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Richie Havens Concert


(@fredramsey)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 128
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This past Friday night I was privileged to be able to see Richie Havens, the opening act of Woodstock, now 67, play in a small theater in Nelsonville, OH.

I was utterly in awe.

He plays strictly rhythm, on an acoustic. And he does it wrong. I should put wrong in quotes, because he can play rings around anyone I've ever seen play rhythm. He holds the neck of the guitar angled downward and uses his thumb constantly, making Barre cords with it.

Between the power of his strong, often fast rhythm, and his still crystal clear voice, the man radiates music. He was joined on stage by a lead guitarist playing a Gibson hollow-body, and a woman playing a cello. That's it.

But the one thing I really learned from watching this legend is that there is only one thing you need to play guitar. Forget all the 30 day promises, the "methods" and all that. The only thing you need to go from a good guitarist to a great guitarist is...

Passion. Every strum, every note. Feel them. He did, and I'm still shaking my head at the thought. His site has a concert calendar. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend it.

http://www.richiehavens.com/

Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

He sure is one heck of a performer. That Woodstock opener is a classic. I see by recent pictures that he's gone to a double pick-guard system. That sure was needed. :)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@fredramsey)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 128
Topic starter  

I see by recent pictures that he's gone to a double pick-guard system. That sure was needed. :)

Now that you mention it, that was definitely the case! I wondered why the guitar looked a little strange...

He had two identical guitars on the stage. For the encore, he switched to the second one.

And get this: he has a new album coming out, and for the encore he played a track off of it.

"Won't Get Fooled Again"

Wow!

Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

He'll be in town in a couple of weeks, but I know I won't be able to go. Next time though.....

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@dogbite)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

Ricjie Havens was a huge influence on my guitar playing. I used to play 'Freedom' in my room.
foot stomping and singing loud. I would raise dust and get sneeze attacks.
his rythym opened my eyes.
ironically, Pete Townsend was my other rhythm influence.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Glad you enjoyed the concert !


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(@kachman)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 155
 

Richie Havens generally uses open D tuning which is D A D F# A D ...from top to bottom. This tuning makes it easier to play barre chords, etc with the thumb. Not to take away anything from the man's genius! He probably developed this style independently cos it was conducive to his musical needs. When playing in this tuning, a full barre on all strings is a major chord, and a major 7th is formed by moving one fret below on the TOP string while barring other strings. The only way to do this would be to barre the bottom strings with the thumb. The same goes for a lot of other chords in this tuning.

http://www.myspace.com/kachman


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(@tactful)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 99
 

I am guessing I will show my age or how to feel ancient when I say I saw Richie Havens open at Woodstock that rainy evening.those four days,yes four(a bunch of people hung around until Monday) as did a few groups.we finally cut out from the farm in the late afternoon. talking all the way back about that once in a lifetime experience.would love to see him again but doubt this part of the country is on his schedule.

Heroes Don't wear capes.They wear Dog tags


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