Caffe Lena

Caffe Lena

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In 1960, burgeoning actress and defiant dreamer Lena Spencer opened a small, grassroots coffeehouse in the quaint upstate New York town of Saratoga Springs. Within her then-husbanda€™s plan to start the CaffAu as a means for the couple to artistically flourish while a€œmaking enough money to retire in Europea€ lay the seed of a more impactful cultural contribution that would change music history forever. It was a time in America when a coffeehouse could be something morea€”a focal point for a different sort of people, radical new ideas, and notably, emerging artists. CaffAu Lenaa€™s humble stage regularly welcomed musicians such as a young Bob Dylan in 1961, the singer/activist Bernice Johnson Reagon in 1962, and a pre-a€American Piea€ Don McLean in 1965. Quickly, CaffAu Lena took its place among the nationa€™s foremost incubators of an American folk movement that inspired a generation of musicians, artists, and thinkers and a country in need of a new vision of equality, freedom, and understanding. Fortunately for posterity, camera shutters were often snapping in time to the music, and so an intimate visual record of CaffAu Lenaa€™s early years exists. Now, thanks to years of dedicated digging by the CaffAu Lena History Projecta€”to unearth Lenaa€™s secret memoirs, collaborating with photographers to identify and rescue mysterious negatives, and collecting stories from the original artists to highlight these materialsa€”the time has come to share this treasure trove of authentic and rare Americana with the world. CaffAu Lena: Inside Americaa€™s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse brings more than 200 never before seen, evocative images and stories to the public. Early 1960s photographs of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger and modern-day images of Rufus Wainwright and Patty Larkin blend with rare memorabilia and an oral history derived from more than 100 original interviews of artists who have graced CaffAu Lenaa€™s stage over the decades, including Ani DiFranco, Utah Phillips, Dave Van Ronk, Spalding Gray, and other luminaries of the folk, blues, jazz, and theater worlds. This exclusive time capsule chronicling the heyday of CaffAu Lenaa€”now the countrya€™s oldest continuously operational folk music coffeehousea€”provides an insightful look at the many artists whose poetic lyrics cast a mesmerizing spell over a generation, and who remain beloved today. Alongside the release of CaffAu Lena: Inside Americaa€™s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse, San Franciscoa€™s Tompkins Square label will release the 3-CD box set, a€˜Live at CaffAu Lena: Music From Americaa€™s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967a€“2013a€² on September 24, 2013. a€œCaffAu Lena holds an important place in the folk and traditional music communities. For me it was the gateway to so many things I hold dear about music.a€ a€”Scott Goldman, The GRAMMY Foundation a€œThe story of CaffAu Lena is the secret history of the folk-music scene. Lena was a pioneering woman in a man's world and her story needs to be told.a€ a€”Holly George-Warren, The Road to Woodstock a€œLena Spencer was a rare person with a shining spirit who created a small world of her own. The magic of her CaffAu cannot be analyzed, computerized, or explained.a€ a€”David Amram, Musicianare. being. held. up. by. embedded. notes. from. all. the. 214 RUFUS WAINWRIGHT a€œIa#39;m definitely from a folk-ochracy, folk and foremost.a€ ... All summer I had been practicing the songs I wanted to do, and I was so nervous. My dormitory hallanbsp;...

Title:Caffe Lena
Author:Jocelyn Arem
Publisher:powerHouse Books - 2013-10-15


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