Articles about the cafe, reviews of shows, or mentions in the press or on the web.

Lexington Herald-Leader

Move over, Starbucks: Small-town coffee shops brewing good options

Coffee Tree is worth visiting for the coffee itself with blends that are really rich, balanced and distinct. Even flavored coffees, a sip of which normally fills me with despair, are done right.

Coffee Tree has built a reputation as an intimate venue for live music, literary readings and community gatherings.

Five smaller venues offer big musical treats

Like most metropolitan locales, Lexington appreciates enormity. If you've ever experienced a sold-out event at Rupp Arena, be it a Wildcats game or a Kenny Chesney concert, you know this city loves a whale of a shindig.

When it comes to music, going for something smaller and different often offers great rewards. It could be fringe jazz in a black box theater, bluegrass in a barn or folk in a coffeehouse.

Here are several suggestions for more intimate and distinctive events, venues and artists to engage with. All are part of any essential Central Kentucky artistic experience.

The Kentucky Coffeetree Café. Despite the name, this very intimate Frankfort venue is one of the region's most inviting and attentive music rooms. Everyone from local folk and bluegrass artists to national touring acts (among them the Dave Matthews Band's Jeff Coffin) visit. There is seating for only 50 to 60 patrons. As such, performances feel like house concerts.

Seven places to see in Frankfort (without seeing a politician)

FRANKFORT — Anyone interested in Kentucky politics has a lot to visit in this town, including the handsome state Capitol, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History and the lovely old mansions named after long-dead politicians who once lived in them.

Never mind that.

If you don't like politicians — many don't — Frankfort has plenty of places to go where you're unlikely to meet one.

Start downtown on Broadway Street, which is bisected by railroad tracks. You can walk to a number of art galleries, stores and restaurants within a few blocks.

The biggest draws on Broadway are three adjacent businesses linked by interior doorways: Poor Richard's Bookstore (an independent bookseller,; the Kentucky Coffeetree Café (good food and drink, live music many nights,; and Completely Kentucky (sells the work of local artisans,

This is where Frankfort's hipsters gather to see and be seen.

Lams and Griesgraber are back at Coffeetree Cafe

Great opportunities seldom repeat themselves. But this weekend offers a second chance to hear two exemplary instrumentalists in one of the region's most inviting and intimate performance settings.

Duo Hymn for Her lives, travels and records in a 16-foot trailer

We all know the adage that the family that plays together stays together.
But does that also apply when the family plays, works, lives, travels and records together in an enclosed space approximately 16 feet long?
In the case of Hymn for Her, the answer is yes. The rustic Americana duo, which performs in Frankfort on Thursday, currently calls a 1961 Airstream Bambi trailer home. The members — multiinstrumentalists and vocalists Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing — work and live out of the Airstream with their 3-year-old daughter, their dog and, when touring is in full swing, Waxing's brother, who doubles as a nanny.
"It's 16 feet of pure love and fun," Tight said with a laugh.

Two musicians, one word: Go

Talent, instruments and venue work together to create an experience not to be missed.

...On Friday night, you can hear the duo create a bounty of inventive, interactive sounds at the ultra-intimate Kentucky Coffeetree Café in Frankfort. Their current repertoire includes classically flavored Griesgraber works such as Victor's Chase ,CGT faves that include the bittersweet The Marsh, and newer pieces, notably the summery Don't Look Back, which will be featured on an upcoming studio recording.

'Bicycle saint' looks to expand bike rescues

"I ran into some newcomers to town at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café. They didn't have much money, but they needed a way to get to work," Harrod, 46, said recently. "As it happens, one of my neighbors had two old bikes he was looking to get rid of."

Harrod took the old bikes, refurbished them and gave them to his new friends.

The State Journal

Easy Like Sunday Morning

The Sunday after I got here, I wandered into the Kentucky Coffeetree Café, lured by the strains of music that sounded a little too polished to be live and a little too vibrant to be recorded.

The sound that hooked my ear is a particular specimen of Kentucky music that isn’t heard or played much anymore, even on the bluegrass and folk circuits, which favor full bands, usually armed with an assault banjo. All but left for dead, the plaintive sound of “the brother duet” is being kept alive by a Frankfort father and son duo.

I went inside. The music was live. I was delighted. I’ve lived in Los Angeles half my life and you can’t hear anything half that good in a coffee house, no matter what time of day or night. I figured they were a couple of guys who got lost on their way back to Nashville after playing some prestigious folk festival.

Bike shop now in plain view

Bike savior Stuart Harrod and volunteer John Rodgers wheeled their nonprofit organization bike-by-bike from Broadway to its new location on Lewis Street.

Protesters celebrate 7 months of sit-in

After staging a sit-in for about seven months at Gov. Steve Beshear’s office to protest mountaintop removal, some 20 people celebrated at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café Thursday night.

Baristas brew a whole new sound

Four Frankfort musicians thought that working at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café seemed like any other job. They earned their paychecks, enjoyed the work and got along with their co-workers. Little did they know that the one trait they shared would create a bond that would last well past their working relationship.

Coffeetree encourages connections

When Mary Nishimuta bought Kentucky Coffeetree Caf last February, it already provided a place for regulars to take part in conversation and relaxation, not to mention a mean cup of joe.

Now, Nishimuta is trying to take the conversation to a new level.

Cellist biking to Bonnaroo

...when he arrived at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café shortly after 4 p.m. – hauling his 1930s Kay cello on his extended-frame Xtracycle – he’d already set a personal record of traveling 28.3 miles on a bicycle.

Guitar trio welcomes small town, fresh crowd

“It seems like there’s a need in Frankfort for musicians to come through,” band member Bert Lams said, as his cell phone cut in and out of service on the road from New York to Louisville.

What we're giving up

Two hours before The Sweetback Sisters concert on Fat Tuesday at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café, Jamie Howell was thinking about sugar and Lent.

Bike Santa has Frankfort Believing in Re-cyclery

Stuart Harrod keeps 16 bicycles in his Frankfort living room, and at least a dozen more in the basement.

Coffeetree Encourages Connections

When Mary Nishimuta bought Kentucky Coffeetree Caf last February, it already provided a place for regulars to take part in conversation and relaxation, not to mention a mean cup of joe.

Now, Nishimuta is trying to take the conversation to a new level.

"People need spaces to hang out and spaces to have a forum where you can corral people's energies," she said.

ThosSounds News

August 22, 2011 - Frankfort, KY

We had a great show last night in one of our favorite places to play; The Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe. I think this was our third time here? This has to be one of the best "coffeeshops" in the country for live music. They've done a lot of work to tune the acoustics in the room, have a very nice sound system, and can even do live multi-track recordings, video and webcasting. The owners are wonderful people and we have a number of great friends in the area which always contributes to a really fun evening. It all inspired me to probably get a bit more long winded on the microphone between pieces, but most seemed to be ok with that. We did two sets, probably playing longer than we have yet on this tour.

The Musical Box

in performance: jeff coffin mu’tet

At first glance last night at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café in Frankfort, it seemed the members of saxophonist Jeff Coffin’s aptly named Mu’tet band were wearing their influences openly. While perhaps not apparent on their sleeves, they were certainly visible on their chests.

...Capping it all, though, was the opportunity to hear a player like Coffin, who is accustomed to playing arenas and even stadiums with the DMB, bringing his neatly combustible music to one of the region’s most inviting and intimate venues. What a splendid treat.

in performance: david grier

“It’s a pretty waltz, if you don’t get out much,” remarked David Grier last night before bringing the light, lyrical phrasing of High Atop Princess Cove to life at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café in Frankfort. It was a typically unassuming remark from an artist who, over the course of two sets of solo guitar instrumentals, mixed learned folk traditions with commanding flatpicking technique

in performance: california guitar trio

The music of the California Guitar Trio has always possessed enough sonic intensity to fill a ballroom while maintaining an especially crafty intimacy. But to have such conversational potency sitting in your lap, which was the case with a two-set performance last night at the Kentucky Coffeetree Café in Frankfort, made for some delicious sensory overload.

John Cowan

Kentucky Coffeetree, Eddie & Bob!

Just wanted to say how much we completely loved playing in Frankfort KY last weekend. The Coffeetree is a wonderful place. The owners Mary & Walt are totally sweet & cool. The audience was just right with us (and very close), the sound is pristine, and the historic district the venue is located in is wonderful to walk around in.

Ben Sollee: Ditch the Van Tour Blog

Who is the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe?

Our title sponsor for this tour is the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe. They’re located in “the center of the universe,” Frankfort, KY, as local personality John Lawson puts it. The mixed-use cafe, performance venue, community gathering spot, art gallery, and recording space is owned and operated by Mary Nishimuta and Walt Baldwin. Their vision and business model is simple, “creating community, one gathering at a time.”

Hot Indie News

The Farewell Drifters Harmonize with Timeless Sound and Fresh Spirit on “Yellow Tag Mondays”

The Farewell Drifters present Yellow Tag Mondays, a stunning collection that displays rich harmonies, sophisticated playing and disarmingly honest songwriting. Available June 8th via Heart Squeeze Records/Thirty Tigers, the national debut from this versatile quintet is a complex combination of smart, modern songs and acoustic warmth and purity that will undoubtedly captivate fans of nearly every musical genre.

The Huffington Post

Bonnaroo Goes Green: Rocker Ben Sollee Bikes to Mega Festival

Selected as an NPR Top Ten new artist to watch, Sollee's unique work has been hailed as a blend of Al Green's soulful pipes with Yo Yo Ma's original string compositions. He will forego the jet arrival and zig-zag his way over 300 miles through the Kentucky hills and Tennessee Cumberlands on an Xtracycle (extended-frame bicycle).

Danelle Alexis Photography

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Kentucky’s Capitol

Frankfort is a town full of character with it’s many bridges and colorful buildings. The winding Kentucky River slowly meanders through downtown, gently kissing the bends and valley floors. There is so much history here; so many stories. You’ll have to come and get a smooth cup of coffee at the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe, sit outside and watch the train pass through. Maybe you’ll be able to envision the streets bustling with people on a warm, summer evening long ago.


Donna Ulisse in Frankfort, Kentucky

This weekend marks a couple of firsts for Donna Ulisse and her band The Poor Mountain Boys as they head back out on the road. On Friday night, March 26, 2010 they will play the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe in Frankfort, Kentucky at 8:00 p.m. The venue is developing a reputation for bringing in some of the top names in the bluegrass genre.

Southern Living

Kentucky's Capital Getaway

Thoroughly fortified, enjoy the fun shops downtown, such as Paisley Peacock (stylish purses) and Wilma's Linens and Lace (vintage quilts). Poor Richard's Books, Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe, and Completely Kentucky (which specializes in regional crafts) are also must-sees.

The Murphy Method Blog

Dixie Bee-Liners American Revival Tour-Day 22

Jeremy realized that we were passing very close to the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe in Frankfort, Ky., so we stopped there for lunch. The Bee-Liners have played there a few times in the past, and the bookshelf-lined walls created an extremely comfortable atmostphere. I had the black bean salsa wrap and potato salad. Really, really good.