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, 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.

Grace Slick – Poster Artist

One of my favorite live music introductions was Grace Slick awakening the Woodstock audience at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday August 17, 1969.

Today Grace Slick is an artist and a painter. This is her painting of Woodstock. I love her irreverent sensibilities.

Click <a href="">HERE</a> for more info

“at the time (1969). A concert with 1/2 a million people was unheard of. To be honest we were blissfully unprepared and unmercifully hammered by the weather. As the painting shows. The audience had to slog around in the mud. Young people adapt to that kind of a mess better than old farts.

Saying goodbye on the last of three days. The clump of musicians on the stage is appreciating the audience and visa versa. Everything except murder is happening in the crowd – as it would in any gathering of that size.

I have taken the liberty of inserting some individuals who could not have been there, but maybe there were in spirit – Abraham. Buddha. Mohamed. Jesus. Adam & Eve. Alice in Wonderland. The White Rabbit. My Daughter and Barack Obama.

For composition and space. I have simplified the stage gear and the sound towers. If it looks like a cartoon – it was.”

Grace Slick

Moonalice is a band that has given new life to the art of the rock music poster. They issue a rock music art poster for every one of their concerts. I got this poster of theirs at the Gathering of the Vibes Festival in 2009.

7/25/09 Moonalice poster by Alexandra Fischer

Moonalice has partnered with some of the best rock art poster artists. Take a stroll through their Moonalice Poster Web Site.

Grace Slick and Moonalice are partnering together. Legendary singer Grace Slick will team up with Moonalice for a ‘Visual Concert of Grace Slick’s Phantasmical, Whimsically Droll” on April 22 at George’s in San Rafael, CA. The exhibition will feature her newest painting, titled “Crossover,” along with a live performance from Moonalice.

Grace Slick recently designed this poster for Moonalice for their April Fools Day concert in Hartford, Ct. Classic Grace isn’t it 😉

4/1/12 Moonalice poster by Grace Slick

Charles Mingus Jazz Documentary: “Mingus On Mingus”

We all like to back a winner in this life. As a patron of the arts, I love to help fellow creative people achieve their goals with their music and film projects.

Kickstarter is a direct avenue for people to help people contribute to their dreams. The first Kickstarter project that I backed was Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie in April of 2010. I figured Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farmers fed half a million people at Woodstock and kept our dream alive. Why not repay that favor? I just rented it from iTunes and watched  via my PC/HDTV. It doesn’t get any more direct grass roots than that 😉 Gotta love when it all comes full circle!

I have backed four Kickstarter projects since which all got funded and moved forward!

I am writing today to keep that streak alive by sharing with you the Charles Mingus Jazz Documentary: “Mingus on Mingus”. The project deadline is one week from today December 18, 2011.

This project by Charles Mingus’s grandson, Kevin Ellington Mingus and Valeria Rios is a creative team formed to develop and promote the relationship of film and music through performance.

The feature-length documentary is the journey of a grandson searching for the truth behind the legend of the grandfather he never knew. Surrounded by controversy for his polemic actions and his unpredictability, the enigmatic figure of his grandfather became a jazz icon. The documentary opens doors to unknown facets of a composer who left one of the largest musical legacies of 20th Century American music. It is the path of his grandson, looking at the life of his grandfather through the eyes of those he touched and inspired, and through the locations where he lived and composed his art. The film rediscovers both, the man and the artist: Charles Mingus.


I urge my readers and fellow lovers of the jazz music idiom to embrace and support this project. What appeals to me the most is Kevin’s journey to discover and get closer to his grandfather Charles Mingus. I feel each of us will gain a stronger appreciation of the affinity we have for family, kinship and music by helping this project come to fruition.

Together we can make Kevin and Valeria’s vision a reality for jazz fans all over the planet.

For those who wish to know more about the Mingus on Mingus forthcoming documentary, please browse on over to the OrangeThenBlue production Web site.

Kickstarter contributions are accepted here:

Rock Music Photographers, A-Z, Henry Diltz

Henry Diltz’s photographic images convey the essentials of our admiration of famous musicians. This is due to the fact that Henry is a folk musician himself, a long-standing member of the Modern Folk Quartet. He’s a resident of the magical, creative community known as Laurel Canyon in California. His photography career began with a snapshot of The Monkees and has progressed to being the co-founder of The Morrison Hotel Gallery, which is our favorite music collector store 🙂

He was the official photographer for the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock. He has over 200 album and CD covers to his credit. They include of course ;), Morrison Hotel by the Doors, James Taylor‘s Sweet Baby James and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Copyright Henry Diltz 1969

Below is the YouTube video about the Morrison Hotel Gallery exhibition which features Henry on main vocal and clarinet performing the Modern Folk Quartet’s rendition of “Look for the Silver Lining”.

Copyright Henry Diltz 1969

We had the distinct privilege of meeting Henry Diltz at the Morrison Hotel Gallery 40th Anniversary party celebration.

Copyright Henry Diltz 1969

Canned Heat, Don’t Forget To Boogie

Canned Heat played a definitive role in establishing the blues with sixties generation music fans. They cemented their role as blues foundation artists delineating the sounds known as blues-rock and boogie.  Members of Canned Heat were serious blues music collectors who remained true to the principles of the blues through their music.

The video sequence of Canned Heat from Monterey Pop in 1967 shows the band getting down in earnest pleasing the afternoon crowd with the Muddy Waters classic, “Rollin’ and Tumblin'”. Take special note of Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass, dual guitarists Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Henry Vestine, with Bob “The Bear” Hite onvocals.

Many people are familiar with Canned Heat’s headlining role at Woodstock and how their song “Going Up The Country” is considered the unofficial theme song  for Woodstock, the movie.

This is my favorite video of Canned Heat at Woodstock. Bob “The Bear” Hite epitomized the festival of peace and music by allowing this fan to hang on stage with him, even after he took a cigarette from his t-shirt pocket 😉

I was lucky to see Canned Heat on August 14th, 2009 during the Heroes of Woodstock Tour at Foxwoods. You hope in your heart that they will be able to rekindle the classic sound you had grown up with live. When Country Joe McDonald asked us, “Are you ready to boogie with Canned Heat?”, we was as was Canned Heat that night. It was just like yesterday but even better.


Gregg Rolie, Santana, Woodstock at 40

I found this picture of Santana’s original keyboard artist, Gregg Rolie, on Gregg’s Web site. As a devout Santana fan and  a Woodstock nation member I just had to share it with you on my music blog.

The picture of Gregg Rolie  by Barry Z. Levine, who was one of the official Woodstock photographers. Barry Levine and Linanne G. Sackett collaborated together on a fantastic book, The Woodstock Story Book . You can find the original photograph on page 88 of their book, which they lovingly signed for us at The Gathering of the Vibes in 2009 😉

©2009,  Linanne G. Sackett and Barry Z Levine, All Rights Reserved

My friends on the Moonflower Cafe made me aware that the Gregg Rolie Band has a new CD, Rain Dance, a live CD, which is  available on CD Baby. Below is the CD cover, if you click on the cover image it takes you to the CD Baby order page for the CD and the MP3 download files. It’s a very accurate representation of The Gregg Rolie Band Live whom I have seen and can testify to 🙂Gregg Rolie Rain Dance

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