12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 20th Century Masters compilation both introduces and celebrates the most notable songs recorded by the late, great Richie Havens. Although he was a legendary American folk-rock singer/songwriter, guitarist, and socio-political activist, Havens is most known for being the first musician to open the historic 1969 Woodstock Music festival. Of course many of the songs he played that day are here, including “High Flyin’ Bird,” “Handsome Johnny,” “From the Prison," and a bookending cover of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” He also covers The Fab Four’s “Lady Madonna,” giving the tune his own earthy rhythm and fatherly voice. Havens pays homage to the Barbary Coast with a groovy take on Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues” that plays with the smooth, rootsy stroll of a Tim Hardin recording. It would've been easy for Havens to stick close to the original blueprint of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman,” but instead he softens up the approach with a slower tempo and lilting piano notes. “Indian Rope Man” is Havens’ most rocking original here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This 20th Century Masters compilation both introduces and celebrates the most notable songs recorded by the late, great Richie Havens. Although he was a legendary American folk-rock singer/songwriter, guitarist, and socio-political activist, Havens is most known for being the first musician to open the historic 1969 Woodstock Music festival. Of course many of the songs he played that day are here, including “High Flyin’ Bird,” “Handsome Johnny,” “From the Prison," and a bookending cover of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.” He also covers The Fab Four’s “Lady Madonna,” giving the tune his own earthy rhythm and fatherly voice. Havens pays homage to the Barbary Coast with a groovy take on Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues” that plays with the smooth, rootsy stroll of a Tim Hardin recording. It would've been easy for Havens to stick close to the original blueprint of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman,” but instead he softens up the approach with a slower tempo and lilting piano notes. “Indian Rope Man” is Havens’ most rocking original here.

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