Tag Archives: Beacon

Ani DiFranco loses her voice, cancels tonight’s sold-out Towne Crier Café gig

Ani DiFranco (Righteous Babe Records/Charles Waldorf)

Ani DiFranco (Righteous Babe Records/Charles Waldorf)

Beacon was expecting to welcome singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco to the Towne Crier Café on Sunday night with a sell-out crowd of fans who paid $55 or more to see her.

The Towne Crier gang just got out the word that Bufalo’s Righteous Babe, whose last show was Saturday night at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on Long Island, has lost her voice as a result of illness and won’t be appearing in Beacon tonight. The Town Crier promises to announce a makeup date “in the next few days.”

The club broke the disappointing news by email, and is offering discounts to patrons who are willing to visit the café for just a meal instead of dinner and show:

We were expecting a full house for the Ani DiFranco show tonight. But (as we’ve already informed you if you’re a ticket holder) she’s lost her voice due to illness and has to reschedule. New date is TBA. We’ll let you know ASAP.

Not only are we (like you) disappointed, we have a cooler full of food to prepare for the full house we were expecting. So tonight only, we’re offering all dinner guests 20% off their total bill. Tell your server the code phrase: “Get well, Ani.” Come on down—no reservation necessary. Spread the word!

If you wanted to check out DeFranco in an intimate venue, keep an eye on the Towne Crier website. Undoubtedly at least some ticketholders will be unable to make it to see DiFranco when the show gets rescheduled. I haven’t been to the new Towne Crier yet, but I’m betting it would be hard to beat as a place to see and hear a dynamic performer with a national following like DiFranco.

DiFranco tours fairly heavily, with 18 shows before the end of March listed on her website.

It’s unclear what’s ailing DiFranco. As of this writing, there’s nothing specifi on her website, Twitter, or Facebook accounts other than a cancellation notice.

At least one Twitter user says she put on a “great show” on Saturday night.



New collection skims the cream of Caffè Lena’s rich musical history


Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013 is slated for release on Sept. 24.

A review of Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013, with buying and streaming links after the jump

I’ve always meant to visit the legendary Caffè Lena, the tiny coffeehouse at 47 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Devonsquare, the sweet-harmonizing folk-rock trio, first piqued my curiosity about Lena and Bill Spencer’s cafe (or caffè, as they dubbed it, using two f’s) with their song “Caffè Lena” on the  1987 album Walking on Ice.

Caffè Lena was a place of mythical proportions to me then. For one reason or another, I never found myself in Saratoga Springs.

After all, I live close to The Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., a music cafe that is, while 16 years younger than Caffè Lena, has a similar mission and musical profile.

And then there was the Towne Crier in Pawling, N.Y.,  from 1972 until closing in June with plans to reopen soon in Beacon. That gave me a backup option just a bit farther afield than The Turning Point.

So  I never got myself motivated sufficiently to make the trek to Saratoga Springs.

I should have known I was missing out. And now the Tompkins Square record label has  shoved into my face some very real evidence of exactly how much I’ve missed. Continue reading

Who needs roadies: Pete Seeger is 90 and still carries his own gear!

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The crowd in Nyack’s Memorial Park was getting antsy after dark fell last night. The several hundred people gathered in the park on the banks of the Hudson River were waiting for one man: legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.

He was the headliner for the Health Care for All rally. The organizers kept assuring the crowd that Pete was on the way, racing to Nyack after an appearance in Manhattan’s Central Park. But by shortly after 7, it started looking like the rally’s 7:30 end time would come and go before Pete got there.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

Then someone near the park entrance shouted, “He’s here. Somebody just saw him.” That caused some in the back of the crowd to turn and face the driveway into the park, expecting to see a livery car racing in. Instead, through the gathering darkness strode a rail-thin man in a chambray shirt and jeans, a floppy hat on his had, with two gig bags, one slug from each shoulder.

Yes, it was the 90-year-old folk icon, walking into the park, carrying his own gear. A roar rose up from the crowd, which seemed to double in size as people pushed forward to get a glimpse of Pete.

He apologized for being so late, explaining that this was is fourth event of the day — which he spent racing between his home in Beacon, to NYC to Nyack. And then he launched into energetic performances of  a handful of familiar songs, including a “rap” version of “English is Crazy,” a singalong of “This Land is Your Land,” and a beautiful rendition of his 1950 chart-topper “Goodnight, Irene.”

The energy was intense. And I’m sure that the doubters who left before Pete arrived are kicking themselves for missing out on such a vital performance.

A number of other musicians performed brief sets during the nearly four-hour-long rally, including the Roues Brothers of West Nyack, Tom Chapin of Piermont and Emory Joseph of NYC.

Check out the Nyack News & Views report here.

Click through to the jump for more photos. Continue reading