We're doing our final San Francisco Fringe Festival performance of "Joe's Cafe" tonight at 5:30pm at the Exit Theatre Main, 156 Eddy Street in San Francisco. We enjoyed seeing this kind review this morning, and we hope that if you're in the Bay Area you can come to the show tonight. It's been a great run. "After reading through all the reviews on here of this show I really don’t know what I could possible add. But here it goes. I went to see Joe’s Cafe on a whim. I am very lucky I did. Beautifully written, beautifully sung. All the performers had such a great talent for storytelling, which is something that the majority of singers in the world are lacking. If you are looking for variety in Fringe shows then Joe’s Cafe better be on your list. Heart-Breaking at times, funny at others, angry even at times but always honest and enjoyable." (JayeOfManyHats, 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival audience reviews)
We have two more "Joe's Cafe" shows to perform in the San Francisco Fringe Festival—tonight (Saturday, September 17) at 9pm and tomorrow (Sunday, September 18) at 5:30pm. See our calendar for more information.
m'Arresting, heart-warming, and soulful' | "Beautiful, arresting, heart-warming, and soulful storytelling set to music. The different vocal styles of the four singers made the various songs seem both fresh and yet familiar. Truly an enjoyable evening, well worth your time!" (Sarah J. Lau, 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival audience reviews)
'See it.' | "An hour of original music. Two men and two women. Some funny. Some touching. The themes of the songs are from (estimated), 1860′s through late 1960′s. Bring in a glass of wine or some other libation for this show. Then [sit] back and relax... This performance isn’t fringy. It’s just relaxing. See it." (Craig Kensek, 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival audience reviews)
Here's a review just posted about one of our performances in the San Francisco Fringe Festival. (Thanks, Greg!)
"Genuine commitment from all four musicians, emotionally rich original songs with meaningful historical elements, and once you’ve seen the show the CD is absolutely indispensable (and still very much worth having even if you can’t see the show). Moments of celebration and humor, moments of bittersweet melancholy, and everything in between….sometimes all at once." (Greg, 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival audience reviews)
We have three more performances in the SF Fringe — tonight at 10:30pm, Saturday, 9/17, at 9pm, and Sunday, 9/18, at 5:30pm — all at the Exit Theatre Main, 156 Eddy Street in San Francisco. For details click here.
For anyone planning to attend our performances of "Joe's Cafe" at the San Francisco Fringe Festival or at Assemble in Colorado Springs, CO, you can purchase tickets online in advance by clicking on the following links:
"Joe's Cafe" at the San Francisco Fringe Festival September 9-18:
Click here to buy tickets
"Joe's Cafe" at Assemble in Colorado Springs Saturday, September 24:
Click here to buy tickets
Hope to see you soon!
"Since we see as many shows as we can (16 in 4 days this year) the challenge is to maximize variety and quality. Joe's Cafe was a rich dose of both. For me, I was taken back to the rich days of my youth when this style of music was called 'folk' and many great artists contributed to the legacy. Rupert Wates and his two excellent singers are a proud extension of the folk tradition with stories that reveal so much about the lifes we as people have led. Indulge your ears and drop in on Joe's Cafe." (Randy Waterhous, 2011 IndyFringe audience reviews)
'Wonderful, masterful, must see' | "This was a very heartfelt show. All singers were really wonderful. The lyrics were masterful. This is a must see show. (Sue, 2011 IndyFringe audience reviews)
'Don't miss' | "Joe's Cafe is a terrific performance by three very talented folks. I enjoyed every minute. Beautiful lyrics, stunning melodies, remarkable vocals, and virtuoso guitar. Don't miss this one! (John, 2011 IndyFringe audience reviews)
'Haunting with simplicity and beauty - Sweet' | "We chose this show at random, and we were stunned by the ability of these three performers to communicate their haunting tales with such simplicity and beauty. Every musical "story" created a clear picture in the mind of the listener, and each was tender in its own way. What a sweet, sweet show. We are so happy we stumbled into it. (Laura Harris, 2011 IndyFringe audience reviews)
'Best musical experience of my life' | "Joes cafe may be the best musical experience of my life. My heart was glowing and breakage at the same time. Amazing." (Tweet from Splanice on IndyFringe 2011 performance)
Stacey, Penelope and I are enjoying our run at the 2011 IndyFringe in Indianapolis. Here are the first two reviews here:
'Marvelous' | Wow—what a terrific show. The original songs are based on true stories, and the performers sang them with such skill and care. Such marvelous voices...these folks know how to interpret a song! (Mary Armstrong-Smith, 2011 IndyFringe audience reviews)
'Simply breathtaking' | Wow! What a show! I've rarely enjoyed a fringe show as much as I enjoyed this one. It far exceeded my expectations. The songs were beautiful and sung from the heart. Some of Rupert's lyrics were simply breathtaking. They reminded me of the best of Harry Chapin's story songs. [Rupert Wate's] guitar playing was exceptional and the two female singers were outstanding. My favorite song had to be The Skies of South Dakota. Stacey Lorin's near accapella vocals were hauntingly beautiful. [Penelope Thomas'] voice was incredible on Sally's Farm. You should definitely go see this show if you're a lover of music and lyrics. (Mike Smith, 2011 IndyFringe audience reviews)
From a "Joe's Cafe" review in Saskatoon: "Folksy and comfortable, the hour-long musical revue features songs about America — from the Civil War through present day — written by British ex-pat Rupert Wates. Based in New York City, the musician invites the audience into a friendly cafe to listen to tales of hope, sorrow, love and loss. Wates, whose guitar skills and vocals are excellent, performs his work with Meghan Lofgren and Tara Stadnyk, whose stunning voices add character to the musical stories. As the trio performs — usually with each singer taking turns with solo pieces — old photos (and sometimes photos made to look old) illustrate the emotions the songs work to invoke in the audience. From interracial marriage in the 1950s to travelling across the United States during the Great Depression, the images quietly add to the experience. A welcoming atmosphere with story-driven songs and lovely vocals..." (Cassandra Kyle, The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Review from the London Fringe, London, Ontario:
"Most Fringe shows are one story, or maybe two. At Joe’s Café, Rupert Wates and friends...tell more than a dozen true stories in song. Wates is British, but now lives in the U.S., and while these are songs of people from his adopted home, they ring true for all of us, with tales that are inspiring, sad, and honest. And equally important, the songs, all written by Wates, and accompanied by his skilled acoustic guitar playing, are well crafted and beautifully performed. While Joe’s Café doesn’t serve up traditional Fringe fare, it’s a hearty meal for the ears and the soul. (And you can get take-out: Joe’s Café is available on CD as well.) (Laurie Bursch, London Fringe Reviews, London, Ontario, June 18, 2011)
And a response: "Agree entirely. Wates pulled me almost physically into Joe's Cafe and I just sat down and was immersed in the "stories". Stacey Lorin, his wife and fellow performer, has such a lovely voice. The two of them are fine musicians, but, above all, each knows how to tell a story in song. A delightful performance. And I have the CD, so I can re-live the pleasure." (Joe, London Fringe Reviews, London, Ontario, June 19, 2011)
From a review by Elizabeth Maupin in "Elizabeth Maupin on Theater" (May 23, 2011)
"If you hang out at Joe’s Cafe, you’re taking a relaxing visit to the past. Not the oldies-but-goodies kind of past, because several of Rupert Wates’ story songs take place in recent times. But a musical style of the past — specifically the era of 1960s folk music, which guitarist/singer Wates and singer Kellie Amend re-create in such an authentic way that you feel transported to a circa-1968 coffee-house in Harvard Square.
"Wates is a British-born songwriter who moved to the U.S. about five years ago; he has worked in jazz, but he’s so masterly on acoustic folk guitar that it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else. With Joe’s Cafe he has written more than a dozen songs telling the stories of ordinary Americans, most of whom have faced one trouble or another (war, the Dust Bowl, the fight for civil rights).
"Some are right out of the headlines (the story of a police shooting in Queens in 2006), and others are out of history books (the lovely, moving song about Maj. Robert Gould Shaw’s African-American regiment during the Civil War).
"Throughout, Amend’s light, shimmery voice may remind you of the young Judy Collins, and the sweet combination of that voice and Wates’ guitar draws any tension right out of you... The musicality in this little revue makes it a breath of fresh air among the din of the Fringe."
Wednesday May 25, 8:40 p.m.
Friday May 27, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday May 28, 6:50 p.m.