My Two Favorite Cover Artists

I have two favorite cover artists, Joe Cocker and Richie Havens, who both played at Woodstock. I was fortunate to see both perform live in Connecticut concert settings. Each person generated special magic channeling famous songs by well-known musicians they made their own. What I love is the dimensionality and how much more I came to appreciate the original selections.


Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker crafted Beatles songs among other tracks with his unique phrasing. If I had to name one song that signified Joe Cocker’s Beatles stamp it would be, “With  A Little Help From My Friends”, which I saw him do in the Woodstock film. His performance was both commanding and endearing.

Sir Paul McCartney stated he would be “forever grateful” to Cocker for turning With A Little Help From My Friends into a “soul anthem”.

Richie Havens

What I love about Richie Havens is the extra breadth and depth he injected in Bob Dylan’s songs. His interpretation brings Dylan’s songs to life in amazing ways. The gem of Haven’s Dylan’s cover selections is “Just Like A Woman”.


My favorite rendition is Richie Haven’s performing at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration Madison Square Garden event. The audience reaction on the refrain echoes how wonderful Richie knew and understood Dylan.

Richie Havens Sanctuary Candle

I know once a hippie, always a hippie 😉


It has been three years since Richie Havens graced this planet. I thought my readers would love to see a beautiful New York City Earth project his spirit supports.

Stormy Forest

Richie Sanctuary Candle

$ 15.00

Glass, unscented
Candle height: 8″
Burn time: approx 90 hours
Labels made with eco-friendly materials
Made in USA

Stormy Forest will donate $5.00 from the sale of each candle to the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating greener and more sustainable urban spaces in the five boroughs of New York (including Richie’s beloved hometown of Brooklyn).

(Candles ship to US addresses only)

“Bobfest”, Bob Dylan – 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration Deluxe Edition

Madison Square Garden proves once again why it is the “World’s Most Famous Arena”. Twenty-two years ago on October 16, 1992, New York City’s hottest concert ticket was the assemblage of musical friends at Madison Square Garden to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s first Columbia Records album.

Columbia Records and Legacy Recording, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release Bob Dylan – The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration – Deluxe Edition in three configurations (2CD2DVDBlu-ray Disc) on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

It is so heartwarming to see George Harrison performing in the spot with Dylan that gave us The Concert for Bangladesh. I also see that the late Richie Havens sings “Just Like A Woman”. There is a version of “It Ain’t Me Babe” by June Carter Cash/Johnny Cash. The Band appears and does “When I Paint My Masterpiece“. Plus so many other great artists played Dylan classics that night. This is a righteous, must have music video 🙂

For the song listing of artists performing and more, go here:


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Open Our Eyes, The Peace Richie Havens Has Given Us

There has always been and will forever be the great feeling of Peace that Richie Havens created from his soul to ours.

I sang this song with Richie Havens on the way to work this morning and it comforts the music of our heart during our time of mourning.

God Bless You Richie Havens, you are the True Soul of Our Peace!

Father, open our eyes, that we
may see, to follow thee. Oh lord
grant us, thy lovin' peace, and let
all dissension cease. Let our fait,
each day increase, 
and Master - Lord please-
Open our eyes, open our eyes-

He has given us, hills and mountains, he 
has given us, level places. 
He has given us food and clothing, 
given us shelter from the storm and the rain-
And all that he provided,
kept us shelter from the storm and the rain-

Grant us thy lovin' peace,
and let all dissension cease,
let our faith each day increase,
and Master - Lord please
Open our eyes, open our eyes

© EMI Music Publishing Author: Leon Lumkins 
(Leon Lumkins and the Gospel Clefs)

The Spirit of Richie Havens

May Peace & Tranquility Forever Bless Your Spirit Richie.

I have always treasured listening to Richie Havens interpret the songs of Bob Dylan. His heart and voice communicated the exact essence of Dylan’s words with unique reverence. I often wondered what Bob Dylan felt when he heard Richie Havens performing his works. I received my answer yesterday in the NY Times Richie Havens Obituary.

Mr. Havens played many songs written by Mr. Dylan, and he spent three days learning his epic “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” A man who heard him practicing it stopped him on the stairs as he headed for the dressing room of a nightclub, and told him it was the best he’d ever heard the song sung.

“That’s how I first met Bob Dylan,” Mr. Havens said.


Performed at the tribute to Bob Dylan concert…

Richie Havens, A Friend Forever

Today I learned that Richie Havens, one of the nicest souls in music passed away.

He goes to prepare a place for us. I feel his soul ascending as I try to find solace inside the wonderful music he played for us.

Thank you Richie Havens for your beautiful voice and the peace you warmly create in all of us.

I was fortunate to see Richie Havens perform a couple of times live. My favorite moment was to sit across from him at Players Tavern in Westport, Ct. on my birthday in 1978. He was very cordial to us that evening. I loved the vibe he shared as he played guitar and sang so passionately.


I love his album Stonehenge the best. My favorite track is “Minstrel from Gault”. He opened the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival on August 15, 1969 at 5 p.m. playing that song.

Then my son and I caught Richie Havens at The Jammy Awards in 2006 at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden where he opened the evening with The Mutaytor. Check out the energy of Freedom from that night.




Richie Havens we send you loving prayers as you join your spirit as one with Woodstock Nation.

The Things That I Used To Do – Guitar Slim

I am listening to Buddy Guy‘s biography, “Why I Left Home: My Story”. He talks about his early influences, highlighting Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones) with deep reverence and respect.  I was fascinated to learn that Buddy Guy loved his recording, “The Things I Used To Do” so much that he played it every day for two years straight. Surprisingly I had never heard this Guitar Slim recording before so I used the Google search engine to get more information about why “The Things I Used To Do” had such a powerful impact on Buddy Guy.

It was one of the biggest hits in the Specialty Record label’s history and stayed on the rhythm and blues charts for 42 weeks.[4] The song held at #1 for six weeks, and was the best-selling R&B record of the year (1953), selling more than a million copies.[2]

I gave “The Things I Used To Do” by Guitar Slim himself a couple of listens. I liked what I heard in this 12 bar blues standard but I wasn’t bowled over by it. Maybe I had the wrong expectations about this song, so I kept listening and interpreting.

I then decided to listen to it through Buddy Guy’s performances and it took a stronger hold with me.

I had no idea so many musicians had recorded a cover version of Guitar Slim’s bestseller. Such artists as Richie Havens, John Mayer, and Stevie Ray Vaughn just to name a few.

I especially liked that Jimmie Vaughn and Gary Clark Jr. joined together to do “The Things That I Used To Do” as a heartfelt tribute for Buddy Guy at The Kennedy Center Honors recently.

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