Song Premiere: Rick Danko, “It Makes No Difference” Live At Caffè Lena

Rick Danko Performing At Caffè Lena
Rick Danko Performing At Caffè Lena

The Folk Revival. Greenwich Village. Coffeehouse. All of these phrases go hand in hand to paint a picture of New York’s bustling 1960s folk scene. Populated by some of the most recognizable names in folk music (Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk and Joan Baez, just to name a few), this scene produced legends like a college party produces cheap beer and jungle juice. Greenwich Village stands as the famous home-base of this movement, but outside of Manhattan, in a city called Saratoga Springs, stood what would become the longest continually running coffeehouse in the country: Caffè Lena.

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Lena Spencer, with the help of her husband Bill, founded Caffè Lena in 1960. Since then, it has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Emmylou Harris and more recently: Arlo Guthrie, Rufus Wainwright, Tift Merritt and more. Upon Lena Spencer’s death in 1989, the cafe became a non-profit entity, and those who happen to live in upstate New York can enjoy regular shows and open mic nights. But for those of us who aren’t so fortunate, the Caffè will soon debut a compilation of previously unreleased tracks titled Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013.

One of the many gems on this three-disc set is The Band’s Rick Danko performing “It Makes No Difference,” originally featured on the album The Last Waltz documenting their farewell concert of the same name.

Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013 will drop on September 24.

Here’s the full track listing:

1. Intro by Lena Spencer / Guy Carawan: “Cripple Creek” (1970)
2. Hedy West: “Shady Grove” (1968)
3. Intro by Lena Spencer / Sleepy John Estes: “Holy Spirit” (1974)
4. Frank Wakefield and Friends: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” (1971)
5. Jean Ritchie: “West Virginia Mine Disaster” (1969)
6. Billy Faier: “Hunt The Wren” (1967)
7. Greenbriar Boys: “Hit Parade of Love” (1968)
8. Mike Seeger: “O Death” (1971)
9. Jacqui and Bridie: “Hello Friend” (1974)
10. Tom Paxton: “Morning Again” (1968)
11. David Amram: “Little Mama” (1974)
12. Patrick Sky: “Reality Is Bad Enough” (1971)
13. Rosalie Sorrels: “Travelin’ Lady” (1974)
14. Smoke Dawson: “Devil’s Dream” (1968)
15. Utah Phillips: “The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia” (1974)
16. Michael Cooney: “Thyme It Is A Precious Thing” (1974)
17. Kate McGarrigle and Roma Baran: “Caffè Lena” (1972)

1. Intro by Lena Spencer / Dave Van Ronk: “Gaslight Rag” (1974)
2. Jerry Jeff Walker: “Mr. Bojangles” (1968)
3. Barbara Dane: “Mama Yancey’s Advice” / “Love With a Feeling” (1968)
4. Roy Book Binder: “Ain’t Nobody Home But Me” (1974)
5. Intro by Lena Spencer / David Bromberg: “The Holdup: (1972)
6. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott: “Pretty Boy Floyd” (1992)
7. Arlo Guthrie: “City of New Orleans” (2010)
8. Aztec Two Step: “The Persecution and Restoration of Dean Moriarty” (1989)
9. Happy And Artie Traum: “Trials Of Jonathan” (1974)
10. Rick Danko: “It Makes No Difference” (1988)
11. Paul Geremia: “Something’s Gotta Be Arranged” (1989)
12. Robin and Linda Williams: “S-A-V-E-D” (1987)
13. John Herald: “Ramblin’ Jack Elliott” (1991)
14. Pete Seeger: “Somos El Barco (We Are the Boat)” (1985)

1. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion: “Folksong” (2013)
2. Anais Mitchell: “Wedding Song” (2013)
3. Bill Morrissey: “The Last Day Of The Furlough” (1990)
4. Patty Larkin: “Island Of Time” (1992)
5. Greg Brown: “Flat Stuff” (1989)
6. Mary Gauthier: “I Drink” (2013)
7. Sean Rowe: “Old Black Dodge” (2013)
8. Tom Chapin: “Cats In The Cradle” (1987)
9. Intro by Lena Spencer / Christine Lavin: “It’s A Good Thing He Can’t Read My Mind” (1987)
10. Bill Staines: “Sweet Wyoming Home” (1990)
11. Bucky and John Pizzarelli: “I Like Jersey Best” (1989)
12. Rory Block That’s No Way To Get Along (1989)
13. Chris Smither: “Killing The Blues” (1989)
14. Tift Merritt: “Traveling Alone” (2013)
15. John Gorka: “Down In The Milltown” (1990)
16. Lena Spencer: “Dear Little Cafe” (1972)


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