Ben Rabb – 5/23 @ 7:30 pm
Ben Rabb is a New York based singer/songwriter, whose soulful lyrics and authentic approach to performance make him a refreshing, unique standout in an industry where realism often takes a backseat to the bells and whistles of pop production. “Pulling from my midwest roots, travels and the place I now call home, New York City, my music is a combination of where I’m from, what I’m going through and the people I’m inspired by. I grew up listening to songwriters like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Otis Redding, and felt the power of their music and words. They had a voice that inspired me to find my own truth, connect and share with people through music.”
Rabb quickly became a member of the NYC indie folk community. He hit the city’s concert circuit, too, playing regular gigs at venues like The Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall. When it came time to record “Until It’s Gone,” though, he headed north to Plaid Dog Recording in Boston, MA to work with producer Mike Davidson. There, Rabb recorded six songs about life and love, decorating the songs with piano, bass, acoustic guitar and brushed percussion.
Emily Grove – Friday 5/22 @ 7:30 p.m.
Former Berklee College of Music student Emily Grove sings dark and powerful songs with an unforgettable voice. As a solo act from the New Jersey shore, she’s won the Asbury Park Music Awards for “Best Female Acoustic Act” four years in a row, and has won three Jersey Acoustic Music Awards (best female singer[2011 and 2012]/female songwriter ). She has toured the UK, US, and Canada, opening up for and performing with David Ford. She also recently sang backup for David Gray on the Today Show.
Bold Forbes – Friday 5/15 @ 7:30 p.m.
Formed in the Fall of 2012 in New York City, Bold Forbes blends the stories and poetry of the folk-singer tradition with experimental arrangements for the guitar, string bass, and violin that weave between bluegrass, jazz, and classical music. Lyricist and lead singer Nick Bloom, native of Carlisle, PA, writes songs that both yearn for adventure and long for home; that explore the passions of private love and the shouts of public outrage; and that above all urge the listener to feel life deeply. Bassist David Halpern and violinist Reid Jenkins give life and shape to these songs with wildly innovative arrangements for the strings and voice that haunt, soar, surprise, and inspire, creating a sound both challenging to genre and eminently listenable. Bold Forbes has toured the New York City folk music circuit extensively, playing at venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, Postcrypt Coffeehouse, and Sidewalk Cafe, and will be playing at a Northeastern city near you in the summer of 2015. They released their first EP, “Hooves to Say,” in 2012, and just released their first live album, “Live at Rockwood Music Hall,” in April of 2015. Their first full-length studio album is due out in the early summer of 2015. You can find all of their music and tour dates at boldforbes.bandcamp.com.
Gen Kelsang Jampa – May 30 @ 11:00 am
Renowned for his warm demeanor and peaceful, inspired teachings, Gen Kelsang Jampa will be joining us at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore on May 30 at 11:00 a.m. to give a free, public talk on meditation, understanding the mind, and finding true freedom and happiness. Gen Jampa is currently a resident teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Centar in Texas, and serves as the National Spiritual Director for the New Kadampa tradition of Buddhism. If you have any questions about the event, or about Gen Jampa, feel free to contact the Kalpa Bhadra Kadampa Buddhist Center of Harrisburg via their website (meditationpa.org) or email address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
And, to gain a better sense of Gen Kelsang Jampa’s teaching and presence, be sure to watch the video below of Gen Jampa’s guided meditation recorded at the TEDxSarasota conference.
Randy Niles is a regional touring, NYC based, one-man Indie/Soul band that blends rock, pop, and folk into seamless, radio-ready compositions from the ground up. Creating the backdrop to his musical landscape effortlessly through the use of colorful effects and loop stations, Randy evokes sounds and colors which, when executed, resemble that of a four or five member group rather than a solo band. His ability to produce well thought out song structures with equally cohesive songwriting, makes him a truly dynamic and stunning solo performer. He has been relentlessly touring the East Coast with a few West Coast appearances, and has opened for notable acts such as Ry Cuming /RY X (Jive/Sony, Dumont Dumont, Infectious Music UK), Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root (Mercury/Island/Touchy Pegg) and Billboard charted country Singer/Songwriter Craig Bickhardt. With two new EP’s scheduled for release in the spring, and a new full-length album slated for production in the latter half of this year, Randy is well on his way to expanding his already blossoming music career.
There are few things more exciting than the advent of spring after a particularly bitter winter, especially after this past season of seemingly unending subzero days and snow-grey skies. So, with spring and warm weather on the way, we here at the Famous Reading Cafe thought the best way to celebrate the changing seasons would be with a deeply enjoyable iced coffee; the perfect companion to a warm April afternoon. For the start of the 2015 iced coffee season, we have selected Huapu, a single-origin coffee distributed by Counter Culture Coffee and sourced from Letefoho on the island of Timor.
Click here to learn more about Huapu and East Timor!
When enjoyed warm, Huapu exhibits stunning notes of fruit and pepper with a sparkling finish. However, when brewed as iced coffee, Huapu’s natural nuttiness and notes of maple syrup shine to the front of your palate, making for an exceptionally refreshing spring drink. We hope that you’ll stop by the Scholar soon to celebrate the spring season with us!
Caroline Reese is an Americana songwriter based out of Reading, PA. She has released three independent albums since 2010, toured extensively in the tri-state area, and performed on Nashville’s Music City Roots show. Reese has opened for notable songwriters such as Ben Folds and Chris Stapleton (Grammy-nominated SteelDrivers) and been written up in Pennsylvania Music Magazine and American Songwriter. She is also Y102’s local artist of the year.