The involvement of the "Old guard" in the cooperative has been refreshing: Ed McCurdy's time and energy running the monday night hoots, Dave Van Ronk's involvement in Dollar Nights and weekly meetings, and Erik Frandsen's help with graphics. The tireless work of Angela Page, Janet Miller and Jay Rosen in coordination, booking, publicity and sound has been impressive. The involvement of many performers have made for enjoyable evenings of music.The folk music scene is slow in changing. Significant events are not always heralded by any great fanfare. Most major events are only major in retrospect. Few people noticed the first time Bob Dylan played at a Folk City Hoot, though now, the event has been chronicled in biographies. One such event in the past year, is the opening of a musicians' cooperative at Speak Easy. Vinny Vok and Angela Page approached the owner of a floundering disco around the corner from Folk City. An arrangement was made whereby the booking and operation of the back room. The cooperative would receive the cover charge and the owner would receive the bar receipts. The opening was in late September. It is now February and much has happened at the club.
What makes this club
different from other clubs in the city? According to Angela Page,
general coordinator of the Co-op, "This is New York's only all folk music
club. It is a listening room. It's run as a cooperative so
the musicians determine the booking policy and the running of shows.
This allows for a wide variety of acts on weekends that still fall within
our music policy"
Ed McCurdy - Photo by A. Page
|According to Ed McCurdy, MC of the monday evening open mike, "Our hootenanny is regaining the feeling of people playing for fun, seasoned veterans next to amateurs. We are getting away from the desperation of the audition and creating a more respectful atmosphere for performers regardless of their stature. One minute you've got Steve Forbert singing a duet with Jack Hardy, and the next minute a talented amateur like Gary Paris is singing an old cowboy song."|
According to Jack Hardy, co-coordinator with Van Ronk of Tuesday's Dollar Night, "We are an extension of the open mike. The more people who drop in to play the more fun we have. We can give some of the hooters an immediate chance to play more often. A Dollar Night is the best bargain in town for the audience".
Sheldon Biber, coordinator of Wednesday's poetry and song night: "Poets and singers don't always travel in the same circles, so I enjoy bringing the two together on these evenings."
Paul Kaplan on Thursday's Dollar Night: "I am trying to attract more traditionally based performers, the overflow from the Eagle Tavern crowd, as well as having special events such as politically oriented or ethnically oriented performers. We have also expanded to include bluegrass on Sunday nights."
All this put together makes for a very impressive cooperative effort now in its fifth month. new exciting ideas are currently in the works, of which the musical magazine* is but one.
*What becomes the Fast
Folk Musical Magazine
|Daily News 09/23/81||New York Post 02/05/82||Our Press Release|
|Folk Plus SpeakEasy setlist||View Folk Plus Home Page||SpeakEasy's Opening Poster|
created by Angela Page
Last Modified August 13, 1999