caffe lena

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The entrance to Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs has just as much character as the club itself. It’s easy to walk by the door on Phila Street. Go up the creaky wooden steps, and you’re in the same room where Bob Dylan and Sawyer Fredericks both cut their teeth.

Caffe Lena logo
Caffe Lena website

WAMC's David Guistina talks with Judy Patrick of the Daily Gazette about Bob Freeman speaking at Schenectady County Community College and renovations at a historic cafe in Saratoga Springs.

  Located in Saratoga Springs, New York, Caffè Lena is the oldest continually running coffee house in the United States.

Tomorrow my band, The Berkshire Ramblers, will play a Halloween Hootenanny at Caffé Lena with all proceeds donated TO the café. Championing folk songs of the "old style," The Berkshire Ramblers always donate their performances to help causes and places dear to our hearts.

Here to talk a little bit more about tomorrow’s performance and everything else going on at Caffé Lena, we welcome Director of Caffé Lena, Sarah Craig – and Lena board member and Berkshire Rambler multi-instrumentalist, Michael Eck.

Merri Cyr

    Erin McKeown is a Musician, Writer, and Producer based in Western Massachusetts.With 9 full length albums, 2 EPs, and numerous soundtracks to her credit, she’s a local, national, and international artist and activist and she joins us to talk about her Summer, songwriting, and music distribution. 

    Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices in American songwriting and one of the top songwriters to emerge out of the fertile Boston folk scene. He helped create a movement that revitalized the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk rock style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 90's.

He is also writes folk music for kids and families and will be playing a free Little Folks Concert tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Caffé Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY. (He’s playing a show there tonight, too. It’s sold out. )

Joe Alper

    We are joined by two dear friends of our program – who happen to direct organizations in Saratoga Springs AND whose organizations happen to be collaborating this season.

Ian Berry is the Dayton Director at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College and Sarah Craig is the Director and is in charge of booking at Caffé Lena. Ian will tell us about TRANSFORMer – a collaborative, community-specific sculptural installation currently on display at The Tang. He and Sarah will tell us about the exhibition, Caffé Lena: Inside America's Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse.

    Blending country, folk and pop styles, Lucy Kaplansky makes every song sound fresh, whether singing her own sweet originals, covering country classics by June Carter Cash and Gram Parsons, or singing pop favorites by Lennon/McCartney and Nick Lowe.

She is performing at Caffé Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY on Saturday, July 20th.

David Greenberger has just released his latest CD, So Tough, recorded with his new band, A Strong Dog (Kevin Maul, Mitch Throop, and Matthew Loiacono). For decades, David has collected stories from elderly people. Rather than portraying them as repositories of wisdom and memory, Greenberger illuminates their full and present humanity. David's monologues are entwined with live music in a show that is emotionally rich, charming, funny and evocative.

The works all draw from David's conversations with the elderly in nursing homes, senior centers and mealsites. Some reflect memory loss or other aspects of cognitive decline, while others simply mirror the process of two people coming to know one another through conversation and listening.

David Greenberger and A Strong Dog will perform at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY on May 31st at 8pm.