Joe's Café Blog by Rupert Wates Joe's Café Blog

Katie Pfledderer of IndyFringe Talk gives Joe’s Café high marks 

So many emotions and memories | "I didn’t expect Joe’s Café to surface so many emotions and memories. Wates’ voice is pretty amazing. He hits a huge spectrum of high and low notes, making it look effortless – not to mention this is all happening while he’s playing his guitar. He seems to really enjoy himself and comes across as sincere and honest in all of his songs. I must confess I had not originally planned on visiting Joe’s Café, but per the advice in the First Time Fringers Guide, I ditched my plan…and glad I took a chance." (Katie Pfledderer, IndyFringe Talk, August 18, 2013)

Click here to read the full review.

Back in Indy Fringe, new review 

Please to be back in Indianapolis for the 2013 Indy Fringe! Here's a new review of the show:

An oral history, a welcome respite
| Presented as a night of live music at a cafe, the show is comfortable and welcoming. Wates performs his own songs, ballads reminiscent of Billy Joel's in their ability to tell stories. His music offers an oral history of troubled times across America through the years. The gentle music was a welcome respite after multiple back-to-back dramas. The song "Days of Mercy" was particularly haunting. (Melissa Hall, Indy Fringe Reviews, August 20, 2013)

New review from Montreal 

Vividly painted | "This show is for lovers of musical folklore. In a staged intimate setting meant to imitate that of a cozy all-night café, Rupert Wates uses soft melodies and catchy tunes to tell the stories of the American people. The catch, however, is that these are not the stories that you might read about in history books or see in Hollywood films. These stories do not depict the traditional American hero... Rather, these stories highlight the truth of heartbreak, loss and hope that mark the lives of America’s silent heroes... At times angry, sad and hopeful, these stories take you through vividly painted images of life... [An] escape into the quiet lives of others, and there is some sort of comfort in knowing that these lives have not been forgotten." (St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival 2013 review, Bloody Underrated.net, June 15, 2013)

New review in Orlando Sentinel 

Quietly powerful | "This musical café is a one-man operation now, but the charm of the place hasn't been affected much by being downsized. Joe's Café, a folk-tinged musical revue with a gentle message, features the songwriting and storytelling of British-born New Yorker Rupert Wates. Equipped with an acoustic guitar, Wates specializes in earthy tales about crimes, compassion, nostalgia and social commentary. Lyrically, these songs combine the economy of a Woody Guthrie ballad with the intricacies of contemporary singer-songwriter Richard Thompson. Like Thompson, Wates handles an acoustic guitar with deft precision, building his songs on a foundation of fluid finger-picking. This year, Wates performs alone, but the music remains quietly powerful." (Jim Abbott, Orlando Fringe Review, Orlando Sentinel, May 21, 2013) | Read full review

A new review in advance of our final SF Fringe performance of "Joe's Cafe" tonight at 5:30pm 

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)

Two more reviews from San Francisco: 'Arresting...' and simply, 'See it' 

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)

Review from San Francisco Fringe Festival: 'Emotionally rich...meaningful' 

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.

Online ticket sales available for "Joe's Cafe" in San Francisco and Colorado Springs 

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!

IndyFringe 2011 review: 'Taken back to the rich days of my youth... Indulge your ears.' 

"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)

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