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Great Coffee Houses

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


annamill 27 Jul 99 - 01:14 PM
Pete Curry 27 Jul 99 - 01:10 PM
Sourdough 27 Jul 99 - 02:23 AM
Lonesome EJ 27 Jul 99 - 02:10 AM
Mark Cohen 26 Jul 99 - 11:11 PM
Pete Peterson 26 Jul 99 - 06:29 PM
bbelle 26 Jul 99 - 02:08 PM
don in oshawa 26 Jul 99 - 10:51 AM
Sourdough 26 Jul 99 - 01:26 AM
Lonesome EJ 08 Jul 99 - 12:15 AM
Art Thieme 07 Jul 99 - 08:21 PM
Divine Wilygoatess (inactive) 07 Jul 99 - 03:20 PM
Curtis & Loretta 06 Jul 99 - 11:34 PM
ddw in windsor 06 Jul 99 - 11:24 PM
Big Mick 06 Jul 99 - 11:01 PM
Art Thieme 06 Jul 99 - 06:43 PM
folk1234 06 Jul 99 - 01:30 PM
o'hanrahan 06 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM
Allan C. 06 Jul 99 - 10:35 AM
Easy Rider 06 Jul 99 - 09:58 AM
Art Thieme 06 Jul 99 - 09:55 AM
Vixen 06 Jul 99 - 08:18 AM
thosp 06 Jul 99 - 03:53 AM
Sourdough 06 Jul 99 - 03:49 AM
SOurdough 06 Jul 99 - 03:43 AM
Barry Finn 05 Jul 99 - 09:48 AM
Night Owl 05 Jul 99 - 04:17 AM
carlzen 05 Jul 99 - 03:24 AM
SOurdough 05 Jul 99 - 03:05 AM
Night Owl 05 Jul 99 - 01:59 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Jul 99 - 07:17 PM
Art Thieme 04 Jul 99 - 03:41 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jul 99 - 02:42 PM
The Shambles 04 Jul 99 - 02:17 PM
annamill 04 Jul 99 - 11:12 AM
Roger in Baltimore 04 Jul 99 - 10:57 AM
Sourdough 04 Jul 99 - 03:31 AM
gargoyle 04 Jul 99 - 01:16 AM
Rita64 04 Jul 99 - 12:37 AM
Mark Cohen 03 Jul 99 - 11:58 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 03 Jul 99 - 09:47 PM
Anne 03 Jul 99 - 09:12 PM
annamill 03 Jul 99 - 10:45 AM
Big Mick 03 Jul 99 - 10:23 AM
BK 03 Jul 99 - 01:12 AM
catspaw49 03 Jul 99 - 01:10 AM
Rita64 03 Jul 99 - 12:10 AM
Big Mick 02 Jul 99 - 11:59 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 02 Jul 99 - 08:16 PM
Lonesome EJ 02 Jul 99 - 07:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: annamill
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 01:14 PM

I don't understand? It obvious to me. What is more appropriate for a re-consecration name than "NEW HOPE" COFFEEHOUSE.

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Pete Curry
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 01:10 PM

In the late '50s and early'60s, Philadelphia had a thriving folk music scene centered around The Gilded Cage at 261 S. 21st (owned by Ed Halpern) and the Second Fret at 1902 Sansom St. (owned by Manny Rubin). The "Fret" was more like a night club and it was there that I first saw Dave Van Ronk, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the Kentucky Colonels (with Clarence & Roland White), Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee (who recorded a live album there­in the cover photo, the back of my head is clearly visible right in front of the stage), Reverand Gary Davis, Tom Rush, Mississippi John Hurt, Joni Mitchell, The Dillards, etc. The "Cage" was Philadelphia's oldest coffeehouse and hosted round-robins every Sunday afternoon featuring such luminaries as Roger Abrams, Dick Weissman (pre-The Journeymen), Tossi Aaron, Linda LaBov, Billy Vanaver, Mike Miller, blues guitar great Jerry Ricks (now Mississippi Jerry Ricks) and Arlo Guthrie's late accompaniest, John Pila. Those were the days!


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 02:23 AM

Let's see, how about

Pews Are Us

or

Altar Ego ?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Jul 99 - 02:10 AM

Let's see - Church/ coffee house = Holy Joe's ?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 11:11 PM

3a) Alice's Restaurant? Or is that too obvious?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 06:29 PM

1) Glad somebody mentioned Godfrey Daniels. Dave Fry has been running the place for as long as I have lived in the area and never gives up. 2) Much of what I know about the coffeehouse scene in Boston i8n the 60s comes from a book "Baby let me follow you down" by Jim Rooney and Eric Von Schmidt. What a wonderful book! Everybody's reminiscences. Of course, it's out of print. 3) A friend of mine has bought a church in New Hope PA; the congregation is leaving for a bigger home with good parking in about three months, and she intends, after an appropriate deconsecration ceremony, to re-dedicate it as a coffeehouse. 3a) Can anybody think of a good name? 3b) what would be appropriate in a RE-consecration ceremony? My own preference would be to sing as many verses of Old Time Religion as possible (see other ongoing thread) to make sure that Nobody is left out.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: bbelle
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 02:08 PM

folk1234: We must have been at the Cellar Door the same night in 1966! My aunt and uncle took me there to celebrate my 18th birthday to see the Chad Mitchell Trio, although ... you know the rest! A comedienne named Donna Jean Young opened for them ... she was very funny ... wonder whatever happened to her. Saw Ian & Sylvia there and was in attendance when John Denver and Fat City recorded "Country Roads." Took advantage of many of their Open Mike Sundays. There was a coffeehouse called "The Agape" located in a Lutheran church, where I spent almost every Saturday night in the early '70's. None of the performers were known, but there was a wealth of talent in that little room ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: don in oshawa
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 10:51 AM

Toronto's "THE RIVERBOAT" just has to get a mention...the key site of Toronto's Yorkville scene and sound... early days... the young Gordon Lightfoot.. visiting Yankees.. dylan, baez Terry and McGee, and then a second generation... Neil, just after Buffalo Springfield, Joni.. as a solo.. Having missed the first generation.. i was pleased to visit more regularly near the end... Fraser and Debolt.. Brent Titcomb.. Nancy Simmonds..... Did Leonard Cohen ever play the Riverboat? i dunno?


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Sourdough
Date: 26 Jul 99 - 01:26 AM

I was talking to a friend today and telling him the glories of Mudcat na dof this thread in particular. He started reminiscing about 1950s(!) coffee houses in Boston. He was a waiter in one in the late fifties while in high school. He asked if anyone had mentioned it. Not only hadn't anyone mentioned it, I had never heard of it. It was near Boston University and was called The Salamander. It took its name from its location. It was in a basement under a bar called The Rock. Cute?

He remembers Joan Baez singing there while she was a college studet, a couple of years before her "early" appearances at The Golden Vanity and yhe Club 47. According to my friend, she made $10/night. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Jul 99 - 12:15 AM

Alice...re-read this and saw your post about Idaho Spgs. Call me at 303-838-6533 when you get to town, ask for EJ.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 08:21 PM

I just realized fairly recently where the name Godfrey Daniels came from. I was watching a W.C. Fields short movie and every time he wanted to utter s curse, something that would be taken for swearing, he'd say, "GODFREY DANIELS" !!! It was great to "finally know" .

Art


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Divine Wilygoatess (inactive)
Date: 07 Jul 99 - 03:20 PM

The Quadrant in Easton, PA

Anylise's Hava Java in Allentown, PA

Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem, PA (not really a proper coffee house, kind of a byob place, but they do have coffee and books and music)

Deja Brew in Bethelehem, PA

~Miss V


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Curtis & Loretta
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:34 PM

In Minneapolis, there were the Coffeehouse Extempore, and New Riverside Cafe, both gone now. Actually, the "Riv" survived, owned and run by a collective, until just a couple years ago.

Loretta S


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: ddw in windsor
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:24 PM

I woudn't rate it with The Buddhi and the Sword and Stone (both in Oklahoma City, as mentioned above), but there was a place in Cleveland, Ohio in the late '60s called La Cave where I saw Josh White, Terry & McGhee, Jesse Colin Young and a lot of others. Like the rest, it's gone.

There was also a lot of folkie action in the Hamilton-Toronto (Ontario) area in the early '70s at places called (respectively) Campbell's Coffee House and Fiddler's Green. The former had a good stable of local talent and brought in such acts as Leon Redbone, Dave Essig, Willie P. Bennett and a host of others -- mostly Canadians. Fiddler's Green, whose mainstays were also responsible for a lot of what went into the Mariposa Folk Festival, used to get great acts from out of town to augment its regulars.

Unfortunately, most of those great venues are gone now and many of the ones left are -- I don't want to rehash what's in another thread, so this is just in passing, OK? *grin* -- taken over by the singer/songwriters, most of whom can do neither.

ddw


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:01 PM

A bit of thread creep, but I must answer the Rev. Mr. Thieme.

You are right on the mark, bro. Big Capital has done everything they can to destroy the notion that protected concerted activity by workers is a good thing. They continue to wage a perceptual battle for the hearts and minds of the young ones. There is a whole crop of new labor singers out there that are working in and around the campuses that are writing some pretty good labor music that attempts to counteract some of the half truths and misconceptions being spread by those whose agenda it is to convince people that workers don't need the power of collective bargaining. The stakes, for working families, are huge.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 06:43 PM

I played at the Crow's Toe in D.C. in 1964. It was STRANGE. On the bill was a gold-painted female impersonator named Robin. The Cellar Door was where I saw Dave Van Ronk. First met Joe Hickerson at the Libr. Of Congress that year--his first at the L. Of C. Passed the hat at the Wha in New York & got enough to buy a meal at the automat. Walked all night as hotels cost too much. In the morn went to Staten Island Ferry & rode for .05---shaved in the men's room--gave my 000-18 to a hotdog seller on the boat to hold for me so I could go to Central Park and pretend to be sunbathing while I slept. Then went to the boat again, got my guitar & went to "work". Did that a week and a half I think. (Ah, youth!) Bought a standing room ticket to see Richard Burton do Hamlet. The night of the performance, a guy returned one 3rd row center ticket just as I was passing the box office. I traded my standing room ticket for that one!! After sleeping in the park for a week, I sat there among the tuxedos and the evening gowns and added to the ambiance by providing a rather aromatic aspect to the performance. It was great. Woody would've been proud! In 1964 we could do all that I describe here easily and safely. No problems at all. Kids, I'm not making this up. On the way back to Chicago I went to Nashville and hung around Hank Snow's shows at the Opry and then at some county fairs in the Midwest. 'Twas a fine summer. Not all on coffeehouses, but this entry DID stasrt with the coffeehouse called the Crow's Toe in D.C.

But I digressed a bit...

Art


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: folk1234
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 01:30 PM

Allan C: Thanks for bringing up the Cellar Door. Back in 1966 we went there to see the Chad Mitchell Trio. Well, Chad was ill, so he was replaced by some weird looking, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and far-to-enthusiastic young guy with big funky glasses who sure sounded strange when he sang. He did a few solos and the other two members of CMT did both solos and duets. When they all sang together as a trio, they were pretty bad. So bad that the CD management gave us our cover charge back. A week later Chad was fine and we enjoyed their great music. Of course by now you know the rest of the story. The weird guy was none other than John Dueschendorff (Denver) who eventually replaced Chad (did a great job, too) and still later had a very impressive career of his own. I GUESS YOU HAVE TO GIVE A FOLK SINGER A CHANCE. FIRST IMPRESSIONS MAY NOT BE THE LAST.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: o'hanrahan
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 11:42 AM

Also on Charles Street in Boston was the Turks Head Coffehouse. Night Owl:Yes i do remember The Hillbilly Ranch right next to the Trailways bus terminal. Quite a trip to say the least. There ere also free concerts at the Cambridge Common that were lots of fun.


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Allan C.
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 10:35 AM

Don't remember ever drinking coffee there, but The Cellar Door in Washington, D. C., deserves mention. It was a cramped but cozy place to hear and see folks who were becoming and people who already had become well-known. Others, like me, were happy just to get a chance to get on stage now and again at the Sunday night Hootnanny. Ian and Sylvia had their own mailbox in the alley (which doubled as the backstage area). I missed seeing Bud and Travis play there but I remember seeing Joe and Eddy's performance. They were backed by an excellent bassist named, Buck Wheat. Another D. C. coffeehouse of repute was The Crow's Toe (it featured a stuffed crow suspended from the ceiling by that appendage).


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Easy Rider
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 09:58 AM

Surprising nobody has mentioned the Gaslight Cafe or the Cafe Au Go Go, in Greenwich Village, in the 60s. I saw Missippi John Hurt there, and Danny Kalb and the Blues Project. I saw an unknown named Richie Havens and a very early Bonnie Raitt and hundreds of others.

There were the Broadside hoots, at the Village Gate, on Sunday afternoons, and so much more. It was wonderful, for a kid just learning about folk music and blues.

Gerdie's was a bar. I was too young, but I saw Sonny Terry and Brownie Mcghee there, when I grew up a little.

The only thing left today is the Bottom Line. I've seen a lot of good performers there recently.

EZR


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Subject: RE: Great Coffee Houses
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 Jul 99 - 09:55 AM

V,

I left out all the great Chicago folk clubs because they didn't serve coffee. The NO EXIT was an old beatnik coffeehouse (served unique coffee concoctions in the 50s before anybody else in Chicago) that catered more to race car drivers than anything else before the folk era. It always had chess boards inlaid into the top of every table. It was in to be AWAKE rather than sedated (as with alcohol) even though smokedreams were rampant there too. "Unique" paintings were on the walls. Beatniks were, if nothing else, literary --- as in Kerouac and Ginsberg & MANY other lesser lights. (Check out Ann Charters __THE BEAT READER__ for a good overview. She is/was (whatever) the wife of Sam Charters the blues scholar.)The later hippy thing was tune out & turn on as well as Anti-war and a reaction to a seeming threat of destruction of the largest generation of Americans ever by "old men", who had the power to do that, over the young people. The baby boomers used their sheer numbers to fight back for the first time since the Civil War.

Mick, Is that why unions were busted right and left by people intent on destroying the example set then that showed what collective action can truly accomplish?)

Anyhow, allow me to include, THE EARL OF OLD TOWN, THE QUIET NIGHT, THE GATE OF HORN, BARBAROSSA, SOMEBODY ELSE'S TROUBLES, THE YELLOW UNICORN, RUE, THE COLLEGE OF COMPLEXES, MOMARTRE and, last but not least THE ERECTION which had to change it's name for obvious reasons in 1963 to the ERECTHEON.

Art Thieme


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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