockin’ band Lost Wages took the stage, the crowd was on its feet and dancing. The folk-meets-country sound of Jo Henley brought back memories of the Grateful Dead, Loggins & Messina and Dylan as they jammed the afternoon away.
It was an amazing day!
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk See more of Andrzej’s photos from this day at the Nippertown photo archive..