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Greetings – We’re here to keep live music alive, whatever it takes. Once again, our nationally touring artists are being affected by postponements and cancellations, and of course that’s just one of many setbacks large and small being faced by a world hoping to see the pandemic disappear in the rearview mirror. While we all do what we can to get recovery back on track, you can take the edge off this truly painful disappointment by letting our musicians know you’re still listening. Buy their music, watch their streams, go to their shows in places where it’s safe. Post a supportive comment on their Facebook page. Share a favorite video. I know these seemingly small gestures make a world of difference, because that’s what you’ve all been doing for Caffe Lena, and that’s why we’re still here.

In the meantime, we’re extremely fortunate to be open for in-person shows in relatively safe upstate New York. We’ve gotten a lot of attention for being one of the first vaccination-required venues. Our audience has been overwhelming supportive of mask-wearing and vaccinations because we’re live music lovers–and we want to keep live music alive, whatever it takes. Broadway is vax-only, Proctors just announced that they are–more are signing on every day.

This week’s line-up is really, really special. Listen to Kyshona Armstrong by clicking her photo up top — a great new artist who delivers the hope and love we need right now.

See you at the show!  -Sarah

July 6, 1953 – August 13, 2021

“The name “Nanci Griffith” is synonymous with Texas. Not the Texas of the oilmen in their mansions on the hills and long black limousines. Nanci’s voice, sometimes dry like a tumbleweed, sometimes rich and full like the Colorado River after a spring rain, was the voice of the working people–the oil riggers down on the Gulf of Mexico and the red dirt farmers out west. She sang about their struggles, their heartaches, their sun-drenched days and their dark nights of the soul. Most of all, she sang about a small-town Texas girl’s dream to see the world at the other end of the two-lane blacktop that stretched out past the city limits, through the mesquite and the cottonwoods. There’s a light beyond those woods, and Nanci grew up longing to stand in it. Her songs are gems that reflect that longing, and as she once wrote, when the diamonds fall, they burn like tears. She’s finally home now from that long, long road.” – Pete Kennedy

Nanci Griffith played six weekends at Caffe Lena, from her co-bill debut with Carolyn Hester in 1982 to her final show in 1985 as her career began to take off.
“Love At the Five and Dime”


Monday, Aug 16 / 7 PM / $5 donation

Tuesday, Aug 17 / 7 PM / $5
The Long Tale of Tears & Smiles: Poetry Book Launch with Dr. Rana Bitar


Tuesday, Aug 17 / 8 PM
“Live From Caffe Lena” Radio Show

Listen on WEXT 97.7 or 106.1 FM

Wednesday, Aug 18 / 7 PM / $5 at the door
Hosted by Red Spruce

(Doors and Tutorial at 6:30PM)

Wednesday, Aug 18 / 7 PM & 12 AM, Sunday 1 PM
“Live From Caffe Lena” on “Folk Music Notebook” 
Featuring:  SUNNY WAR

Thursday, Aug 19 / 7 PM
Julian Lage & Dave King
Watch the live stream

Lage has been on stage with his guitar since he was a small child, including an appearance with Carlos Santana at the age of 8. The years of practice show, to say the least. Known for his versatility and fluid merging of styles, Grammy-nominated Lage shows up on albums by emerging folk singer-songwriters, bluegrass legends, jazz greats, as well as with his own solo, duo and trio jazz combos.
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Friday, Aug 20 / 8 PM / $20
In-person tickets
Watch the live stream

Kyshona Armstrong, pronounced Kuh-shawna, used to be a social worker. Her therapy practice included songwriting, which led to her own songs, which led to Nashville, which led to acclaim by Rolling Stone, NPR, Billboard and CMT, among many others. Her compassion, insights, and powerful voice are very moving. It’s hard to imagine songs we need more than this right now.
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Saturday, Aug 21 / 8 PM / $20
The Pine Cats
In-person tickets
Watch the live stream

We met John Putnam and Mike Visceglia during the pandemic summer of 2020 when we were mining the region for hidden gems. Turned out these two New York City musicians were holed up in the Catskills working out new songs, and we got to bring them to Lena’s to play for one of our only live audiences of the year. They’re veteran Broadway pit orchestra players who have toured or recorded with Suzanne Vega, Madonna, John Cale, Jackson Browne and numerous other major stars. Enjoy their sweet setlist of familiar acoustic tunes and original songs.
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Sunday, Aug 22 / 7 PM / $35
Robin & Linda Williams
In-person tickets
Watch the live stream

The heartbreakingly beautiful southern mountain music of Virginia’s Robin and Linda Williams has been heard on stages around the world, including ours, since the ’70s. They were anchors of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion during its heyday, delighting audiences with downhome vibes and masterful performances. They are touring in support of their new album, A Better Day A-Coming.
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August Bright Series band AJ Lee & Blue Summit. Photo by member Glenn Kaplowitz

From open mic, to the Caffe Lena School of Music, to the Bright Series, to the Matt McCabe Scholarship, our members keep our venue full of fresh energy by providing meaningful opportunities to deserving artists. That’s why Caffe Lena is seen as an exciting place to discover new music. Membership is not only supporting the venue today, it’s an investment in the future of roots music. Thank You!

Caffe Lena has nearly 1,000 active members. These folks are planting songs and growing community with their annual donations. They also get the best seats in the house, early access to special shows and some neat swag. Learn More