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Steeped in the traditional folk of their North Carolina home, Viv & Riley bring new songs spiced with retro-pop. “Recalls jangle-pop from The Byrds to R.E.M.. . . A listener will be tempted to put the track on infinite repeat.” (No Depression)  Bright Series, Thursday at 7. Click photo for sample.
Greetings – Music picks up new sounds and stories as it passes through the generations, and in its DNA it still carries the spirit of those who endured, dreamed, and kept hope alive by making music. Viv and Riley (Thursday) grew up going to festivals and music camps, and learning both formally and through “the folk process.” Same with our new friends from Veracruz, Mexico (Saturday). Their son jarocho comes from the merging of Spanish, indigenous and African cultures on Mexico’s Gulf Coast. Viv and Riley’s American folk comes from the merging of British Isles and Africa in the mountains of Appalachia. These musical traditions weaved the sounds of enemies together into something beautiful, and that’s worth thinking about. Enjoy sampling all of this week’s music. There are some wonderful, fresh shows for you coming over the next few days.
See you at the show,

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A project of Adirondack Center for Writing and North Country Public Radio, the Howl Story Slam is a spirited storytelling competition that pops up all over the North Country. The theme of this story slam is “Falling For It.” Anyone can sign up to tell a story about being duped, misled, gaslit, or hoodwinked. Or about falling in love, falling off the side of a mountain . . . Winners compete in the annual Grand Slam at the end of the year.

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

Fresh melodies & tight vocal harmonies rooted in the traditional music of the North Carolina mountains, with a lush, indie-folk update. Their sweetly sad and gently sardonic songs are “A stirring meditation on being present for the meaningful things.” —Rolling Stone Country

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

Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd and American cellist Laura Metcalf tour the world with a classical crossover mix, from Debussy and Bach to Radiohead and Beyoncé. They’ve hit the sweet spot with well over 3 million streams on Spotify & a #3 position on the Billboard Classical chart.

Sample Song Register | Watch from home

Playing in the son jarocho tradition from Veracruz, Mexico, Cana Dulce y Cana Brava delivers musical poetry, exciting rhythms and a wash of plucked strings. Proudly representing their culture around the world since 2007, the group has been invited to perform in South, Central and North America, as well as Europe, Africa and Asia. Introduce your kids to a new culture represented by this celebrated, Mexican band–for free!This Little Folks concert is made possible by the Nordlys Foundation, NYSCA and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation

Sample Song | SOLD OUT | Watch on Caffe Lena TV 

Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards 2023 Americana Artist of the Year. With songwriting reminiscent of Josh Ritter and Iron & Wine, and a flair for improv, this fluid band is making a name across the Northeast. This show will feature frequent members Sara Milonovich on fiddle, Chris Bloniarz on mandolin, Jimi W. on electric guitar, James Gascoyne on bass, and Chris Carey on drums.

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

Rick Bolton has a well-known track record of spotting talent early. This series showcases the best emerging and established songwriters who frequent Caffè Lena’s “Best of the Capital Region” Open Mic Night. This edition features Elizabeth Conant, Hayley Stafford, and Shannon Tehya. Come listen to these talented artists show their stuff!


Sunday’s pop-up health clinic for musicians and other artists was a smashing success! More than 50 uninsured people got tested, fitted, educated, and connected with health care. A small team worked hard for months to make this event happen simply because there’s nothing more enriching than getting good things done together. And that small team was able to dedicate time to this project because you come to shows, you volunteer, you donate, and you lend your goodwill to this community. Thank you.