New Book Celebrates Folk Club Where Dylan, Arlo Guthrie And Others Played

Caffè Lena, a folk club in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie Ani DiFranco and many others have performed since it opened in 1960, is celebrated in a coffee-table book, CD boxed set and an audio archive destined for the Library of Congress, according to a story in today’s New York Times.

The club is important because it was one of the folk clubs outside the folk centers of New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

“Caffè Lena was one of those iconic places that were strategically placed around the country and actually made it possible for the folk-song revival to happen,” Peggy Bulger, the former director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, told the New York Times.

It also may have been the first club outside New York where Bob Dylan performed after he moved to New York City.

Other artists who played there include Pete Seeger, Dave Van Ronk, Don McLean, and Kate and Anna McGarrigle.

The book is “Caffè Lena: Inside America’s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse” by Jocelyn Arem, who spent 11 years working on it.

There is a wonderful photo of Dylan and his girlfriend at the time, Suze Rotolo, and the club’s proprietor, Lena Spencer, taken in 1962, as part of a slide show at the New York Times website.

Read the story and see the photo at the New York Times.

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

Leave a Reply