Posts Tagged ‘Woodstock’

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The Who were scheduled as the second to last act (before Jefferson Airplane) to play on Saturday, August 16th. When they actually started playing it was already Sunday morning around 5:00. They played their exceptional Tommy album, a Rock Opera dealing with the struggle of a deaf, dumb and blind boy who later finds a cure and gains stardom with his messianic movement. The finale of this performance took place during sunrise which occured at 6:05 am, The story of a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who is cured of his ailments and gains stardom became a legendary performance. Although not an apex performance in the Who’s career, Woodstock helped solidify the band’s place in rock history.

In 1969 The Who performed most of the songs from “Tommy” with some modifications due to time constraints. During the set Abbie Hoffman took the stage and protested the imprisonment of MC5 member and White Panther leader John Sinclair on charges of marijuana possession. Hoffman was met with a few unfriendly words from Townshend as well as a guitar to the head. A clip of this can be heard the Who compilation “Thirty Years of Maximum R&B”. While Townshend has some rather strong words expressing dissatisfaction with the performance, it is still seen as a historical in the rock and roll world.  Townshend, angry that someone took the stage, yelled: “Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage!”, hit him with his guitar and sending him off stage again. Townshend then added: “I can dig it!”; And after the song “Do You Think It’s Alright?”: “The next fuckin’ person that walks across this stage is gonna get fuckin’ killed! [crowd cheers] You can laugh, I mean it!”  A 16 second sound bite of the incident can be heard on The Who compilation set entitled Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (Disc 2, Track 20, “Abbie Hoffman Incident”).

The lone highway that led to Woodstock was jammed with traffic, so the Who left the hotel early to play its Saturday night show. When the group arrived, word was out that bands weren’t getting paid; the promoters had decreed it a free show and stopped trying to collect tickets because so many people had turned up. The Who refused to go on until it received a cashier’s check, but all the banks were closed.

The Who have long expressed disdain for their Woodstock performance, and in a new interview, singer Roger Daltrey noted that a series of delays and equipment problems prevented them from playing until 5AM.

“You’ve got to remember, by the time we went onstage, we’d been standing in the mud for hours,” he told The New York Times. “Or laying in it, or doing whatever in it. It wasn’t actually that muddy backstage, but it wasn’t comfort, let’s put it that way. … That’s all you could do. Waiting, waiting, waiting. We were young, and life is a lot easier when you’re young. I wouldn’t do that show now. Sod that. I’d walk away from it. I’m joking. No, I’d walk away and come back 10 hours later.”

Daltrey said he has never listened to the Who’s set to reassess it with years of detachment. But, after noting it was the band’s worst gig, he still has vivid memories of what went wrong.

“It was a particularly hard one for me, because of the state of the equipment,” he said. “It was all breaking down. I’m standing in the middle of the stage with enormous Marshall 100-watt amps blasting my ears behind me. [Keith] Moon on the drums in the middle. I could barely hear what I was singing.”

While promoters scrambled to find money and the wait stretched out, the band found trouble, as it often did. The drummer Keith Moon and the bassist John Entwistle dropped acid and partied in the back of a station wagon with a pair of young female fans. The guitarist and chief songwriter Pete Townshend drank a cup of coffee backstage, and realized it was spiked with acid. When the singer Roger Daltrey took a break from his bottle of Southern Comfort to drink some tea, he, too, began to hallucinate.

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Finally, after a wait that totaled 14 hours, the Who went on early Sunday morning and played its new album, the epochal rock opera “Tommy.” Moments after the set finished, the activist-prankster Abbie Hoffman, also high on LSD, crashed the stage, and said, into Townshend’s microphone, that the focus shouldn’t be on music, but on the MC5 manager John Sinclair, who was in prison on a minor marijuana charge. Townshend, according to his memoir, “Who I Am,” “knocked Abbie aside” with his guitar. The crowd roared at Townshend’s act of non-nonviolence. After years of struggling commercially in the United States, the Who had found a way to establish who it was.

 

The Who have long expressed disdain for their Woodstock performance, and in a new interview, singer Roger Daltrey noted that a series of delays and equipment problems prevented them from playing until 5AM.

The 50th anniversary of legendary music festival Woodstock is to be celebrated with what one can only describe as a quite exhaustive set of releases later this year. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the defining event of a generation and one of the most iconic moments in popular music history. No one has ever attempted to document the historic festival as it unfolded in real time.

Between August 15th-18th, 1969, more than 400,000 people converged on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in upstate New York for Woodstock. 32 acts performed over the weekend including Joan Baez, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Who.

Woodstock 50: Back To The Garden: The Anniversary Collection is available as a 3CD, 5LP, 10CD and a limited 38CD and blu-ray set! The 38CD experience has 432 songs, 267 of them previously unreleased, and features virtually every note played on the stage that weekend. As well as what they’re calling ‘sonic memorabilia’ such as stage announcements about brown acid, it being a ‘free concert from now on’ and – we’re presuming – any issues arising in the car park or people trying to locate their lost kids or minds (man).

The 10CD version features 162 tracks across and (along with the really big box) is the first Woodstock collection to feature live recordings of every performer at the festival. The vinyl version is a 42-track 5LP set with a 3CD edition mirroring this track listing.

The big 38CD edition is available from Rhino’s US site and also via the European store as well). It’s $800 in the USA and a bit over £600 over here. It looks like it’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) only.

Orders placed with Rhino for the big box will include exclusive Dale Saltzman 18×15 lithographs based on banners from the original festival. Think that’s probably enough? Oh no! Vinyl Me Please will have a special 10 LP package (due in early August) limited to 1,000 units pressed on tie-dyed-style coloured vinyl!  This set contains Woodstock Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 4, which haven’t been in print on vinyl since 2009.

The three-CD, ten-CD and 5LP vinyl editions of Woodstock: Back to the Garden – 50th Anniversary Experience are released 28 June 2019. The massive box will ship on 2 August.

The three-CD, ten-CD and 5LP vinyl editions of Woodstock: Back to the Garden – 50th Anniversary Experience are released 28th June 2019. The massive box will ship on 2nd August.

Hannah Cohen will release her third album “Welcome Home” on 26th April via Bella Union Records.

“It was the beginning of September and NYC was in the midst of a big heat wave.” Cohen says of the track. “I was staying with my partner at the time and had locked myself in the bathroom to work on this song. It was very early in the morning, the air conditioner was buzzing away. At the time we were searching for our first apartment together, and had seen about 27 apartments in person. All were gross or out of our price range. It was definitely a catalyst for wanting to move out of the city – and it all came rushing at me. I really needed a change. Locked in a boiling hot bathroom, playing my nylon-string guitar, I realized that this is it… my life is crazy, it’s time to make a big move.”

Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, “Welcome Home”, displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’

With Welcome Home, “I don’t feel I have to cover up anything, or not be able to share,” Cohen says. “There’s less to interpret, I’m more visible. And as to reflecting on the past when things didn’t go well, I’ve left that behind. It was all worth it, to make my way to this point.”

Produced by Cohen’s partner Sam Owens, the producer/writer who performs as Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became Welcome Home in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective shadings of singer/writer forebears such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

Welcome Home is almost brutally honest in its self-examination, as Cohen couches home truths in velvet-lush settings. As she explains, “A lot of the album is about checking in with reality and taking the wheel, being honest with myself and my intentions. Being transparent as much as possible. They’re about exploring why I’m here. And the songs question love – if it’s real or something else, finding love that’s healthy, mature and supportive.”

All of Cohen’s new material was crafted in Brooklyn except ‘Big House,’ which was written in an isolated stone farmhouse in upstate New York where they sometimes recorded, preserving the intimacy at the core of Welcome Home. The album was mostly tracked with a live rhythm section: bassist Brian Betancourt (from Evian’s live band) and drummer Vishal Nayak (Nick Hakim). Says Cohen, “We wanted to capture the essence of the song, quickly, and not toil over details for two years.”

That straightforward immediacy marked an important change in Cohen’s relationship with her music and the recording process. After growing up around professional musicians, she moved to New York from the Bay Area at 17, an intrepid adventurer who was drawn to New York’s singer-songwriter world. “New York became my world and my community, and formed me as a person, though I have never felt settled here until the last two years.” Her first two albums, Child Bride and Pleasure Boy, document the sound of a young artist finding her feet on a stage populated by established performers, a very public evolution toward the lived-in experience and command of Welcome Home. The desire to live on her own terms has recently led her to the less-crowded vistas of Woodstock, NY, a no-less iconic musical destination.

‘Old Bruiser’ documents that feeling of escape, specifically a west coast road trip (“Made it back to the city by daylight and we turned to each other as if to ask why /did we make something special just to go and leave it all behind?”). ‘Build Me Up’ also reflects Cohen’s desire to move: “Living in the city has such extreme effects on your body, your nervous system, the constant grind, living on top of people and never really having any true personal space. I am naturally a very sensitive person, I feel a lot of energy and people are really intense in NYC. I have been inspired by that energy but after fifteen years it became exhausting trying to keep up with the grind and hustle. I wanted a change of scenery and a new pace. It was hard to let go after putting so much time and work into building my life and community, and in a way I went from one extreme to another. But I felt I needed to make a big move to break free from all the noise. Welcome Home chronicles my last year in New York City before moving on. Onward and upwards.”

credits

releases April 26, 2019

The looming dissolution of the Beatles, after a stirring run of creative genius, signaled that everything would be different in the ’70s. They released their final album in Abbey Road, though the earlier-recorded Let It Be would follow, after some post-session doctoring from Phil Spector. They weren’t the only ones who departed: The original Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon and the Animals and the Jeff Beck Group fell apart, even as Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones died. The warm feelings of Woodstock were quickly forgotten in the bloody aftermath of Altamont.

The death of Brian Jones, July 3rd , Brian Jones had long since relinquished his role as a major contributor to the band he founded, the Rolling Stones, when he drowned in his swimming pool at his home in Cotchford Farm, the estate formerly owned by A.A. Milnes, author of the ever popular children’s book, Winnie the Pooh. He had been fired by the Stones the month before due to drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, leaving Jones more or less out in the cold as far as any further recording ventures were concerned. Initially ruled “death by misadventure,” the verdict was later questioned when rumors spread that a construction worker named Frank Thorogood actually murdered Jones and had made a deathbed confession to a confidante. In 2008, the Sussex police department declared it was no longer investigating the claim. Nevertheless, Jones became the first member of the so-called 27 club, whose membership now includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Whitehouse and a number of other artists whose lives ended at the fateful age of 27. His death also ended a prolific and profound era for the Stones, which many still argue, was the most creative period of their collective career.

At the same time, bands appeared that would dominate the decade to come. Led Zeppelin released their acclaimed first and second albums in ’69, laying a sturdy foundation for superstardom. Zeppelin seemed to arrive as a fully formed new blues-rock variant, harder and louder than anything that had come before. In fact, after touring together extensively, the band arrived in the studio with this material so well rehearsed that they only needed 36 hours spread out over two weeks to complete the album. Its influence, however, has endured – not just as a template for their own career, but also for untold legions of soon-to-be-famous heavy-metal purveyors.

In the summer of 1969, Zeppelin was a band on the rise. Its self-titled first album, released in January of that year, reached Number 10 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., and peaked at Number 6 in the U.K. The band’s pairing of blues, folk and psychedelia eventually would make it the biggest band of the 1970s, “as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the previous one,”  Zeppelin would play more than 40 gigs on their Summer of 69 tour of U.S.A.

Chicago issued the first of what will eventually be four straight multi-album projects, A band with a bright horn section and a scalding guitarist, Chicago was really all about dichotomy back then. Four songs from their introductory double album would enter the charts, through to 1972’s Chicago V. 

Mick Taylor joined The Stones, sparking their most heralded period – though one that was marked by a turn toward darker subject matter. Rolling Stones, ‘Let It Bleed’ was aptly titled, the second in a quartet of genius albums by the Stones echoed all of the very real apprehensions surrounding this era – like a gritty yin to the Beatles’ utopian yang on ‘Abbey Road.’ Mick Taylor’s arrival also ushered in a harder-edged sound, which combined to create one of rock’s most visceral triumphs. It’s sexy, foreboding, topical and dangerous, sometimes all at once.

Altamont – December 6th was one of the darkest days in music history, Altamont sealed the lid on the promise of peace and love that was capped by Woodstock, and did so within mere months following that celebratory event itself. The Stones, who headlined the sprawling festival in the California desert, may have had good intentions to offer a free concert, but enlisting the Hell’s Angels as security was a terrible idea. Though the line-up was stellar—CSNY, Santana and Jefferson Airplane reprised their roles from Woodstock, along with the Flying Burrito Brothers providing an excellent add-on—an aura of violence and uncertainty pervaded the proceedings. Both Jagger and Airplane singer Marty Balin were accosted the former as he left his chopper, the latter onstage and the death of concert goer Meredith Hunter by a pack of Angels who claimed they saw him wielding a gun, ensured the fact that an idyllic utopian era of the ’60s was quickly come to an end.

‘Abbey Road’ was always a far more fitting send off for the Beatles than ‘Let It Be’ could have ever been. It’s among Paul McCartney’s brightest, most artistically satisfying, moments. But John Lennon’s punctuations (and, to a quickly emerging degree, George Harrison’s) undoubtably make it so. Moments away from imploding, they arrived for these sessions as distinct individuals, rather than stylized mop-topped group. Yet, for a moment in time and for this one last time, the Beatles’ separate personalities seemed to work again in service of the whole.

The Beatles Final Concert, January 30th, Although the Beatles’ impromptu performance on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in London’s central environs was rumored to be a tryout for a return to live concerts, it was in fact part of the band’s final hurrah. The tumultuous sessions for their album Let It Be exposed a group in disarray, and indeed, a mere nine months after this live six song set—all culled from tracks they had been working on at the time The Beatles were officially broken. Filmed to provide a cap on the ill-fated Let It Be film, it’s still an exhilarating experience to watch the four former Fabs giving it a final go for the curious crowds below. “Hope we passed the audition,” John says before vacating the premises on orders from the police. Yes, Mr. Lennon, indeed you did.

Nick Drake, ‘Five Leaves Left’ was an autumnal yearning which surrounds these folk-rock recordings, and that’s likely the reason Drake was overlooked in his time. Even smart assists from Richard Thompson, then of Fairport Convention fame, couldn’t push this delicately conveyed album into the public consciousness back then. Sadly, Drake only had five years left. He died at age 26 in 1974 of an overdose.

This daring debut by prog rock band King Crimson, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ still remains prog’s standard bearer, the best example of a then-emerging movement that sought to combine musical concepts with rock. ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ was also a template for how this seemingly ever-evolving band would operate, as their lineup almost immediately flew apart. The core pair of Robert Fripp and Greg Lake was all that remained by the time King Crimson set about recording a follow-up.

The Kinks ‘Arthur,’ a triumph of rock with a British sensibility subtitled “Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire,” never gets the short-hand praise of contemporary works like the Who’s ‘Tommy.’ That’s likely because it’s less ambitious. But it’s also far more listenable – like a rock musical, rather than a rock opera. Hailed as one of rock’s first great concept albums, ‘Tommy’ – like so many examples in that genre – sometimes suffers creatively at the expense of furthering the plot. But at its best, this represents the Who at their finest. And there’s no questioning how the album opened up new narrative possibilities for pop composers.

The Who Performed Tommy for the First Time, April 22nd Notably, the concert in Devon, England, preceded the album’s official release by a month. Although other offerings can claim to be the first real rock operas—The Pretty Things’ S.F, Sorrow and the Kinks’ Arthur, among them—The Who were the only band to take the unusual step of performing an album in its entirety. They’d later take Tommy to some of the world’s great opera houses, elevating rock in both intellect and intent.

The debut of supergroup Blind Faith, June 7th, Heralded as the first true “super group”—a term that would resurface continuously in the years that followed Blind Faith was based on an all-star union between guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker of Cream and vocalist/keyboard player Steve Winwood of Traffic, with bassist Ric Grech, formerly of Family, added later on. Although Clapton in particular was wary of the implications involved in such a high profile ensemble and equally concerned about inviting the tempestuous Baker into the fold—he agreed to pursue the possibilities, owing in small part to the fact that he and Winwood had worked together in a short-lived ad hoc outfit called Powerhouse a few years before. The group’s less than spectacular live debut at Hyde Park further exacerbated Clapton’s concerns, and after a single spotty album and tours of Scandinavia and the U.S., the group disbanded later that year.

Dylan Reemerges at the Isle of Wight, August 31st, Dylan had been largely absent from public view since a 1966 motorcycle accident drove him into self-imposed seclusion. Other than his work with the Band at Big Pink, he chose to spend time with his family and record an album, Nashville Skyline, a shocking departure from any album he had offered before. Consequently, the announcement of his appearance at England’s Isle of Wight Festival attracted an extraordinary amount of interest, including the curiosity of various Beatles, a Stone, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and a still gestating Elton John. Rumor had it that Lennon, Harrison and Starr might join Dylan onstage, and although that proved false, Dylan alone was enough to mesmerize the masses. Dressed in a beige suit, his hair cut short, he performed a 17-song set with backing from the Band, a concert that included several classics from his catalog as well as tracks from Nashville Skyline and its immediate predecessor, John Wesley Harding. It’s still considered a landmark performance today.

That was probably to be expected for a generation still reeling from shocking assassinations and an ever-escalating war. So, too, was a move toward nostalgia for the old ways. Bob Dylan Having hinted at his intentions on the more rustic ‘John Wesley Harding,’ Dylan definitively left behind protest music for a head-long dive into deep country for the charming, determinedly happy ‘Nashville Skyline.’ In its own way, this was revolutionary too as he went country, even as his old backing musicians in The Band released a determinedly homespun self-titled masterpiece. The Byrds also splintered, with two members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman left to dive deeper into their passion for country and western music. The resulting album, unfortunately, did little on the charts – but it proved to be a well-spring of inspiration for descendent bands like the Eagles. breaking away to form the Americana-focused Flying Burrito Brothers.

Although there had been several gingerly moves to find common ground between the disparate realms of country music and rock ’n’ roll early rock pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers and Rick Nelson all had claims on country—in the divided America of the late ’60s, followers of the two styles were decidedly distinct. Nevertheless, the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield effectively made efforts to narrow that divide, making it only natural that the two groups they spawned, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco respectively, would, to paraphrase the title of the latter’s debut album, pick up the pieces. As a result of releases like The Flying Burrito Brothers’ debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, in February 1969, country-rock blossomed, spearheaded by the influence of “cosmic cowboy” Gram Parsons (a member of both the Byrds and the Burritos) before later finding a permanent bond with the release of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken, featuring members of both the new guard and the old, two years later.

The Stooges, ‘The Stooges’ This album’s wiry, first-take feel was no put on: Three songs from the Stooges‘ titanic debut were written in a single day, after their label said the album needed more material, then banged them out live. The ferocious results gave the nascent heavy metal genre new fire, presupposed far-off punk, and scared the hell out of parents everywhere.

Creedence Clearwater Revival began to come into their own here, reaching heralded high points with “Born on the Bayou” and “Proud Mary.” The rest of ‘Bayou Country’ doesn’t always reach that level, but the album is nevertheless surrounded by a sense of expectancy. They’re discovering themselves with every revolution of this album, and it’s a fizzy joy to hear. The second of an incredible run of three CCR albums from 1969 codifies every great thing the earlier ‘Bayou Country’ pointed toward. Sharply drawn, ‘Green River’ is just as sharply played – with none of the period-piece noodling that had occasionally seeped into their first two albums. John Fogerty dilated his muse on ageless cuts like “Bad Moon Rising,” the title track and “Lodi,” and Creedence finally found its true voice.

The Allman Brothers Band an accomplished debut as they blended rock, blues, jazz and a distinctly Southern sensibility to came up with something uniquely and forever their own. Taken for granted in today’s multi-cultural melting pot, ‘Santana’ marked the big bang of Latin rock. Within a year, congas and timbales had found their way into the music of the Rolling Stones, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, among many others. But it all started here, as ‘Santana’ blended mind-blowing, genre-bending musical explorations with more compact songs like the rambunctious Top 10 hit ‘Evil Ways’.

Jimi Hendrix forms the Band of Gypsies, October and with the release of Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix was at the height of his prowess, but the break-up of the Experience left him without a band and bereft of new recordings. His band at Woodstock, ostensively dubbed “Gypsy Sun and Rainbows,” found him expanding his original trio concept and reuniting with his former army buddy, Billy Cox. The aggregate, which Hendrix referred to as “a band of gypsies” when interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show, fell apart soon after, although Cox continued on bass and joined Hendrix for some informal recording dates with Buddy Miles. It was a natural combination; Miles had subbed for Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell on two tracks used for Electric Ladyland, and the trio went on to record a few demos and rehearse for an upcoming concert at the Fillmore East that would span New Year’s Eve. The self-titled album, released on Capitol Records to satisfy a contractual obligation, became the band’s only official recording, but clearly pointed the way to a more racially charged sound Hendrix was working on for the future.

Woodstock, August 15th-18th, If ever there was a single gathering that served to define the spirit of the ’60s, those three days spent in the muddy fields of Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York takes the prize. It wasn’t always pleasant—despite an amazing array of rock’s most influential artists (Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, CSNY, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens, et. al.), the traffic, the mud and the scarcity of supplies (other than the acid of course) tended to test the resolve of all involved. Still, it was that spirit of love, peace and music that pervaded the proceedings over all, assuring a communal embrace while setting the precedent for festival gatherings, a basic blueprint that remains relevant to this day.

Jefferson Airplane, ‘Volunteers’ was the last album to feature both Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden, ‘Volunteers’ blended a few bucolic moments (featuring guest stars Jerry Garcia and members of CSNY) in with the now-expected psychedelic rock – but that’s not this album’s best-remembered legacy. Instead, it’s a series of molten, occasionally profanity-laced rebukes of the American status quo. They left the ’60s with a bang.

Joining together for the first of what would become a string of free-wheeling, muscular successes alongside his band Crazy Horse, Neil Young blows a hole in the comfy folk-rock conventions of ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ in fact, has a lot more in common with the wild eclecticism of his work with Buffalo Springfield, but with a new tone that’s both sharper and looser.

Records in  heavy rotation in my bedroom included the debut album from Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, The Beatles Abbey Road , The Who’s Tommy, King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King a great record,one that for its time was truly unique, The Rolling Stones Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed, Neil Young’s masterpiece Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zappa’s Hot Rats which help change my musical perspective, Fleetwood Mac’s Then Play On, CSN debut, Blind Faith’s one and only official release which is also a very strange record, Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan, The MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul which arrived unexpectedly when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline and glad I got this gem,Chicago Transit Authority double set before they shortened their name to Chicago,  Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, Live Dead, The Doors Soft Parade, Pink Floyd’s Live Ummagumma, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, and Procol Harum’s A Salty Dog.

Few events in American history caused as much upheaval as the war in Vietnam. Young people took to streets and college campuses, protesting a conflict that they viewed as little more than an excuse for a murder machine entangling thousands of young draftees. Not surprisingly, musicians supplied the soundtrack against which protest was pursued. With the sound and imagery flashing across television screens night after night, it was only natural that people would find respite in an array of anthems—“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Street Fighting Man from the Rolling Stones,” “For What It’s Worth (written about the riots on Sunset Strip) by Buffalo Springfield, “Machine Gun” from Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish’s “Vietnam Song” and “Volunteers” which came courtesy of Jefferson Airplane. All served to remind the youth of the country that they weren’t alone in their determination to sway some sentiment and avoid the bloodshed overseas.

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Portugal. The Man share bizarre video for anthemic single “Live In the Moment”.

The rollicking, anthemic single’s clip follows a grotesque, gangly-limbed puppet as it rides atop a car driven by the band. Soon, an equally disgusting copper is on his tail, resulting in a breakneck chase through a sprawling parking lot. The video was made alongside creative company Wieden+Kennedy, who also helmed PTM’s last two music videos.

It’s 2017 and the world continues to burn like an avalanche of flaming
biohazard material sliding down a mountain of used needles into a canyon full of rat feces. But hey, it’s
not all bad: Portugal. The Man has a new album coming out called Woodstock. Portugal. The Man has a new album coming out called Woodstock.

Band Members
John Baldwin Gourley, Zachary Scott Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Jason Sechrist

The Allman Brothers Band  now featuring Gregg Allman alongside other founding members Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, plus Warren Haynes and Allen Woody were asked to perform at “Woodstock 94” (subtitled Two More Days Of Peace & Music ) on Sunday 14th August, when the group played a storming set running 80 minutes, alongside original Woodstock performers Crosby, Stills & Nash, Santana and Joe Cocker. Performing largely classic Allman Brothers Band tunes, including of course, Jessica , Midnight Rider , Whipping Post and Blue Sky , the group bravely played two cuts from then new album Back Where It All Begins too. This set features the Allman Brothers Band complete set from Woodstock 94, which, released here for the first time, will delight and excite every last Allmans fan still flying the flag for these pioneering southern rock stalwarts.

There should be a reasonable explanation for the sharp musical turn found on Portugal The Man’s eighth studio album, “Woodstock”. After the release of the Danger Mouse-produced Evil Friends in 2013, the Portland-based outfit retreated again to the studio with Beastie Boys’ Mike D for three years to worry over the purported follow up Gloomin + Doomin. This record, though, was ultimately scratched very near its completion, and a fateful reassessment of the band’s musical message lead to the revolutionary-minded street-pop of Woodstock after vocalist/guitarist John Gourley came upon his dad’s ticket stub from the original 1969 Woodstock Festival.

The arrival of new album “Woodstock” (via Atlantic Records ) the longest wait between albums of their career. But it seems to have paid off, as current single “Feel It Still” has done extremely well, landing a top spot placement on the Billboard charts.

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Friends. We know, we get it, 4 years and 10 days have gone by since we put a record out. 35280 hours. A. Fucking. Eternity. We’ve been growing, getting stronger, claws sharper. We wanted to give you our best. So here it is- WOODSTOCK, our ten finest. From us to you. Thank you for riding along with us. We’re all in this together.

Evil Friends was the last album from Alaska-formed band, Portugal. The Man. Ever since their debut in 2006 – Waiter: “You Vultures!” – they have amassed a loyal fanbase and grown in stature. Evil Friends found the band collaborating with Danger Mouse. Their eight album, Woodstock, shares many ideas and sounds with Evil Friends but is a tighter and tauter thing – boasting one of the best album covers of the year. It does not take long for the magic of the album to take hold: Number One features Richie Havens Son Little and is a song that transports you to a good-time bar in the Deep South. In fact, the kick of the drums and funky bass get the body moving and the head nodding. “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child” becomes a coda and one that creates curiosity. The stomping and funky composition reminds me, a bit, of The Black Keys. The band throws a lot of different sounds into the mix. It is a big and ambitious opening but one that will remain in the head. The need to separate themselves from their previous albums and try something new is evident.

The guys step more into commercial waters but do not lose who they are. Live in the Moment has bellicose drums and a huge chorus. The sheer size and scope of the entire album is stunning. Uplifting and unifying choruses like this get the voice ringing. So much detail goes into the song and it is one that carries you away with it. Feel It Still is the Prince song that never was: a funked-up and sexy number that pouts its lips and shakes it hips. It shows how Portugal. The Man are unwilling to tread old ground and keep things fresh. This mobile and forward-thinking approach does not always work but shows they are keen to create something new.

Some have commented how the band is priming themselves more for the mainstream than the underground. Given the fact they are on their eight album means they do not need to get under the critical lens – they are a popular act and do not need to prove themselves. Rich Friends is, perhaps, a misjudged effort that sounds like it should be blasting from BBC Radio 1. It has some good moments but cannot shake itself past chart ambitions. I have mentioned artists like The Black Keys but it would be them on a bad day. Despite some occasional spells of pleasure; it seems like a track destined to open the next episode of Made in Chelsea. Keep On is a more satisfying song and one that gets things back on a keen footing. Its sweet and effusive harmonies melt with robotic electronic vocal lines and a summery vibe – perfect for the warm weather we are experiencing. Fat Lip lends his talents to Mr. Lonely: one of the most intriguing tracks on the album. Distorted and processed vocals provide creepiness and unsettle. Percussion and bass provide a strong backbone but it is a song that will split the audience. The Portugal. The Man faithful might feel it is an experimentation too far but it will bring new listener in. It departs a little from their past work but retains those distinctive vocals and ambitious songwriting. The chorus has groove and seems like a song ready for the festivals.

Noise Pollution closes things and sees, oddly, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Zoe Manville appear – a bold but effective recruitment. Hard-edged and pulsating: one of the highlights and a great way to end the album. There are warm compositional notes that effortlessly sit with the edgier and tenser elements. It shows the contrasts and contradiction that make Woodstock such a pleasure. Noise Pollution is unlike anything on the album but distinctly the work of Portugal. The Man. There is so much going on but it never feels overwhelming. If you want something that follows the path of previous Portugal. The Man albums then you will have to look elsewhere. There are familiar elements but this is the sound of a band trying something new and aiming for new audiences. Some of the songs do not hit the mark – there are some odd and forgettable inclusions – but, for the most part, it is a fascinating and jam-packed album from a band with plenty more left to say.

Band Members: John Baldwin Gourley, Zachary Scott Carothers, Kyle O’Quin, Jason Sechrist

Joe Cocker’s career took off after singing his his amazing interpretation of With a Little Help from My Friends at Woodstock Festival. But did you know that the rest of his Woodstock set remained unreleased? Here’s the whole set, for the first time: the Beatles tune; “Feelin’ Alright; Dear Landlord; Just Like a Woman; I Shall Be Released; I Don’t Need No Doctor” , and more!
It makes one wonder why it took so long for the “Live at Woodstock” series to emerge – maybe copyright issues, who knows. Joe Cocker rose to fame in the late 60s in part, at least, on the back of his performance at the Woodstock festival of August 1969. Until this album only the track “With a Little Help From My Friends”, off the Woodstock set, was released (on the first Woodstock album). Those who know, and like, that track will not be disappointed with this album. For those that don’t know Joe Cocker, his stlye is that of an extravagant front man covering songs of the time in an idiosyncratically soulful style.

This set is performed by a band who know what they are doing and are doing it well. It is a tight, well performed set of songs mostly from Cocker’s first album. This incarnation of the Grease Band is really good (really, really good). Like many “overnight” sucesses, that success is founded on years of hard slog. This performance catches a glimpse of Joe Cocker and his band at the top of their game and before drugs, fame and rock and roll have taken their toll.

Why did we have to wait 40 years for this fabulous album to be released? I have always thought Joe Cocker’s performance on the Woodstock film was one of so many highlights but to now be able to hear the full performance is an absolute treat.

It is a staggeringly good performance by Joe Cocker & the Grease Band. They are on absolutely peak form here in August 1969. Joe Cocker’s voice never sounded better than this. The sound is perfect. This is 77 minutes of some of the most powerful and raw rock and soul.

What is sometimes forgotten with the passing of time and against the seminal influence of Woodstock is that Creedence Clearwater Revival were one of the few bands to appear at the festival that had already achieved significant success . Truth is that there are some that do not even know about the band’s forgotten Woodstock performance shortly after midnight on 17th August 1969. The reason, of course, is that CCR were not in the movie or the album that came out in the wake of Woodstock.

Creedence’s hour-long set was like a greatest hits album, with ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Proud Mary’ both having reached No.2 chart positions. As they walked on stage at Woodstock, just after midnight on Saturday, their current single, ‘Green River’ was at No.15, it’s third week on the U.S. chart; it would be their third single to stall at No.2. As John Fogerty later said, “By the time we got to Woodstock, I felt we were the number one band. Assuming that The Beatles were God, I thought that we were the next thing under them.”

This iconic performance, CCR really brought the southern soul to Woodstock in 1969 with “Born on the Bayou.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival opened up their set with “Born On The Bayou.” They also played such hits as “Green River,” “Suzy Q,” and “Proud Mary.” Janis Joplin came on after Creedence. John Fogerty had never actually been to a bayou before writing this song, instead he researched it an encyclopedia.

Opening with this fresh, southerly funk at the greatest concert of all time, Creedence really brought the house down at Woodstock that year .The most famous concert in Rock and Roll history. Creedence Clearwater Revival was actually the first band to sign a contract to play Woodstock. They got $10,000 in exchange for playing a single set. The guys ended up playing just before 1 am on Sunday. John Fogerty allegedly complained about his late starting time due to Grateful Dead playing over their time slot. He thought everyone had already gone to bed. He’s apparently expressed his disappointment in the festival at other times, as well.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s catchy music was one of the true hightlights of the whole festival. Though they started late in the night from Saturday to Sunday their blend of R&B, Folk- and Country-Rock didn’t fail to impress. However, John Fogerty complained that the long set of The Grateful Dead delayed their set so most of the audience went to bed when CCR performed in the middle of the night

For some reasons Creedence Clearwater Revival weren’t heavily bootlegged in their prime time (1967 – 1971 ), but this is a very good recording of one of the greatest bands .

Although we see this as a legendary and life changing performance, the band actually forbade Woodstock to use any of the footage of it in the movie considering they were unhappy with this 3 AM show.

This great, feel- good tune really does make us all want to head down to the South and enjoy some fresh air on the bayou, doesn’t it?

To the band, Woodstock must have seemed like – just another festival, as it did at the time to so many of the artists. In the summer of 1969 CCR had already played the Newport Festival in California, the Denver and the Atlanta festivals, along with the Atlantic City Festival. Given the fact that they were just about the hottest band on the charts every promoter wanted them at the top, or close to the top, of the bill.

Unlike so many of the bands at Woodstock CCR went on stage fairly closed to their scheduled midnight slot, although they were supposed to be in a prime Saturday evening slot. According to John Fogerty, ” We were supposed to be in the prime spot for that evening. The Dead went on and pulled their usual shenanigans.”–

Their hour-long set started at half past midnight on Sunday 17th August and kicked off with the perfect opener, ‘Born On The Bayou’. They followed it with ‘Green River’ and then a cover of Wilson Pickett’s ‘Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won’t Do)’, from their debut album, after which it was ‘Commotion’, ‘Bootleg’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Proud Mary’

They played their current single and their two previous big hits and the other songs in the set, to this point, very much as they were on record. As their set progressed they stretched their songs set into longer, more improvised, rock songs, which was their normal way of playing them.‘I Put A Spell On You’ stretched the 5 minute single to almost twice its length, while ‘Keep On Chooglin’’ ran for close to ten minutes. ‘Suzie Q’, the Dale Hawkins classic had been their first hit and on the album it ran for 8 minutes; for their encore they kept it rocking for even longer.

John Fogerty later said, “I could never put my finger on what it was, but we were considered outsiders in our own town.” Maybe they were outsiders in San Francisco but they were at the top of their game when they played Woodstock. John Fogerty’s unique voice and great song writing had come together as a perfect combination just at the right time.

Why were they not on the film? Most likely their record company at the time was unwilling to co-operate. Did it affect their career? Well it would have done them no harm on the world stage to have had all that additional exposure. Like ‘Green River’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Proud Mary’, both ‘Travellin’ Band’ and ‘Lookin’ out My Back Door’ made No.2 on the Billboard chart. They really were one of the unluckiest bands bands that could never break through to achieve the coveted top spot on the America singles chart, although they did top the charts in Britain with ‘Bad Moon Rising’. Their album, Green River came out a month after Woodstock and it topped the charts for four weeks, as did Cosmo’s Factory following year – it had a nine-week run at No.1. The fact is CCR were huge…but they might well have been even bigger.

Creedence Clearwater Revival Woodstock Performance

The setlist consists of material from their first three albums (the fourth album Willy and the Poor Boys was released in November 1969). There were no surprises, CCR chose only the hightlights. The performances are tight and upright. They rushed through “Green River”, “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary” and left little room for improvisation. John Fogerty keeping the tempo up and the band just followed him.

At the end they got a little bit more relaxed. The haunting “I Put a Spell on You” (written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins but nevertheless the opener on their self-titled debut album) hollows in the dark, followed by – the title says it all – “The Night Time Is the Right Time”.

“Keep on Chooglin'”, announced as their last number, includes a harmonica solo and lasts for over 9 minutes. The band then returned with the pretty “Suzy Q” as the encore and jammed for about 10 minutes before leaving the stage at Woodstock forever. This is the full set

1. 00:00 Born on the Bayou (Video)
2. 04:57 Green River (audio)
3. 07:45 Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do) (audio)
4. 11:02 Commotion (audio)
5. 13:46 Bootleg (audio)
6. 16:58 Bad Moon Rising (Video)
7. 19:07 Proud Mary (audio)
8. 21:59 I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover) (video)
9. 26:00 Night Time Is the Right Time (Roosevelt Sykes cover) (audio)
10. 27:59 Keep On Chooglin’ (video)
11. 37:25 Suzie Q (Dale Hawkins cover) (audio)