If this nation is supposed to be a hap-hap happy place where we can all just get along, then Cafe Americana, Thursday nights at Mama Java's Coffeehouse in Phoenix, is where you can bring your date and let her roam with having her accosted by tattooed bikers named Bjork or drunk yuppie-pup studs trying to woo her away for a took-n-stoke is his purple Porsche. Cafe Americana is just one night for an eclectic mix of programmes at the congenial, everybody knows your name venue on the fringes of the Arcadia district in Phoenix.
For Americana night host Doug Fletcher, a cabbie obviously bruised by what he listens to on driving the late-night streets of Phoenix, "Americana" means anti-format. One night will be bluegrass and celtic, the next week, biker blues with Jack Straw and then, bring in the madrigal for some medieval folk classics! "I'm calling it rootsy, which is anything based on some kind of ethnic or regional tradition," says Fletcher, who claims no affinity for so-called "original singer-songwriters." For the Fletch, Americana is "just about everything but the crap they play on the radio."