We all remember figures like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell but what about one of the greatest folk singer of all time, Richie Havens.
Like Dylan and Baez he became popular through the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-60's and became an international figure through his dynamic opening performance at Woodstock.
His appearance is part of rock history, in that he recieved so many ovations that he eventually ran out of songs, launching into an improvised version of Motherless Child that became a surprise radio hit.
Next came the 1971 album Alarm Clock and a constant stream of albums that has lasted to the present day with the 2004 release Grace of the Sun.
Richie Havens is distinguished, not only as one of the few black folk singer (Odetta is another one) but for his unique guitar style, relying on intense rhythmns and open tuning and unconventional thumb fretting style. He is also known for some pretty amazing reinterpretations of Beatles songs, particularly, Here Comes the Sun, off Alarm Clock.
Well, he's still going very strong and will release his new album Nobody Left to Crown April 15 2008
"Songs that I wroteat the time are more pertinent today than ever, with this connection that links Vietnam and Iraq", says Richie
A special track will be his version of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again". There is also Jackson Browne's "Lives in the Balance"
Say it isn't so
Won't get fooled again
Standing on the water
Nobody left to crown
(can't you hear) Zeus's anger roar
Lives in the balance
We all know now
The great Mandala (the wheel of life)
One more day
Image: Courtesy Polydor France/Universal)