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Great Coffee Houses

Related thread:
Favorite Chicago Club tales... (20)


LEJ 01 Jul 99 - 05:54 PM
Jeri 01 Jul 99 - 08:29 PM
Night Owl 02 Jul 99 - 12:56 AM
gargoyle 02 Jul 99 - 01:05 AM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 Jul 99 - 03:55 AM
02 Jul 99 - 05:01 AM
Cap't Bob 02 Jul 99 - 08:53 AM
Vixen 02 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM
Wally Macnow 02 Jul 99 - 09:41 AM
harpgirl 02 Jul 99 - 02:58 PM
LEJ 02 Jul 99 - 03:00 PM
Alice 02 Jul 99 - 03:21 PM
annamill 02 Jul 99 - 03:38 PM
Banjoman_CO 02 Jul 99 - 03:47 PM
annamill 02 Jul 99 - 03:53 PM
Roger in Baltimore 02 Jul 99 - 04:36 PM
Leslie 02 Jul 99 - 04:56 PM
John Hindsill 02 Jul 99 - 04:57 PM
John Hindsill 02 Jul 99 - 05:59 PM
Llanfair 02 Jul 99 - 06:51 PM
gargoyle 02 Jul 99 - 07:07 PM
Lonesome EJ 02 Jul 99 - 07:26 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 Jul 99 - 08:16 PM
Big Mick 02 Jul 99 - 11:59 PM
Rita64 03 Jul 99 - 12:10 AM
catspaw49 03 Jul 99 - 01:10 AM
BK 03 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM
Big Mick 03 Jul 99 - 10:23 AM
annamill 03 Jul 99 - 10:45 AM
Anne 03 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 03 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM
Mark Cohen 03 Jul 99 - 11:58 PM
Rita64 04 Jul 99 - 12:37 AM
gargoyle 04 Jul 99 - 01:16 AM
Sourdough 04 Jul 99 - 03:31 AM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Jul 99 - 10:57 AM
annamill 04 Jul 99 - 11:12 AM
The Shambles 04 Jul 99 - 02:17 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jul 99 - 02:42 PM
Art Thieme 04 Jul 99 - 03:41 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM
Night Owl 05 Jul 99 - 01:59 AM
SOurdough 05 Jul 99 - 03:05 AM
carlzen 05 Jul 99 - 03:24 AM
Night Owl 05 Jul 99 - 04:17 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jul 99 - 09:48 AM
SOurdough 06 Jul 99 - 03:43 AM
Sourdough 06 Jul 99 - 03:49 AM
thosp 06 Jul 99 - 03:53 AM
Vixen 06 Jul 99 - 08:18 AM
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Subject: Great Coffee Houses
From: LEJ
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 05:54 PM

Art's touching words about the No Exit Cafe inspired me to start this thread. What are/were some other great venues that featured java, poetry and music?

When I moved to Denver in 1976, Muddy Waters was the place. It was a little ram-shackle place on Wazee Street where you could have Espresso, buy a used book, hear live music or poetry, or enjoy a casual meal. It also housed a small theatre (seated about 30 people) where original work by local playwrights was presented. The walls were burlap covered, the floor ancient oak planks, and there was always a chess game in progress. I'm not sure if it still exists.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 99 - 08:29 PM

In my old stomping grounds, the place was, and is, Cafe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. Old brick walls, never enough room, the best iced mocha on the planet. Lena was there to greet everyone as they walked up the narrow stairs to the Cafe on the second floor, and to say goodbye at the end of the evening. I went to hear the music, but there were poetry readings and plays put on there, too. There was an old Wurlitzer jukebox (I don't know if it worked) and interesting women's room grafitti. The place probably hasn't changed much, and I regret living too far away to get there.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Night Owl
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 12:56 AM

"Passim's" in Boston and "Joshua's Loft" in New Bedford.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: gargoyle
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 01:05 AM

Golden Bear - Huntington Beach CA

Light House - Hermosa Beach CA

Ice House - Pasadena CA

1960's Southern Cal.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:55 AM

In Berkeley it's The Freight and Salvage: Long and narrow, stage raised about two feet or so above the floor, good seating up front, not so good behind the halfway mark. A good selection of artists: in the last few years I saw Robin and Linda Williams, Mike Seeger, The Austin Lounge Lizards, Laurie Lewis and Tom Rosum, The Dry Branch Fire Squad, and others, and missed Tony Trishka and bunches of other greats. Coffee, tea, muffins and cookies from the bar in back, but few tables, mostly a motley collection of chairs aimed at the stage. It seats a couple hundred or so.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From:
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 05:01 AM

the "E-bar" - black, twisted, back alley of Pasadena. Now closed. Seating for 50 and standing for 50 in the alley. A feeling that you could be mugged at any moment but a gathering of students, punks, itellectuals and celebrities

Back room of McCabe's guitar shop. Los Angeles


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 08:53 AM

The "Ark" in Ann Arbor, Michigan is a really great one. It has been moved a few times it has survived and is still doing well. Too bad we live about 200 miles north.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Vixen
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 09:12 AM

I wonder if any of you chanty singin' cats recall "The Jolly Beggar's" in Mystic CT? Long gone, unfortunately. I've heard John's on Cottrell Street is good.

The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret, CT has good stuff, and The Paradise Eatery in Willimantic CT has a nice, small, friendly Friday night jam session.

V


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 09:41 AM

In the early '70s, "The Focus" in Manhattan was run by Debby McClatchy who booked it and baked for it. 'Twas a grand place to hear great music.

Before that, it was Gerde's which was a bar and not a coffee house. They had the best open mike in the world. All the New York crowd and a lot of visiting singers showed up there on Monday nights. It was hosted by Brother John Sellers.

Another bar that had a great open mike was "The Red Fox" in Silver Spring, Maryland outside of Washington, DC. This one was hosted first by Mike Holmes and then by Bruce Hutton of the Double Decker String Band.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: harpgirl
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 02:58 PM

...a second vote for the Ann Arbor Ark: particularly when it was in the Presbyterian House on Hill street. That's where I first saw Art Thieme perform...harpy


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: LEJ
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:00 PM

What was the name of the San Francisco coffee house where Allen Ginsberg performed the first public reading of Howl ? Was it The Matrix?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Alice
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:21 PM

LEJ, I will be in Denver for about 5 days the middle of this month (July). I'll be staying with my boss and his family in Idaho Springs. I think I used to have your email address, but can't find it, and the Mudcat personal message page here doesn't work for me. Any chance there is a music get together somewhere during that time where we can meet? -alice


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:38 PM

LEJ, I think it was The Purple Onion, or The Hungry Eye.

annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Banjoman_CO
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:47 PM

In Oklahoma City the "Buddhi" and the "Sword and Stone" were great coffee houses with top notch entertainers. In Tulsa it was the "Dust Bowl" and in Houston it was "Sand Mountain". Ron Shipman's club in Dallas was a great club but I can't remember the name of it. All of these featured great entertainers.

Fred


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 03:53 PM

Now you're in my time -Greenwich Village circa 1960.

The Night Owl, The Fat Black Pussy Cat, The Cafe Wha?, The Feenjon, The Rienzi, The Bitter End, and a whole bunch more all within a radius of 5 blocks. Folk music heaven. The reason I'm so attracted to Mudcat lies in those days. I worked in most of those coffeehouses listening to the finest music and some pretty bad. The owners didn't pay anything so anyone could play and pass a basket. I heard great people who never were heard from again.

What a time! Then I moved to Woodstock, N.Y.. But that's another story ;-)

annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 04:36 PM

Ah, memories!

My first coffeehouse was the Foghorn in Baltimore, late sixties. In the basement of a music store of the same name. Only go there twice (student on a limited budget) but I saw the unforgettable Jesse "Lone Cat" Fuller and the fair Judy Roderick (how can someone that small have such a powerful voice?).

Leap forward to the 80's and it is the Otterbein in Baltimore. In the Sunday school hall of an old church. Nothing special, but a very regular crowd ("where everyone knows your name" kind of place) and good music. Many of the names on the folk circuit passed through and a number of local acts. 'Twas my favorite open mic place for many a year.

It moved and grew and eventually became the Concerts at Mays Chapel. I can't fault it for growing and it brings in "the big names" and some adventuresome picks as well.

I still like the Folkal Point in Columbia, Maryland. Open once a week from September through May. A place for the up and coming artist plus a few old friends. Nice place for 30 people and can hold about 60 at the max.

A number of places where I used to play have closed or don't have music anymore. I am not sure the correlation proves cause and effect in this case.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Leslie
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 04:56 PM

The Golem in Montreal in the Hillel house on Stanley Street in the seventies and eighties...maybe 75 or 80 seats but such great music...the McGarrigles, Jesse Winchester, Stan Rogers, Kate Wolf, Fraser & DeBolt, Tom Paxton, Murray McLauchlan, Nanci Griffith, Mimi Farina, Odetta, Valdy, John Hartford, Humphrey and his Dumptrucks, Penny Lang, Bill Staines, Margaret Christl, Utah Phillips, Rosalie Sorrels, Dave Van Ronk, Eric Anderson, Paul Geremia, Priscilla Herdman...so many more...so many memories.

Leslie


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: John Hindsill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 04:57 PM

Venice West - Southern California of the "Beatniks"; had ny first espresso theere.
Positano's - High overlooking Malibu; only way up was a woody which shuttled you up in reverse. First time was scary, dark, winding road...no athiests in that woody!
Pandora's Box
Cosmo Alley
The Unicorn
The Ice House, when a folk club
The Troubadour, ditto
The Ash Grove
The Garrett, my personal favorite back then...All long gone.

Today, in Pasadena, the Coffee Gallery and its Backstage, operated by Bob Stane (orignal operator of the Ice House).

John


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: John Hindsill
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 05:59 PM

Actually the Coffee Gallery is in Altadena just above Pasadena...sorry.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Llanfair
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 06:51 PM

What were we Brits doing whilst the Americans were sitting in wonderful coffee houses. Lyons Corner House was not quite the same!!! I suppose we were in the pubs instead. I can remember going into one in Liverpool, where the poets hung out, saw the Scaffold, and Adrian Henri. No coffee. Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: gargoyle
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 07:07 PM

LEJ and annap

The Portable Beat Reader
Edited by Ann Charters
1992, Viking-Penguin Press

pp.xxvii-xxviii

"Shortly after its compostion (Howl) he (Ginsberg) decided to organize a poetry reading on October 13, 1955, at the Six Gallery, a cooperative art gallery in San Francisco"

No guesses....just the facts mame....


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 07:26 PM

to the ever- mysterious Gargoyle, thanks. I've heard that the debut of Howl was one of the great moments in the history of Beat, and indeed 20th century American,Poetry. Jack Kerouac and Neil Cassidy were in the audience along with other luminaries of the 50's counterculture, yelling for Ginsberg "Go! Go!" like he was a sax player on a wild and beautiful improvisation.

LEJ


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 08:16 PM

Vixen, isn't a coffee shop with shanty singing an oxymoron? --seed


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Jul 99 - 11:59 PM

A third to Cap'n Bob (how you doing, Bob?) and my dear friend Harpy, on the Ark. No place else like it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Rita64
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 12:10 AM

With all this reminiscing I suddenly feel rather young, uninteresting and ignorant. Anna, I love reading all your stories ... ~FYM~


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: catspaw49
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 01:10 AM

My Dear Fair Youngmaid,

We were all young, uninteresting, and ignorant. The beauty of those troubled times was in the feeling that we could change the world. We were naieve but enthusiastic. And perhaps then the problems we faced were more clearcut, although the solutions were complex. Never feel that because you are young your thoughts and ideas hold less power. The energy of my younger days is gone, but because there are younger people with that special spark of humanity, I can believe that there is hope to carry on the best traditions of social change. I can continue to fight the good fight on a more personal level and leave the big ones to those with the youthful exuberance that's necessary. Your posts often sound youthful, but never ignorant or uninteresting. The trick in life is not to wind up old, uninteresting, and ignorant.

This thread brings much back to me too. So many wonderful places.....Funny thing, the place that had so much influence on me was a tiny little place called the "Firehouse," 'cause it had been one. Just held one small engine and some sleeping/eating quarters. Geez, I can't even write about it for the memories that flood my mind and the tears that are running down my face. Sorry...later

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: BK
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM

from the 60's: Coffe & Confusion, on Grant, ABOVE chinatown & the famous places of 'Frisco. A near broke young sailor could nurse a hot cider for a loooong time, & the music was great! Loooong gone.

Cafe' Entre Nu, near Albany, & Cafe' Lena in Saratoga Springs; Lena's gone (passed away, & now there is NO SMOKING, thank the maker!) but the institution is still there, much to my surprise & delight! I discovered this on the Mudcat, & visited there last year, when we went back east. It was great! Entre Nu also loooong gone

Those were a few of my favorites, mostly loooong gone! (& I'm too sleepy to remember much else - gotta go)

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 10:23 AM

The Degage' Coffee house in Grand Rapids, Michigan used to be so cool. Just getting into it was a hoot. You walked through between two building that couldn't have been 3' apart. This was no walkway, mind you, you just walked between two buildings. You then hopped down from the top of a 4' retaining wall and went into this back door of a decrepit old building. There were three steps down into this old warehouse room that had tables and peanut shucks scattered everywhere. Great java, simple foods like peanuts and cheese and crackers, a folkie or two always on the stage (cleared out corner of the room with a few lights), and great conversations. I loved this place. It still survives but as a coffee house ministry. The location has probably changed a half a dozen times since the 60's, but that old place was my first exposure to coffee house folk.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 10:45 AM

Sorry Lej. Thank you gargoyle. I was just spouting what my mind put in there. It seemed to remember Howl ,Ginsberg and one of those two places. Next time I'll know my facts.

FYM, I loved living those stories ;-) I'm glad you enjoy them.

love,annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Anne
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM

In the present day, my favorite is The Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton Connecticut.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM

I'm a member of The Ark, Ann Arbor, although I don't get there as often as I would like. Great venue. I saw Archie Fisher there. Oddly enough they have some bizarre rule against selling beer to non-members, but it is moot for me either way as I don't drink when I have driving to do. Ann Arbor is also a pleasant little city in which to walk around.

How many Haligonians (Halifax, NS that is) remember Odin's Eye, named after the house cat IIRC? It's long gone now, as no doubt is poor Odin, but it was a friendly little place. But for the most part that city followed the English example, and music was to be heard in the taverns. Ginger's Tavern near the train station was a good little spot. The first place that I heard Cape Breton fiddlers live was at The Split Crow. Various taverns had east coast music, although I must say that when I lived there Halifax had some of the surliest bar staff I've ever encountered. Must have had something to do with all the sailors.

I think that the Yellow Door coffee house in Montreal is still going.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 03 Jul 99 - 11:58 PM

For me it was The Main Point in Bryn Mawr, Pa., just outside of Philly. I missed the first wave of the folk revival, but I remember seeing Tom Paxton, John Denver (1969), Steve Goodman (with the Manhattan Transfer as an opening act!), Bryan Bowers, Jonathan Edwards, Tom Rush, Hedge and Donna, James Taylor (1970), Jamie Brockett, John Renbourn...I wish I had saved all those schedules. I remember a powerful singer named Ellen McIlwaine doing a duet with the siren at the firehouse across the street. There's an old Oak publication called the Coffee House Songbook, and the photo on the front is of the interior of the Main Point. I wonder if it's still open.
I also was lucky enough to visit the Troubadour in London in 1978, where I heard Stefan Grossman give a little guitar lesson: "Andres Segovia doesn't play an F-chord this way, with his thumb...that's because he can't."


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Rita64
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 12:37 AM

catspaw49 - I am tempted to begin all my posts with:

"You know friends, back in '67 I heard a song ..."

I am aware that I sound Youth-ful - all that goddamn idealistic Youth oozing out of me and blanketing my postings with its dewy newness!

In relation to this thread topic, the Acoustic Cafe in Newcastle (Helen's land) attracts some brilliant performers (ahem, I sang there once).


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: gargoyle
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 01:16 AM

BK...

It has been stated that Frisco and surounding regions, picked up their peculiar "bend" (as opposed to "straight") orientation, because certain, "broke" "sailors" were "disinfranchised" from the "crew" of their "vessels" when they "arrived" in port and were not pemitted to re-turn aboard.

Good Lord forbid that you get "me wrong" but this does cast a taint upon your "moral perpitude."


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 03:31 AM

My nominations are La Galette and The Unicorn:

La Galette was a little coffee house in New Haven, CN in the early '60s. It may have been gone for nearly two generations now. It never was very famous and there were no famous people who played there, at least not that I know of. What made it such a special place was that the people were able to appreciate it seemed to have found it. There were always people there playing. The entertainment was whoever wandered in. Of course there were regulars, people you could count on being there whenever you happened in. Everyone was welcome to join in the music with an intrument or voice. There were no "performances", just a kind of community singing. Sure, the regulars sang the same songs over again and there were some people who only knew a couple songs so they played them once a night but that was part of it being what has come to be called a comunity. It was like a small town. Tonight, when I was just playing to myself (better than with) on harmonica and guitar, I remembered some songs I'd learned there and played them, bringing back memories of nice times and nice people. (It's better than photographs.)

Now, the Unicorn was something entirely different. It was a full fledged urban coffee house in Boston. I first went there as a part of a TV crew doing a 1 hour broadcast from there. That was how I met George Papadopulo, the owner. We became friendly and I started hanging out there. The music was extraordinary. Phil Ochs, Buffy St. Marie, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, The Clancy Brothers, the blind Puerto Rican guitarist with such a clear powerful voice and whose name refuses to come forward to be written down, and many more. Giving Buffy St. Marie a ride home on my motorcycle was just one of the perqs.

The best night though was when Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee were playing and the Clancys came in to listen. George closed the place down (so that he could turn it into a private party). He brought out some whisky for which he did not have a public license and we stayed together until early morning, playing and singing. When Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee and the Clancys start playing ensemble, it was a treat!

There was a great bar too, in Boston. It was called Hillbilly Ranch and the decoration was every bit as tacky as you would expect from the name. A variety of rockabilly bands used to play there as featured acts but they had a house band, Bea and Everett Lilly who were called the Lilly Brothers with Don Stover. There was a small corps of people who were willing to risk rockabiliousness if they could at least listen to the Lillys between the featured act's sets. Their traditional music set to somethng akin to bluegrass was always fun and Don Stover was a fine musician who never got the credit he deserved.

The television station where I was working did a weekly music show. One particular week, the Lillys were our guests and I was doing makeup in the sudio.

I never was sure which Lilly was which but I was putting tv makeup on the one who wore his cowboy hat resting on his slightly folded ears so it look as though it on sidemounted cartilidge springs. All of a sudden, I had a realization but when I shared it with the people around me, they didn't seem happy to hear it.

Filled with the enthusiasm of the thought, I called out to everyone in the room, "Do you know what I am doing?"

When my only answer was a confused buzz from people who didn't understand the point of the question, I replied to my own question proudly, "I'm gilding a Lilly".

(Am I still welcome to post here?)

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 10:57 AM

Is that guitarist Jose Feliciano?

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 11:12 AM

Mark Cohen, I heard Ellen McIlwaine sing at The Espresso Cafe in Woodstock, NY. Actually, she lived there for a while. I have two of her albums. She was/is great.

annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 02:17 PM

The best one I can come up with is Maxwell House.

Les Cousins in Soho was where I used drink (orrible) coffee and listen to Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, John Martyn and so many others, but the brain has gone and the list is long.

Did the fact that coffee and soft drinks were all that could be purchased and consumed in these place add to the charm of them. I contrast them with the noise of bars and pubs of today.

It is sad that here you could not start a folk club anywhere that did not sell alcohol, as no one would come.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 02:42 PM

Well, I strongly suspect that the grandparent of all folk coffee shops was Jules' (later Cafe Caricature) in Greenwich Village, starting ca 1951. No stage (but a backr room for singing), viennese coffee and overpriced pastries. Who could ask for more?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 03:41 PM

Robert Rodriguez in New York---I just lost my wallet!!! Please send the money I've given you over the years when you said you'd lost yours.

Thanks,

Art

(pardon me folks---I digress.)


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 04 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM

I think there is a difference between a folk club and a folk pub. Members would know to keep quiet during the quiet songs.

However, remember the context in which many of these songs were originally sung. Flash girls, the swell mob, the press gang, soldiers, sailors, rakes and gallants ready to slit a nose at the slightest provocation -- all pouring back porter, gin and brandy and probably puffing on cheroots or pipes. If anything the modern pub is pretty subdued.

I have nothing against lively pubs. The music fits the context.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Night Owl
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 01:59 AM

Sourdough....Unicorn, yes...and I had forgotten the Hillbilly Ranch....an adventure to go to....Do you remember a coffehouse called "The Sword and the Stone" in Boston?? As I remember located in a basement on Beacon Hill.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: SOurdough
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 03:05 AM

Roger in Baltimore - Yes, it was Jose Feliciano I was trying to thing of. Thanks for coming up with the name.

Night Owl - The Sword in the Stone, I do remember it. It was on Charles Street near Beacon, at the foot of Beacon Hill. Taj Mahal played there the first time I ever heard of him. I lived about two blocks up the hill from there. The Boston Strangler struck someplace between my apartment and the Sword in the Stone.

I didn't hang out there though. I was more likely to be found in The Sevens or at the Harvard Gardens, (a rather tony name for a definite working class bar. The last brawl I was ever in was there (he says, sentimentally). Occasionally, I would go to the Hampshire House on Beacon Street. They had a bar in the basement which has now become world famous. To paraphrase what they say on that television series it spawned, "most everybody there, at that time, knew my name."

I did like to go over to Cambridge though to the Club 47. There was another club on Mt. Auburn Street, a little closer to Kenmore? Square. I used to play there on open mike nights. Jim Kweskin was the "host". I think this was after one of the people in the jug band, again the name escapes me, left to become a cult leader on Fort Hill. He was thereafter called, The Avatar.

Bill Keith played banjo with the Charles River Valley Boys at that time. They must have been the best educated group in the history of Bluegrass. I think they were all doctoral students at Harvard or Boston University except for Joe Val, the mandolin player who made up in virtuosity what he lacked in scholarship.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: carlzen
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 03:24 AM

Memories.... The Golden Bear, The Troubador, but especially the Ash Grove were great places way back when.....

That was way back when I was growing up, but some of my best experiences were in the early '70s in Copenhagen, DK at a "club" called the Purple Door, run by an expatriate Afro-American, Jo Banks. Lots of local musicians and lots of Europeans from all over came in there. I was fortunate to meet Spider John Koerner there, as well as putting in a lot of mileage on the old Gibson. But some of the best memories are of proprietor Jo doing his sets - always filled with social commentary. My favorite was his spoken version of 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' about prostitution. His son was about 17 years old at the time and one of the best ever guitarists I've heard.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Night Owl
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 04:17 AM

Sourdough...thanks for remembering "Sword and Stone" saw Bonnie Raitt there...I think everyone else I know stayed at Club 47..was beginning to think I had imagined its existence! If my recollection is accurate...Club 47 moved a few times including to Mt. Auburn street...at some point changed its name to Passim's and again moved to its current location in Harvard Square. I am also a Joe Val fan...he was a good man....not lacking in scholarship, just not acquired from book learning! My daughter once told him that his voice hurt her ears. He later told me (after I emerged from hiding under the table) that he always trusted musical revues from young children because of their honesty.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Jul 99 - 09:48 AM

Club 47 now & still Passim's is still on Palmer St, an alley way in Harvard Sq. I remember hearing Paul Butterfield & band for my 1st time at the 47 just prior to it's name change. Around the corner from Passim's is the Nameless probably the longest running free coffeehouse in the states. Passim's is more a singer/songerwritter venue now, maybe 1 folk act a month now. I barley remember the Sword & Stone, though the Harvard Gardens is still kicking. Sourdough, were you thinking of the Zercorn (sp?), almost like a singer's club run out of a bar I think held together by Rob Joel. Another spot that's still around but now longer has folk act is the Plough & Stars on Mass Ave. a favorite spot to catch Spider John Koener but some time ago. There was another dive (can't remember the name) over in the South End that died quickly but had some nice folk & blues acts but I'm suprisied I can remember any of this now. Barry


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: SOurdough
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 03:43 AM

BArry Finn:
Sourdough, you hit some kinda world record for the number of duplicate messages posted. Sorry, but I forgot to count them before I began to delete them. But congrats on the record, whatever it was. Looked like about twenty duplicates. Sorry, but we're fresh out of prizes for this month. (grin)
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 03:49 AM

I have no idea what happened. I wrote "Barry Finn" and the computer became possesed. It started sending off meaningless messages, even more meaningless that my regular ones. I apologise to any of you who had to wade through them to get back to the thread.

Barry, I wasn't thnking of The Zircon. I was thinking of a long narrow coffee shouse on Mt. Auburn right where it passes over the railroad tracks. I think it had a nonsense name and that may be why I can't connect it with anything.

Another name that comes to mind in The Loft, on Charles Street. I don't think it lasted very long. If no one mentioned it, there was also The Golden Vanity where Joan Baez made her reputation but I don't think I ever went there.

There was an awful lot going on in Boston and I just took it for granted thinking that was how things were. We sure got to see a lot of good musicians.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: thosp
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 03:53 AM

well i guess --for that old gang of mine in new york-- it was mostly political discussions (well into the nite) at the horn and hardart cafetierier---- does that count as a coffee house ?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Vixen
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 08:18 AM

Seed--

Shanties in a coffeehouse---what could I have been thinking? Actually, I guess I took liberties of definition with the word "coffeehouse." A coffeehouse, to me, is a public gathering place of informal arrangement, where attention is focused by and on the music presented therein, regardless of the nature of beverages served. The Jolly Beggar's was, by some purist definitions, a waterfront bar, replete with rowdy sailors from both the Mystic Seaport and the Submarine Base, illusionless locals, and dewy tourists. The music, however, was for all, with singalongs, open mics, and actual booked acts, some local, and some big names with a night off between NYC and Boston.

V


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