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A monthly guide to early rock, blues, country, folk, and traditional jazz in the Seattle area and beyond.
Editor and Publisher: Doug Bright
E-mail: subscribe@heritagemusicreview.com

---------------------------------------- PART ONE:

By Doug Bright

In August 1969, nearly half a million people converged on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm near Bethel, New York, 43 miles southwest of the larger arts-oriented town of Woodstock. Billed as "an Aquarian exposition: 3 days of peace and music," the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was the biggest and most prestigious outdoor rock festival of its time. universally recognized as the defining moment of the hippie counterculture, it was immortalized in a 1970 documentary film and an accompanying soundtrack album set. Of course, that footage constituted only a fraction of the 35 hours of music contributed by the 32 acts that participated, but this year Rhino Records marked the festival's fiftieth anniversary by unearthing nearly every performance in chronological order, from Richie Havens' opening set to Jimi Hendrix's closing one, in a deluxe 38-disc package called WOODSTOCK--Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive. In celebration of its release, a Philadelphia public FM station, WPNX, aired it from August 15th to the 18th, timing the broadcast to coincide as precisely as possible with the date and the hour when the performances took place.

The limited-edition superbox was released on August 2nd, but well before the end of the month, all 1,969 copies had been snapped up. Fortunately for this roots-music enthusiast and a host of other subscribers on TuneIn.com's email list, we learned about the WPNX stream in time to hear every show that interested us. Nevertheless, even if you missed out on both opportunities, you're still in luck. In addition to the sold-out deluxe set, Rhino is offering smaller packages. BACK TO THE GARDEN: 50th Anniversary Experience
Woodstock - Back To The Garden - 50th Anniversary Experience (10CD)
is a ten-CD version that includes something from all 32 festival acts. BACK TO THE GARDEN: 50th Anniversary Collection
Woodstock - Back To The Garden - 50th Anniversary Collection (3CD)
is a three-disc compilation that's also available on five vinyl albums.

Joan Baez
Well after midnight, at 1:30 on the morning of saturday, August 16th, Joan Baez graced the Woodstock festival stage. Baez had secured her place in the folk-revival pantheon nearly a decade earlier with definitive interpretations of old English ballads, but by this time she had broadened the scope of her recordings with orchestral or electric instrumentation and songs from a new generation of protest-oriented singer/songwriters. She opened somewhat surprisingly with the Edwin Hawkins Singers' current gospel-soul hit "Oh Happy Day",
Live At Woodstock
augmenting her exuberant strumming with tastefully electrified help from a guitarist whom she later identified as a partner in her Struggle Mountain Resistance Band. "Good morning, everybody," she greeted her audience. "Thanks for hangin' around." Observing the rain that would eventually plunge the festival into memorable misery, she commented, "We thought we might have a sunrise concert, but I guess we won't make it for that."

Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing On My Mind"
Live At Woodstock
placed Baez back in classic folk mode with her lead guitarist lending sensitive, country-flavored support, and the audience responded enthusiastically. Next came an impassioned rendition of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released"
Live At Woodstock
with the final verse dedicated to her husband David Harris's imprisonment for draft resistance. "Any day now," she sang, "he shall be released," and the line got a round of knowing applause.

Her equally passionate rendition of the well-known labor song "Joe Hill",
Live At Woodstock
a highlight of the original 1970 Woodstock album, was introduced as "an organizing song" and repurposed to her most immediate cause. Another politically charged song captured on the original compilation was the Byrds' country caricature "Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man",
Live At Woodstock
which she harmonized with Resistance Band partner Jeffrey Shurtleff.

The song had been written about Nashville Dj Ralph Emery, but Shurtleff aimed it at a different target. "One thing about the draft resistance that's different from other movements and revolutions in this country is that we have no enemies," he declared. ""To show that our hearts are in the right place, let's sing a song for the governor of California, Ronald Ray-guns."

"He's a drugstore truck drivin' man," they sang. "He's the head of the Ku Klux Klan." Did the generally reasonable Joan Baez and her cohorts really view one of conservatism's most level-headed leaders as a white supremacist? If so, whatever can be said about their hearts, their heads were certainly in the wrong place.

Country music, powerfully sung and sensitively accompanied, played a major role in Baez's Woodstock program. On Gram Parsons' "Hickory Wind",
Live At Woodstock
her clean, precise guitar work was delightfully evident. The set also included Willie Nelson's early opus "One Day At A Time",
Live At Woodstock
which Baez said she learned from a tape of a band called Styx River Ferry. Delving still further back, she harmonized the old-time classic "Sweet Sunny South"
Live At Woodstock
effectively behind Shurtleff.

Introducing an original called "Sweet Sir Galahad",
Live At Woodstock
Baez quipped, "It's the only song that I've ever written that I sing outside the bathtub because I'm just smart enough to know that my writing is very mediocre." Despite the disclaimer, it was a highlight of the show, composed with compelling romantic imagery and sung with conviction.

Baez's set ended with an acapella treatment of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" Live At Woodstock

that soared to the height of her soprano range. When the crowd shouted for more, she wasn't hard to convince, leading her listeners in the well-known protest anthem "We Shall Overcome",
Live At Woodstock
dedicating it to "all the people in the world who are willing to take risks." The entire performance is available on Craft Records' 2019 digital album JOAN BAEZ LIVE AT WOODSTOCK.
Live At Woodstock
"The Last Thing On My Mind", "I Shall Be Released", "Joe Hill", and "Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man" appear on the new ten-disc Rhino compilation.
Woodstock - Back To The Garden - 50th Anniversary Experience (10CD)

Canned Heat
Musically speaking, I've never really belonged to my own generation, not even when I was a teenager. When I perform a good old Fats Domino number from 1957 with my File` Gumbo band, I tell my audience, only half-jokingly, that I actually live back there in the Fifties and I'm only here for the computer technology that's made the music more readily available than it's ever been. Consequently, the psychedelic acts of the Woodstock era never interested me, but when a blues revival band came to Seattle's Eagles Auditorium, my buddies and I were right there. Consequently, I awaited the stream of Canned Heat's complete festival performance with particular enthusiasm.

The band had been formed in 1966 by two hardcore Los Angeles record collectors, blues shouter Bob "The Bear" Hite and soft-voiced guitarist/harmonica player Alan "The blind Owl" Wilson. "They were two white suburban kids who loved black country blues, who collected so many obscure records and listened  to them for so many hours that the music just began spilling back out of them like overfilled bathtubs," drummer Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra explained in his definitive Canned Heat biography LIVING THE BLUES.
Living the Blues: Canned Heat's Story of Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival

"Hey, we're just gonna play a little blues," Hite told the huge audience at the Heat's 7:30 PM show on Saturday, August 16th. With that, they launched into a Chicago-style original called "I'm Her Man" with plenty of hard-driving blues-harp from Wilson. The song would later appear on their fourth album, HALLELUJAH.
"This is the most outrageous spectacle I've ever witnessed," Hite commented, and for him and his crew of hard-partying hippies, that was saying a lot.

If the band's die-hard fans noticed an unfamiliar lead guitarist in the ranks, the Bear didn't take long to explain. "It's now official that Henry Vestine has left Canned Heat to form a group called Sun," he announced. Vestine's Canned Heat nickname, The Sunflower, made Sun a logical name for a new band, but there appears to be no evidence that it ever came about. The story de la Parra tells is that a gig at San Francisco's Fillmore West found the technically brilliant Vestine so stoned on "reds" that he couldn't even stand up, and his playing was utterly incoherent. Finally, the band's more serious-minded bassist, Larry Taylor, had had enough. "This is terrible!" he yelled to his cohorts still onstage. "I am never playing with that guy again, never. He's out of his mind."

By the time the Heat played Woodstock, Vestine had been replaced by Harvey Mandel, who had worked with blues harmonica virtuoso Charlie Musselwhite, appearing on the 1966 album STAND BACK.
Stand Back
In three years, however, his style had absorbed some psychedelic influence, so although his playing was tasteful, it was actually busier and less tradition-oriented than Vestine's work had been on the Heat's albums when he was in control of his faculties.

"We haven't had time to get together and rehearse yet 'cause this all just came down," Hite confessed. As a result, the set included several impromptu blues creations. An Elmore James-style shuffle featured Alan Wilson's classic "bottleneck" slide guitar. "I believe that change will surely come," Hite proclaimed in an opening verse that reflected Sam Cooke's social optimism. Paradoxically, it also incorporated the crucial verse of the suicidal blues "Turpentine Moan", which appeared on the band's second album, BOOGIE WITH CANNED HEAT.
Boogie with Canned Heat
Another composite lyric, delivered by Wilson, opened with a nod to the rural blues standard "Rollin' and Tumblin'".

The set concluded predictably with a well-established Canned Heat ritual. "As soon as we get tuned up," said the Bear, "we'll do a little pop festival boogie." The tradition had started with the centerpiece track from the aforementioned album, and it was called "The Fried Hockey Boogie".
Boogie with Canned Heat
"The name was Larry's idea, although it was actually a slip of the tongue," de la Parra explained in his book.
Living the Blues: Canned Heat's Story of Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival
"Fried hockey is a Louisiana term that even Larry couldn't define, but as he jived around with the words, it sounded good so we decided to use it."

On the Heat's third album,
Living the Blues
a live concert version entitled "Refried Boogie" took up two full sides of the two-disc package. In both cases, it began with the open-tuned guitar riff that defined John Lee Hooker's 1949 hit "Boogie Chillun"
John Lee Hooker: The Ultimate Collection 1948-1990
and expanded into a jam-band extravaganza that allowed each player to stretch out on a spontaneous solo.

After Wilson opened with a bottleneck guitar soliloquy, the band jumped in, and the trademark Canned Heat tune began in earnest. After another composite blues lyric from Bob Hite on the general subject of Boogie, Wilson assumed his customary role as lead-off hitter. Predictably, Mandel took his solo in a slightly more psychedelic direction, but it always returned to rhythmic blues basics. It got an enthusiastic response from the Woodstock crowd. The excitement grew as bassist Larry Taylor took his turn, alternating between driving rhythm and absolute free-form, and the crowd clapped rhythmically when there was a beat to clap to.

According to the tried-and-true Canned Heat formula, drummer Fito de la Parra took the final solo, demonstrating impressive technique. The 29-minute jam-out ended, as always, with the Bear's exhortation, "Don't forget to boogie!" It appears on the new Rhino collection
Woodstock - Back To The Garden - 50th Anniversary Experience (10CD)
along with the band's two big hits, "Going Up The Country" and "On The Road Again".

Creedence Clearwater Revival
It was 1 AM on Sunday, August 17th, that Creedence Clearwater Revival finally took the stage, following Country Joe and the Fish and the Grateful Dead after torrential thunderstorms caused a three-hour delay and turned Yasgur's Farm into one giant mud puddle full of exhausted concertgoers. "It was like a scene from Dante's Inferno, the souls coming out of hell," John Fogerty recalled in his autobiography FORTUNATE SON.
Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music
"All these intertwined young people, half naked and muddy, and they looked dead."

Nevertheless, the band's opening number, the swamp-rock hit "Born On The Bayou",
Creedence Clearwater Revival Best Of- Live At Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits Live 2 CD Album Bundling
was met with very loud applause which Fogerty, from where he stood onstage, was unable to hear. He followed up with another hit swamp-rocker, "Green River".
Creedence Clearwater Revival Best Of- Live At Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits Live 2 CD Album Bundling
"Oh, we're havin' a multitude of fun!" he commented ironically. "I'm sure you don't want to hear about it."

Someone shouted a request for CCR's update of Dale Hawkins' 1957 hit "Suzie Q",
Susie Q - The Singles As & Bs 1956-1960
but Fogerty couldn't hear it. "No response," he recalled. "Dead audience. Finally some guy a quarter mile away in the distant night flicked his lighter, and I heard him say ever so faintly, "Don't worry about it, John! We're with ya!" So I played the rest of the set for that one guy."

Wilson Pickett's "99 and A Half Won't Do"
Creedence Clearwater Revival Best Of- Live At Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits Live 2 CD Album Bundling
was a fitting choice given Fogerty's energetic style. When it finally came up, "Bad Moon Rising"
Creedence Clearwater Revival Best Of- Live At Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits Live 2 CD Album Bundling
was applauded with particular gusto, and the hit parade continued with "Proud Mary". Ray Charles' "Night Time Is The Right Time",
Creedence Clearwater Revival Best Of- Live At Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits Live 2 CD Album Bundling
backed with strong call-and-response vocal harmony from the rest of the band, was a real highlight, augmented with a driving guitar solo from Fogerty bearing a definite Elmore James influence. When the set ended with "Keep On Chooglin'" the crowd's sustained applause brought back the band for the long-awaited "Suzie Q". The entire performance was issued this year by Craft Records under the title CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL: LIVE AT WOODSTOCK.
Creedence Clearwater Revival Best Of- Live At Woodstock - Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits Live 2 CD Album Bundling

(This article will be continued in the next issue of Heritage Music Review.)

Discover "The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll" At Phinney Books

"I didn't set out to revolutionize the world," Sam Phillips once told biographer Peter Guralnick. Nevertheless, that's just what he did as owner and operator of the Sun record label that launched Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Your copy of Guralnick's book, SAM phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll, is waiting for you at Phinney Books in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.

Phinney Books 7405 Greenwood Avenue North
Phone: 206/297-2665
Web: www.phinneybooks.com ----------------------------------------

John Reischman and The Jaybirds At Dusty Strings
On Friday, October 18th, at 7:30 PM, Dusty Strings Acoustic Music Shop in the Fremont district, long known for its array of fine stringed instruments, instructional workshops, and folk concerts, will present John Reischman and The Jaybirds with their "vintage and unique" approach to bluegrass.

Dusty Strings Acoustic Music Shop
3406 Fremont Avenue North
Phone: 206/634-1662.
Web: www.dustystrings.com
Find Classic Bluegrass Albums On Bop Street
Bop Street Records, the place to go for collectable vinyl in Seattle's Ballard district, recently acquired a large collection of vintage bluegrass albums, including 33 by the Stanley Brothers. Other artists include Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, the Louvin Brothers, and the Delmore Brothers. "They were owned by a guy who was 91, totally loved bluegrass," says proprietor Dave Vorhies.

Bop Street Records
2220 Northwest Market Street
Phone: (206) 297-2232.
Web: www.bopstreetrecords.com.

2011 Les Paul Special At Emerald City Guitars
Emerald City Guitars in Seattle's Pioneer Square, well known for its fascinating selection of new and vintage acoustic and electric guitars, amps, and accessories, has just acquired a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Special electric in excellent condition with original hard shell case.

Emerald City Guitars
83 South Washington Street
Phone: 206/382-0231.
Web: www.emeraldcityguitars.com.

The print edition of HERITAGE MUSIC REVIEW is available by mail for $15 per year and on sale at the following Seattle newsstands and music venues:

First and Pike News: First Avenue and Pike Street, Pike Place Market.

Dusty Strings Acoustic Music Shop: 3406 Fremont Avenue North.

Bulldog News 4208 University Way Northeast

Phinney Books: 7405 Greenwood Avenue North

Emerald City Guitars: 83 South Washington Street.

Queen Anne Book Company: 1811 Queen Anne Avenue North

Elliott Bay Book Company: 1521 10th Avenue.

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