Select Page
View this email in your browser
One of Caffe Lena’s proudest moments: Mississippi John Hurt, July 1966
Four duos play on Saturday to raise funds for a John Hurt documentary that will preserve the legacy of one of America’s most important blues musicians.
Click the photo to watch the trailer & please come support this fundraiser!
Greetings – Gentle, genial, gospel-influenced blues musician John Hurt (July 3, 1893 – November 2, 1966) might have lived and died in obscurity if it hadn’t been for the folk music revival that also gave birth to Caffe Lena. Hurt had been working as a farmer for over 35 years when a scholar followed the trail laid down in Hurt’s song “Avalon Blues” and found him in Avalon, MS. Hurt was weary from a lifetime of backbreaking labor for pitifully small amounts of money, but his talent was intact. He resumed his musical career, playing Caffe Lena July 7-10, 1966. Most, if not all, of the acoustic blues musicians who have followed him on our stage started out by listening to and studying the fingerpicking style of John Hurt.

Funds raised at this Saturday’s multi-act benefit performance will go to the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation, established by Hurt’s granddaughter, Mary Frances Hurt. This non-profit is preserving the music and history of Hurt, providing musical and educational opportunities to disadvantaged youth, and keeping alive the rich oral, musical, and literary traditions of the Mississippi Delta. At this time, the Foundation needs our support to complete a film, currently in production, about Hurt’s life and legacy.

Every week I urge you to explore new music. This week I’m asking you to help us honor one of the giants of our past upon whose shoulders we stand.

See you at the show,

Sample Song  In-person tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

One of the finest song poets to play our stage. Maloney stitches her art together from personal and universal ecstasy, loss both intimate and ancient, with tremulous folk, existential ballads, and assertive rock. Trained in opera and silent meditation, her songs look under the skin of everyday life.

Sample Song In-person tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Pensive, rocking, wry singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick has shared the stage with Joan Armatrading, Weezer, Tegan and Sara, Mark Cohen, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Ani DiFranco, k.d.Lang, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, and many others. Their songs are for “All the hippies, all the gypsies, all the queers and everyone who loves music.” Ferrick has a foot in all those camps.

Sample Song |  In-person tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Performers for this very special evening are Piedmont Bluz (Valerie and Benedict Turner), Annie & Jonny Rosen of Annie and the Hedonists, Erin Harpe & Jim Countryman, and Mark Tolstrup and Jill Burnham.

Sample Song |  In-person tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

They set the standard for traditional Celtic repertoire with a drive and pulse charged with integrity. Celtic, Breton, American and other musical traditions on accordion, guitar, fiddle, and vocals.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” It feels a little off-brand to quote Steve Jobs, but he was a Dylan fan so that puts him in our orbit. 😉 Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like to do what we love here at Caffe Lena. Our new Marketing Manager, Beth Rowen, is having a wonderful time sharing snippets of the music and the atmosphere with you on our social media channels. Reese arranged another Caffe Lena On the Road residency for a trio called Thunder & Rain. They brought some joy and beauty to local folks who can’t get out for shows at Lena’s. Next week he’ll take a band to Washington County to play for seniors. Vivian oversaw an incredibly melodious and giant-sized jam session for seniors on Thursday afternoon. Every week brings opportunities to do what we love, and we have you to thank for that.  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