Dylan’s Folk Club Days Snapped

A new book captures the gaslit atmospheres of the ’60s US folk boom in moody monochrome. Caffè Lena: Inside America's Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse reveals a young Bob Dylan in conversation with girlfriend Suze Rotolo and club manager Lena Spencer amongst a treasure trove of pics, many by Joe Alper, from the New York folk outpost located in upstate Saratoga Springs. Upstairs at Lena’s: a taste of the ’60s folk boom.

Still going strong six decades after its establishment in 1960, Caffè Lena still provides live folk music and non-alcoholic beverages most nights, but rock fans will be forgiven for fixating on the formative ’60s, when risen legends of the folk-blues like Mississippi John Hurt shared Lena’s stage with Dylan, John Hammond, Dave Van Ronk and many more. The book also reveals a before-he-was-famous Rufus Wainwright learning the ropes at the feet of Canuck folkstress mum Kate McGarrigle. You can see it in the gallery we've compiled below.

Gallery: Rare & Unseen Photographs From Legendary Folk Club Caffè Lena

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The 288-page book, which features a foreword by folk-mad actor Tim Robbins, is published by powerHouse books and is out now.

Simultaneously, San Francisco’s Tompkins Square label release a 3-CD musical accompaniment, featuring music recorded live at the venue: Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967–2013. We particularly recommend the Hedy West track.