Woodstock, NY has always had a musical resonance to me, ever since I came to play at the old Cafe Espresso on Tinker Street one wintery night in 1963. I took the bus from New York City and was picked up by the proprietor, Bernard Paturel, French and suave with his brushed mustaches and vaguely Gallic accent. He took me to his apartment above the club to meet Marylou and their small children, and then down to the Cafe, which was warm and cozy after the long, snowy bus ride. The room was already crowded with local folk who had come more to get out of the cold than to see a young unknown folksinger from the city, but everyone was as welcoming as the room itself. That summer I was invited back to perform at a much larger venue, the first of many appearances I made over the years at the Woodstock Playhouse. As before, many Woodstockers showed a keen interest in the folk music that I loved, and I began meeting more of the colorful citizens of the art colony.
By Happy Traum
I was recently inspired to start playing 12-string again, many years after the untimely demise of my Fyllde (the one I played on my 12-string instructional video), which kind of imploded on me. I have always loved the sound of the twelve, but it's a commitment to start up with it again. Just think - twice as many strings to go out of tune!
Last month I was honored to be included in the Hot Tuna concert at New York's famed Beacon Theater, celebrating Jorma's big Seven-Oh. It was a star-studded musical evening and great fun to step out onto that glittering stage with Jorma, Jack Casady and a rockin' band. The packed, sell-out crowd was cheering from the first notes of Jorma's guitar, and they gave me, and all the other guests, their enthusiastic approval.
Back in the late ‘80s, Artie and I were playing an in-store CD release promotion at a Barnes and Noble in Albany while Bob was doing a sold-out concert at the Palace Theater. We hightailed it over there after our gig just in time to hear the last song, “Like a Rolling Stone.” Bob was already out of there long before the applause died out, but Victor Maimudes, Bob’s long-time road manager, spotted us and invited us to come down to West Point, where Bob was playing the next night. He graciously gave us backstage passes along with great seats for us and our family, and suggested we come to sound check to say hello to Bob.