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About ready for some happy vibes? Don’t miss this Sunday’s show with the incomparable songwriters Steve Poltz (above) and Paul Thorn. It’s their “In the Ring Together Tour,” and it’s not to be missed. Click photo for sample.

Greetings – People use songs in all sorts of ways. Mood boosters, motivators, distractors, affirmations, memory portals. This week’s line-up of songwriters is here to fulfill all those roles for you. Missy Raines is one of the stand-out women in contemporary bluegrass, having taken home a 2020 Grammy nomination and more blue ribbons from the International Bluegrass Music Association than anyone else. She’s waxing nostalgic with a brand new release that celebrates the great bluegrass scene of her West Virginia home in the ’60s and ’70s. Should be a lot of fun this Thursday.

Ryan Montbleau has fewer than 10 tickets available between both shows, so act now if you want to be there. Otherwise, tune in on Caffe Lena telly.

And then there’s Steve Poltz and Paul Thorn on Sunday night. Back in mid-2023 I got this message from their agent, who I’ve worked with for decades: “we are working on a spring 2024 run with these two characters, just them together, no band, and lots of side-splitting humorous stories and songs.” That certainly peaked my interest and now here they are–wild, funny, mischievous, and wonderfully good hearts. Can’t wait to share them with you!

See you at the show,

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

Grammy-nominated, 10-time International Bluegrass Music Assoc. Bass Player of the Year Missy Raines hits the stage at Caffè Lena with her hard-driving, all-star 5 piece featuring Tristan Scroggins on mandolin, Ellie Hakanson on fiddle, Ben Garnett on guitar, and Eli Gilbert on banjo. Their new album, Highlander, produced by Alison Brown, has just been released on Compass Records.

The Momentum Series is made possible by the generous support of Joe & Luann Conlon.

Sample Song |  In-person tickets | Watch on CLTV Friday | Saturday

NPR’s Mountain Stage compared his “eloquent, soulful songwriting” to Bill Withers and James Taylor, while Relix hailed his “poetic Americana.” With a passionate fanbase, Montbleau’s live shows are like family reunions. North Carolina flatpicker, fingerpicker and songwriter, Brooks Forsyth, will open both nights.

Sample Song (Paul) | Sample Song (Steve)
In-person tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TVThis will be a wild, joyful, poignant and brilliant night to remember! Singer-songwriter Thorn has jumped out of airplanes, boxed four-time world champion Roberto Duran on national TV, performed with Raitt, Knopfler, and Prine, and charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100. Poltz co-wrote Jewel’s multiplatinum “You Were Meant For Me”and continues to work with her. “Part busker, part Iggy Pop and part Robin Williams, a freewheeling folkie with a quick wit and big heart.” (AP)

It’s the most wonderful thing to hear 30 senior citizens circled up in our listening room on a Thursday afternoon jamming away on three-chord songs and just having the best time. Or seeing our youth students developing into righteous little fiddlers and guitarists and forming their own bands. There are powerful forces in the world pulling us deeper and deeper into technology, where people are not face to face and they don’t experience social life in the way we’ve evolved to experience it. The School of Music feels like a win for basic, old-school humanity. Your membership support makes the School of Music possible. Thank you.Caffe Lena has more than 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.

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