Sunday, March 25, 2007

Richie Havens and Groove Armada at the 2002 Glastonbury Festival

Picture this.

Richie Havens is gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music. His fiery, poignant, always soulful singing style has remained unique and ageless since he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960’s. It’s a voice that has inspired and electrified audiences from the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair in 1969, to the Clinton Presidential Inauguration in 1993 -coming full circle with the 30th Woodstock Anniversary celebration, "A Day In The Garden", in 1999....

By decade’s end, he was in great demand in colleges across the country, as well as on the international folk and pop festival circuit. Richie played the 1966 Newport Folk Festival, the 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival, the 1968 Miami Pop Festival, the 1969 Woodstock Festival, the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, and the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970.

Richie’s Woodstock appearance proved to be a major turning point in his career. As the festival’s first performer, he held the crowd spellbound for nearly three hours, called back for encore after encore. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child" that became "Freedom", a song now considered to be the anthem of a generation. The subsequent movie release helped Richie reach a worldwide audience of millions....

Richie greeted the year 2000 with a flurry of activity. He relaunched Stormy Forest and began remastering and reissuing his early recordings. Collaborations with Peter Gabriel and British dance duo Groove Armada presented Richie to a whole new audience, and sold out tours of Ireland and England were soon to follow, including a return to England's legendary Glastonbury Festival, where he played with his own band and then joined Groove Armada on stage for a performance the BBC would call one of the highlights of the three-day festival.


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