Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
No Description Available No Track Information Available Media Type: CD Artist: HAVENS,RICHIE Title: MIXED BAG Street Release Date: 03/21/1988
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No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Title: MIXED BAG
Street Release Date: 03/21/1988
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A voice like you've never heard anywhere!
Phil Rogers | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 06/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richie Havens is probably most famous as being the first performer to take the stage at Woodstock '69. I think that actually, Sweetwater was supposed to have been been the ones, but there was a transportation snafu so that it didn't happen for them. Trying to pay some kind of tribute, Richie kept singing the beginning to one of their songs ["Motherless Child"] while waiting for their helicopter to arrive. As a result of this 'big gig', his antiwar song "Handsome Johnny" has ended up being his most recognizable work, but it's by no means his greatest. One of the only solo singers from the sixties or any era who does such a great job with such a low voice, Richie was utterly magic to me when I first heard him on Lon's big speakers in the dorm, ca. '67-'68. Richie's voice at all times and in all contexts is utterly soulful and full of benign power, sounding somewhat grainy but also as smooth as melting butter. Fathom that one!This album is mostly 'folk music', usually with a decidedly jazzy edge expressed via the arrangements and an excellent combo of backup musicians. Havens himself strums along on acoustic guitar using a type of open tuning he himself invented, and which allows some unusually tantalizing voicings and articulations."Three Day Eternity" was one of our dorm gang's theme songs that year. Added to songs from other diverse artists, we had a hell of a good time musically and in general. [Others included "Soul Kitchen", "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine", "2000 Light Years from Home", "A Day in the Life", "In Held Twas I", "For Emily Whenever I May Find Her" . . . and the list goes on and on].Richie covered other songwriters' songs frequently--he is one of the few people to perform the Beatles ["Eleanor Rigby"] and Dylan ["Just Like a Woman"] well enough that you forget to compare them with the originals. He's really that good. Then he took an old song ["S. F. Bay Blues"], and, completely divesting it of its ragtime context, turned it into a powerful urban jazz-folk ballad. In concert he boasts about how much better he does it than the way it is has always been treated. Not to be disrespectful to old time tradition, but I think he's right.But by far his best work is when he hits you with tunes, self-penned and otherwise, that hardly anyone's heard before. Especially with the slower numbers, and I don't say this lightly--you come away from listening to him feeling like your soul (and your mind as well) have been strengthened and healed. As great as the melodies and rhythms are, the biggest strength of some of these less well-known songs are their lyrics. [It was a pity that when Lon and I saw Richie 6-7 years ago at the Ark in Ann Arbor, the soundman was so seduced by Richie's guitar playing that he forgot to turn up his voice high enough that we could hear his words.][Note that as good as this debut album was, his second one ('Something Else Again') was even better. It's not currently available, though some of the songs are on various compilations.]"
Fire Meets Ice
Gavin B. | St. Louis MO | 03/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Mixed Bag" has been a fixture in my record collection since 1967 when I was a junior in high school. I have aged many years and travelled many miles since, and every so often, I take this album from the shelf, like a fine vintage wine. When I go to play it, I am always stunned at how good "Mixed Bag" really is. Richie's oak-sturdy baritone and his cascading open tuned guitar are unlike anything else I've listened to. It is like being reunited with an old friend every time I play it. On it's own terms, "Mixed Bag" holds up a lot better than much of the music that was regarded as "brilliant" at that time. What Havens established in "Mixed Bag", was a deep emotional bond of intimacy with the listener, that few have been able to create since. It is the perfect after-hours album, because of it is at once, melancholic and catharthic..."Mixed Bag" is the element of fire meeting ice. I don't think it's an accident that it was a masterwork. Havens was a shrewd and calculating performer and a savant at working a crowd and pacing his set. It was, after all, Havens that volunteered to step forward to open Woodstock, when other musical veterans stood gaping in slack-jawed fear of the immense size of the crowd. Whether it was a crowd of 25 at the Bitter End or 500,000 people at Bethel, Havens feared none. After "Mixed Bag", Havens was never able to produce as dazzling a set of music. Never a prolific songwritter, Havens drew his choices from songwritters as diverse as the avant garde Fugs, to the ramshackle one man band, Jesse Fuller. The post-Woodstock Havens seemed content to retreat from the popularity, that many Woodstock performers seemed to enjoy. Havens veered from finding such strikingly original source music to perform, and instead began doing stylized covers of songs of by established performers like the Beatles or Bob Dylan. It seems to be a shame, because nothing in his latter work matches the passion of "Handsome Johnny", the introspection of "San Francisco Bay Blues", the meloncholy of "Morning, Morning" or the evocative force of "Follow." As a bonus Polydor has included two of his radio hits, "Just Like A Woman" and "Eleanor Rigby.""
The definative Richie Havens Album
Gavin B. | 05/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who wants to expand their consciousness as well as their record library should have this album. Richie Havens reaches deep into the heart and soul with this album of intensely thought provoking songs. If you want to be swept into a song, go right to the song "Follow" and feel the power of his Guild guitar overcome you. Richie Havens has the listener in the palm of his hand here. This album should not be overlooked. It is one of the true classics from the 1960's and stands up today as a great collection of songs."