Harry Tuft and...
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Featured Artist #1
Harry Tuft and...
Every other month, starting in September, Harry will offer an evening of music, song, and occasionally, point of view. He will be joined by a guest each time, and the guest will be announced one month before the event itself.
September's special guest is Spencer Bohren.
Each event will include an open song circle following the performance. The performance will start at 6:30 in the Cafe, for close to 90 minutes, uninterrupted. The song circle will start at 8, and continue to 9:30.
Tickets will be available at the door - $10 for the evening. Y'ALL COME!
Harry Tuft grew up singing and playing a series of instruments – from the piano to the clarinet, ukulele, baritone uke, and, in college, a six-string guitar.
Philadelphia's lively folk scene provided the setting for Harry's first ventures into public singing. From there, friendships with Dick Weissman and Roger Abrahams fostered a growing interest in Anglo-American folk music.
In 1960, needing a break from his studies (preparing for an architectural career), Harry traveled out to the Rocky Mountains for some skiing. He found a job at "The Holy Cat" in Georgetown, as a dishwasher, busboy, waiter, bartender, janitor, and – if there was a lull in the work at night – he could sing in the bar.
There he met Hal Neustaedter – owner of "The Exodus," a folk club in Denver – who suggested that he look into starting a folklore center in Denver. With further encouragement from Izzy Young, owner of the first and (then) only Folklore Center, in New York's Greenwich Village, Harry opened the Denver Folklore Center in March 1962.
Putting his energies into the store over the years, Harry has found time for teaching and occasional singing, as time allows. In his first album, "Across the Blue Mountains," Harry was ably joined by old friends Dick Weissman, Jay Ungar, Ed Trickett, Artie Traum and Laraine Grady Traum.
In 1972, Harry and friends Steve Abbott and Jack Stanesco formed Grubstake – originally named "This Band Is Starving." Their five albums include "What You Do With What You Got" and "Warts and All."
If and when you find yourself in Denver, we hope you'll stop by the Folklore Center. If Harry's not there, he's probably not far away. We think you'll enjoy the mixture of people, music and merchandise you'll find there.
Featured Artist #2
Born into a gospel-singing family in the wind-swept prairies of Wyoming in 1950, Spencer Bohren began singing and playing music as youngster. At fourteen, inspired by the folk music he heard on the radio, Spencer picked up a guitar and within a few weeks started performing in public. He immediately delved deeply into America's treasure of blues, country, gospel and folk music, soaking up guitar styles and historical details. In the 1960s and 1970s, Spencer played with rock, country and blues bands throughout the western US. By the mid-1970s, Spencer and his wife, Marilyn, found a spiritual home in the city of New Orleans, and started their family there.
New Orleans had a profound effect on Spencer, and he quickly became a fixture on the local music scene. Spencer began touring, this time in the southern U.S. Before long he made the daring decision to bring his family on the road so they could be together. For seven years they lived on the road, Spencer performing around the U.S., sharing his love of America's music and singing his own original songs. He also began a recording career, which has produced 16 albums.
In 1997, Spencer developed Down the Dirt Road Blues, his award-winning history of American music, which he has presented to 30,000 students of all ages, as well as concert audiences in America and Europe. His educational offerings have grown to include visual art, guitar workshops, and talks on songs of protest and music business, inspiring countless budding musicians.merican South. He has a marvelous gift for sharing his great love for America's wealth of traditional folk, blues, gospel, and country music with audiences of all ages. His ability to animate the musicians and singers from the past with both respectful readings of their music and spellbinding stories is legendary. Spencer's laid-back stage presence and comfortable delivery make each concert feel like a pleasant visit with an old friend.
Woven through the fabric of a Spencer Bohren performance are his stunning original pieces, teeming with echoes of the traditional music he loves, yet written from a modern viewpoint. From gently opinionated topical songs to energetic highway tunes to disarmingly beautiful ballads, Spencer presents a wide range of music, punctuated by superlative guitar playing and using an ever-changing assortment of vintage guitars, lapsteels and banjos. The atmosphere of his New Orleans home subtly informs each performance. What's more, the stories that preface the songs are often as well received as the songs themselves. From festival stages in America to concert halls all over Europe, listeners continue to be charmed by the openness and honesty of Spencer's music and his gracious personality. In a world filled with synthesized pop music, Spencer Bohren defines artistic integrity.