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Richie Havens - Something Else Again

  by Gus Ironside

published: 24 / 12 / 2018



Richie Havens - Something Else Again
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A

intro

In our Re: View section, in which our writers look back at albums from the past, Gus Ironside examines groundbreaking folk-blues artist Richie Havens' 1968 second album, 'Something Else Again'.


Richie Havens will forever be associated with his show-stealing opening performance at Woodstock in 1969. It was a performance that instantly secured Havens a place in musical counterculture history, catapulting the Greenwich Village folk-blues innovator from relative obscurity to enduring cult status. Havens’ second album, ‘Something Else Again’ was released to no great fanfare the year before that ground-breaking live performance, yet Havens had already perfected his approach on an album that confidently blends folk, blues and raga-rock, all driven by Havens’ compelling acoustic guitar playing and warm, expressive vocals. Many of the trademark sounds of the era are present, from Jeremy Steig’s evocative flute to the heavy-grooving sitar workout of the title track, but the additional instrumentation is used sparingly, adding light and shade to Haven’s propulsive rhythm guitar. One song title in particular stands out: ‘The Klan’, penned by Alan and David Arkin, could have been written in 2018, with lyrics such as “He who rides with the Klan is a devil and not a man”. If that’s a sad indictment of the state of the world in 2018, it also underscores the generation-spanning appeal of Havens’ passionate humanitarianism. Havens shares certain commonalities with Curtis Mayfield and the genius Brazilian singer-songwriter, Jorge Ben; all three base their musical approach around irrepressible rhythm guitar-work, soulful vocals and positive, socially-conscious lyrics. As good as they are- and this album is a particularly fine example- Havens’ studio albums are somewhat overshadowed by his magical live performances, with 1972’s prosaically-named ‘Live On Stage’ offering the definitive snapshot of the man at his peak. Nevertheless, ‘Something Else Again’ is a hugely enjoyable collection of covers and Havens’ originals, which hopefully will be followed by further essential gems from this totemic artist’s sadly-neglected back catalogue.



Track Listing:-


Band Links:-
http://www.richiehavens.com
https://en-gb.facebook.com/richiehavens/
https://twitter.com/richie_havens
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richie_Havens


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Richie Havens - Something Else Again


Richie Havens - Something Else Again



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