April 06, 2008

Home Away From Home......


It was six years ago this weekend that we closed the doors on what John Hall called "that great cultural experiment - Kool Beanz".

My wife Jen and I opened our beloved coffeehouse/music venue in early 1998, and closed it's doors in 2002.

In between those years we made a thousand friends, and had nearly as many musicians play for us. Some of the musical highlights: our CD recording party, Magda, Diane & Marianne, Sam Pacetti, Jerry Daze, John Hall w/ Freebo & Robbie Dupree, Hootenanny Sundays, Chief Jim Billie, Lagoonapaloooza, Denny Doherty, Spider John & Dave Ray, The Night of The Living Deadbeats, Lorin Rowan, Victoria Williams w/Mark Olson & the Creekdippers, all of our local friends...and the list goes on.

I was looking for some pictures to share with you all, then I remembered the collage I made that hung by the front door, and thought that would be perfect. Below, is a full shot of the collage, then below it some close ups. Lots good time, old friends, young friends, and lost friends. (click on the pics to enlarge).

Below are a few of the 17 tracks we recorded over two nights in 1999 for our Kool Beanz CD. In the future I will post other tracks, and some info on where many of these artists are today.

Diane Runion came to visit shortly after we opened and sat in with our Sunday Hootenanny. The next Sunday she came back to our Open Mic and played this song, the song that became the title track to our CD the next year.


Before we found out what a talented multi-instrumentalist Bryan McCahill was, we all knew him as the guy who played the kool ukulele songs.

Janet Reedy was known for her beautiful voice, long hair, and great parodies of songs. She claims she really only ever wrote one song, this one - in her sleep!

Dave Grooms played for us nearly every Tuesday night for four years, he also helps me co-ordinate the Jerry Daze concerts...these two feature him and his band The HoneyBucket HillBilly Band.

Our friend from the old Java The Hut Days, Terry Kelly has written dozens of great songs, but at Kool Beanz everyone howled for this one!

we also knew Steve Hodak from "the Hut", a great guy, and one of my favorite songwriters, ever, This one will rip yer heart out.

Nick Caffeine (aka Terry Kelly) wrote a little radio jingle for us....it ended up being the backing for the intro track on the Kool Beanz CD, where Willie and Kevin overdubbed outtakes from the stage over Terry's rap.

Denny Doherty, Java Jen & I

All the love and thanks must go out to my lovely bride Jennifer, without whom our Home Away From Home would have never been possible.

Although I don't think I really want to do the coffeehouse thing again, I've never admitted it...but every time I drive by a closed business, I wonder....hmmmm, that might be a good place for another KB.....

PLEASE Feel Free to Leave to any Thought or Remembrances of Kool Beanz in the comments section below. If you don't have a copy of the CD, I'll give one away to one of the people who leaves a comment....just make sure you leave me your e-mail address so I can notify the winner.


Anonymous said...

I Miss KB! It really was my Home away from home. I remember that I couldn't wait to get there nearly every nite. The thing I remember most was this guy...a really bad chess player, good cook, and sweet heart who I met there...he is now my beloved husband!!! Whenever I happen to be driving near our dearly departed KB with our two small sons I say "Look guys, THAT'S where Mommy and Daddy fell in love!" It could have only happened at the hippest hippie-est place in town. The place where everyone knew your name, and cared if you came! Our beloved Kool Beanz! Thanks Java John and Jen for the Bombers!

Coffee Wench Dave said...

I remember a bad ass chess player with rainbow suspenders.. Smoking, Non-Smoking, and Smoking on the other side! Music.. you know, i use to hate it.. but i will forever be changed and crave it.. The people, different people, people that would start conversations with strangers, people that cared. And of course, the Bombers!