Sunday, January 24, 2010

Richie Havens

For my dad's birthday, I got him a ticket to the Richie Havens concert at The Kent Stage. Richie is a folk singer best known for his intense rhythmic guitar style and for playing at Woodstock in 1969. I had never heard of him until my dad mentioned seeing him play awhile back with Arlo Guthrie.

So tonight we met in Kent and ate at Rockne's beforehand. We got to the concert about a half hour before. The place was almost sold out. Richie's opening act was Harry Manx. Neither of us had heard anything about him and weren't really expecting anything great. However, he sure surprised us!

Harry was born on the Isle of Man, which is between Great Britain and Ireland. He calls home Canada, but has traveled and lived in many places including Europe, Japan, India and Brazil. His music is best described as Indian folk mixed with slide guitar blues and gospel. His voice sounds very similar to Bruce Springsteen (he actually covered one of his songs tonight). Harry had 4 or 5 guitars he switched between, but one of his most interesting ones was the veena - a 20-stringed sitar/guitar.

After about an hour, we had a short intermission and then Richie came on to play. Richie had another guitarist accompany him for the riffs and notes. It was interesting how Richie only played a few chords during the whole concert, but made it work very well with his intense strumming-style.

Richie was on for an hour and a half playing some covers including Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as well as his own song, in which he improvised at Woodstock, "Freedom." Both of us had a great time!

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