Sunday, August 19, 2012


The experimental mindset and talent that redefined musical genres and boundaries during the 1960's Folk and Blues Revival will be back on display at the SAME VENUE where it all began! 

DANNY KALB has long been recognized as one of America’s foremost guitarists. He is best known as the founding member of the legendary BLUES PROJECT along with STEVE KATZ and Al Kooper. They developed a strong national following and influenced untold numbers of aspiring young blues guitarists.

Kalb attended the University of Wisconsin but couldn’t resist the pull of Greenwich Village which was in the midst of a musical explosion boasting the likes of Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Eric Anderson and Odetta. As a protege of the great Dave Van Ronk, Danny established himself on this seminal Folk and Blues revival scene, first as a solo performer and session player with Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins and Bob Dylan.

The BLUES PROJECT was founded in 1965. One of the classic bands of the period, their The Blues Project Live at Cafe Au Go-Go won great critical acclaim and won them their first gold record. On this album Danny’s signature tune “Alberta,” a soft ballad and “Down To Louisiana,” a rocking electric blues, established him as one of the preeminent blues players of his generation. Four albums followed that cemented their place in rock history.

The Blues Project became a casualty to personality conflicts, drugs and the 1960s lifestyle. STEVE KATZ and Al Kooper then left to form BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS.
Katz studied guitar with Dave Van Ronk and Reverend Gary Davis. It was at this time that he met and befriended guitarist Stefan Grossman. They would sometimes act as road managers for Reverend Davis and, in so doing, met many of the great “rediscovered” blues men of an earlier era, such as Son House, Skip James and Mississippi John Hurt.

Kooper left Blood, Sweat & Tears after only six months. Getting their record company to continue with the band without Kooper was difficult. Auditions were held and David Clayton-Thomas was hired as lead singer. Their next album sold six million copies worldwide and fostered three number one singles. Katz continued with Blood, Sweat & Tears for five years, during which time the group won three Grammy Awards.

Not only were they pioneers in electrifying all dimensions of the Blues guitar, these artists still have their chops to this day. From Folk to Blues to Jazz, Danny Kalb and Steve Katz are as influential to the new generation of artists as they were to their peers in the 1960s. 

You don't want to miss this triumphant return of DANNY KALB and STEVE KATZ to the original GASLIGHT CAFÉ!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SEATING IS EXTREMELY LIMITED FOR THIS EVENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reserve your spot and come witness history as FRIENDS OF MIKE PORCO continue to parade through 116 MacDougal St.

Advance tickets can be found HERE


About the FRIENDS OF MIKE PORCO series at 116:

Mike Porco was the owner and operator of "New York's Center of Folk Music," Gerde's Folk City from 1960-1980

Everyone from Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan in the early 60s to Suzanne Vega and Lucinda Williams in the late 70s got their start at Folk City.

His grandson hosts shows at the world famous Gaslight Café with the very same artists who sparked and defined the 1960's Folk and Blues Revival in Greenwich Village. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


50 YEARS AGO this week, PHIL OCHS plays his first paying gig in New York's Greenwich Village for my grandfather, Mike Porco. Mike and Phil would have a special friendship throughout the rest of Phil's years. Musicians would report back to Mike that Phil boasted about his first gig at Gerde's Folk City as part of his stage banter. He was paid $90 for 5 days of work and within a week of his first booking, he was signed to begin recording for Elektra. Fellow Gerde's first-timer, John Hammond Jr told me that they were both signed to record contracts as a direct result of their Folk City gigs. Hammond signed with Vanguard Records.

In the 1970s, when many club owners in the Village banned Phil because of his erratic behavior, Mike Porco continued to treat him like family. Phil and Mike shared a drink at Gerde's 2 days before his untimely death.

My father, Bob Sr, was at Folk City for one of Phil's last appearances. An angry patron was unimpressed with Phil's stage presence and demanded his money back from Mike Porco saying, "I came to see Phil Ochs!" My grandfather retorted with, "You wanna see-a Phil Ochs? Look on the stage. He's right there." No refund given, you can bet.

In an interview given to radio personality Dan Behrman in 1979, Mike's emotional voice is heard saying, "I wish Phil lived 150 years."

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Once again, 116 MacDougal St, the site of the original Gaslight Café in NYC, plays host to the FRIENDS OF MIKE PORCO series.

JONATHAN KALB has played his Blues for more than forty years as leader of the Jonathan Kalb Band and as a Solo performer in the US and throughout Europe. From Gospel churches to major festivals and clubs, he has played a lifetime of gigs. Along the way he's also backed such world renown bluesmen as Lightnin' Hopkins, Otis Rush, Johnny Copeland, Honeyboy Edwards, Sunnyland Slim, Steve Miller, Bo Diddley, Solomon Burke, Gary US Bonds and even The Fugs. Jimi Hendrix has been quoted saying that he got the idea for using fuzztone while watching Jonathan play one of his performances with the Fugs.

Later on, Kalb was leader of the band with Evelyn Champagne King, opening for the O'Jays and the Eisley Brothers on national TV. He has shared the same stage with Luther Allison, BB King and Dr. John to name a few. His music is Blues based, but he has a personal style that has elements of Country, Funk, Soul, and Jazz mixed together in a soulful potpouri of sound. Traditionally based in the Blues, he has a command of all the country and city based Blues styles and mixes them with an authentic ease.

Press Reviews of his live shows say it all: "It was clear from the beginning that the guy is the real deal."


PAUL GEREMIA recorded his first album in 1968, having been significantly influenced by both the rural Blues tradition and the Folk Music revival of the 1960s. Geremia has never recorded with an electric guitar hewing steadfastly to a traditional ethic with his acoustic playing.

For over forty years, Paul Geremia has survived solely by the fruit of his musical labors. In the 60s, he left college and hit the road permanently. He found paying gigs (like Gerde's!) and played in "basket houses" (like the Gaslight Café!) in cities around the country. Having abandoned all other means of support in 1966, he's traveled far and wide throughout the US, Canada and Europe.

During these years, Geremia crossed paths with people whose influences were beneficial to his development and understanding of the tradition. He worked as an opening act for some of the early Blues "legends" gaining an immeasurable depth of knowledge from people like Babe Stovall, Yank Rachel, Son House, Skip James, Howlin' Wolf, and many others, most notably, Pink Anderson.

Geremia has built a reputation as a first rate bluesman, songwriter, a "scholar" of early Jazz and Blues, and is "one of the best country blues fingerpickers ever." Paul has recorded ten solo albums throughout his career and keeps traditional Blues fresh and alive with his performances.

Join us for a great night of authentic Blues performed by serious Bluesmen!

Buy tickets in advance here