It Takes More than a Stage

Over the years, dozens of folks have volunteered many hours of their time to make the Me&Thee coffeehouse run. We remember Charlie McIntyre, who was an accountant at Salem Hospital until MS forced his retirement. That did not keep him from volunteering for years. Accompanied by his champion swimmer wife Joan, almost every Friday he would roll in on his electric wheelchair, not only to manage the door but also to engage everyone he saw in great conversations sparked by the sign on his chair, “Cribbage Anyone?”

One of our youngest volunteers, Megan Spreen, just graduated from Marblehead High School this past spring and will attend Hofstra University to study the music business. It was a deep interest sparked by her volunteerism at the Me&Thee, where she learned about sound technology from our experienced engineers.

Our volunteer staff brings years of experience to this little folk community on Mugford Street. Accountants, sound technicians, cooks, editors and writers, PR professionals, technology experts, educators and many others have brought their expertise to the Me&Thee ever since we began back on a cold winter night in 1970.

From designing, building, and maintaining our sound and lighting systems to setting up the kitchen, the signs and banner, the front room merchandise and wireless ticketing ­­operation, folks who love this music community have turned the Me&Thee into one of the longest running all-volunteer ­acoustic concert series in the country!

Almost 50 years on, this coffeehouse is decidedly different from the smoky, dark, bohemian stereotype of the 1960s. You’ll see teenagers and seniors here, hip young couples and young professionals and a few families with their kids in tow. It’s been like this since we began. The music, earthy ambiance and relaxed atmosphere have been the constant which led a Boston Globe reviewer to write, “the Me&Thee is as warm and friendly as your friend’s living room.”

The Me&Thee was founded in the midst of the tumultuous Vietnam War as a place of support and sanctuary, where live, up-close music was the attraction, but a laid-back, non-alcoholic, non-smoking “real listening room” vibe enveloped you as you entered. During these uncertain times. we believe the role of the Me&Thee is still to offer that same support and sanctuary, with live, accessible music at the center of a friendly community.

From Pete Seeger, Tommy Makem, Tracy Chapman, Dar Williams, Bill Morrissey, U. Utah Phillips and Joe Val to Shawn Colvin, Lori McKenna, Greg Brown, Liv Taylor and Hayley Reardon — our performers come from all over the world (and some, from down the street!). They perform for our commu­nity, and more importantly, they keep coming back because they too can feel the energy, respect, and kinship we generate here. This is more than a concert hall; this is a house where community sings!

Anthony Silva, Founder