The HARD LUCK CAFé Presents
Remember This Great Evening

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The YaYas

on the same program individually and collectively with


The YaYas
Where did you get that name?
The YaYas
Where did  you get that name?

Where did you get that name? That’s the question that comes up on a regular basis for New York based folk-pop trio, The YaYas - Catherine Miles, Jay Mafale, and Paul Silverman. The answer to that question is also the story of how the band got its start.

College friends, Catherine and Paul first met Jay while performing with a theatre company. At first, the three got together to play just for the fun of it. Then one day someone said “What the heck, let’s try an open mic.” They had such a good time they went back the next week. The owner liked them so much that he booked them for a show at the end of the month. At that point they had no band name and only knew six songs they could play together...

CATHERINE MILESInstead of saying no to the invitation, they spent days learning enough songs to play a three hour show. And the name? Well, the name simply came from a goofy inside joke about “the little man that lives in Paul’s mouth whose name is YaYa.” (Okay, sounds a little weird, but it’s just a silly little piece of Paul’s childhood that makes them smile.) The truth is they never intended to keep the name, planning to use it only until they found “a better one.” But the name stuck. “People don’t tend to forget it, even when they don’t remember our individual names.”

PAUL SILVERMANThe story of how The YaYas got their start reflects a theme that has recurred for them over the years. This theme winds its way through the songs on their newest album, Paper Boats, and is rooted in the idea that there is always a choice in every situation. People’s lives are filled with both good and bad surprises - circumstances that are often beyond their control. The choice we always have is in how we respond to these twists and turns. We can always choose to be hopeful, to keep our sense of humor, to remind ourselves that our lives are bigger than any individual moment or event.

JAY MAFALEThe songs on Paper Boats are stories. Through plain-spoken lyrics, the characters that inhabit them share the details of their lives as if speaking directly to the listener. Catherine’s expressive voice is intimate, honest. Jay’s percussive guitar parts and Paul’s melodic piano lines complement each other, and all three blend in a way that reflects their friendship and years of playing together.

This is a group not to be missed.

The YaYas

Praises by others for their performances:

  • "The songs of this trio are wise and moving, the melodies poignant. ... Front and center, Catherine’s voice conveys every emotional nuance, like a painter whose brush bleeds sepia and autumn gold."
        — Richard Cuccaro, - AcousticLive in NYC & Beyond

  • "The YaYas write first rate songs which have a timeless feeling. They are beautifully sung – delivered with both skill & charm."
        — Phil Cigane, - Towne Crier Cafe

  • "Count me among the newest fans of The YaYas since your performance at the Pleasantville Music Festival. ... There was never a minute when the audience was anything less than rapt during your set."
        — Mark Orwoll, - Stage Manager, Pleasantville Music Festival

Link to YaYas on YouTube:     Video: All These Gifts    

Listen to their music on MySpace   

or visit their web site:    




"Ever since the beginning, there's always been the guys designated to carry the coal. Remember? See, when the tribe's fire went out, when they moved on, someone had to carry the last hot coal to start up the next fire with at the next campfire. They needed this fire to cook with, sleep near, and even for some good 'ol talks and songs. Now many of these coal holders, over time, became folk singers. Later, some went electric. Some even became rock and rollers. (Hey, different tribes, different instruments). However the job has never changed." — Nora Guthrie

ope Machine is a group of coal-holders, keepers of the flame, messengers; foot-stompin', guitar-bangin', drum-beatin', song-leadin', harp-blowin', hand-clappin', human hoping machines. FRED GILLEN, Jr. - HOPE MACHINEBased in New York's Hudson Valley, Hope Machine started out singing the songs of Woody Guthrie. These days they sing plenty of Woody, Pete Seeger, traditional, and original songs with messages of hope, love, and spiritual transformation in celebration of the human spirit. They incorporate old-time, modern, native-American, folk, rock, and whatever other influences give strength to the spirit of their coal-holding. They encourage people to sing along, dance, yell, yodel, jump up and down, or to do whatever else their spirit moves them to do.

ope machine stalwarts include Fred Gillen, Jr., right, and Steve Kirkman, below. Fred is a prolific singer-songwriter, guitarist, washboard player and past president of Tribes Hill, and Steve is a roots-rockin' Americana singer-songwriter, STEVE KIRKMAN - HOPE MACHINEwho grew up in rural North Carolina. Together they carry the message of human unity, hope, and spiritual freedom handed down to them by their elders. They sing songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. An ever-evolving group, Hope Machine often invites other musicians to join them. Its 2006 debut album, March, features Steve Chizmadia and Abbie Gardner & Laurie MacAllister of Red Molly.

Click picture below for a video of
Hope Machine's performance of This Land is Your Land
at a Hard Luck Café concert in Sept. 2007


Link to the Hope Machine myspace site:  

  Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:

Our open mike tonight featured performances by:

  • Phill LoFaso
  • Hank Stone
  • Jesse Oelbaum
  • Mark Virgilio
  • Roger Silverberg
  • John Taylor
  • Bob Mist
  • Dave Cook
  • Mike Kornfeld
  • ...and Bob Westcott

  • If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...