Live entertainment is featured every Friday night beginning at 8:15 pm. Doors open at 7:30. A $7.00 donation is requested. We serve coffees, teas, hot cider, cocoa, soft drinks and snacks.
A longtime friend of the Two Way Street. Rest in peace, Art
Art Thieme, longtime Chicago folk musician, dies
By Tony Briscoe Chicago Tribune
Arthur "Art" Thieme, a Chicago folk musician who took his intimate style of storytelling and humor across the country while remaining a mainstay at local venues for nearly four decades, has died, his son said Wednesday. He was 73.
Thieme earned a reputation as a master of the American folk ballad, often playing the six-string guitar or nine-string banjo and occasionally the violinlike musical saw. Regardless of instrumentation, his performance was always highlighted by his comfortable demeanor and comical use of puns and wordplay.
Photos: Chicagoland 2015 notable deathsThieme died of complications related to multiple sclerosis Tuesday night in Crystal Lake, where he lived with his wife in a nursing home, said his son, Chris Thieme.
"His music, the way he could take an entire auditorium of people and make them feel like they were in his living room, he just had that way about him," Chris Thieme said. "He was a great person, a great man."
- @mars_man - You're lucky. I have his last album but never got to see him perform. I love his stuff.
at 8:15 AM May 28, 2015
A Chicago native, Thieme grew up playing the guitar as a teenager, frequenting the beatnik clubs of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He later became captivated by historic stories while working as a manager at the Old Town School of Folk Music. He incorporated many historic stories into his music, like his 1986 performance of "Mr. Garfield," a sung-and-spoken piece about the 1881 assassination of President James Garfield.
"He loved traditional songs, stories from all around country, all around America," Chris Thieme said. "He primarily was a folklorist. He loved the idea of preserving parts of American history that otherwise would be lost."
Photos: Notable deaths in 2015The school is also where Thieme met his wife, Carol. Shortly after the couple married and traveled the country, they returned to Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood. Thieme gravitated to the coffeehouse ambience and creative crowd at the Rogers Park establishment No Exit Cafe, a venue he played every Thursday for much of his career — including Thanksgivings.
"He had been in the folk scene, and so it had been germinating at that point whether he wanted to do it full-time," Thieme said. "When my mom told him she was pregnant with me, he walked to Lake Michigan and thought and said, 'Let's make a go of it,' and he never looked back."
In 1977, Thieme released his first of seven albums, "Outright Bold-Faced Lies." Chris Thieme said his father's favorite was "On the Wilderness Road," released in 1986.
Art Thieme passed the music bug along to Chris, who performed his father's songs as recently as two weeks ago at a Lake County venue.
Thieme lost his playing ability in the mid-1990s, around the time he was diagnosed with MS. He still released a collection of his live performances in 2006, "Art Thieme Live: Chicago Town & Points West."
Thieme is also survived by his brother Richard and five grandchildren.
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune
Come see the new
Two Way Street Coffee House!
We hope you're enjoying our restored and remodeled coffee house!
The floodwaters which ravaged Chicagoland in April of 2013 did not spare the Two Way Street Coffee House. But with the hard work of our volunteers, plus lots of help from our host church, insurance company, contractors and other supporters and contributors, we have a refreshed Two Way Street! New walls, floor, stage, kitchen, heating system, stage lighting, remodeled bathrooms and improvements to our performer dressing room!
We are immensely grateful to all of our community, including our performers and audiences, for the confidence and support they have shown. We didn't need to cancel a single one of our 35+ monthly shows and events!
Come and enjoy! We hope to see you soon!