Richie's best album since the 70's. Beautiful musical arrangements, with an exotic, world music groove, and a really incredible group of tunes, most of which he wrote. And check out his cover of the Joni Mitchell classic, "Woodstock". Richie's always been known for doing unique takes on other songwriters' works, but this is the most amazing one yet, expecially when you consider the man was there. Slowed down, foreboding, truly mesmerising, spine-tingling stuff. Other highlights include "By The Grace Of The Sun", "Way Down Deep" (a classic hippie jam with great lyrics), "Red Flowers", an hypnotic instrumental groove called "Dusk"...I could go on and on...BUY IT!
Of the three 'comeback' Havens released post 2000 this is the greatest. Of course, like Joe Cocker he was always known for the quality of his cover versions. Here he gives a stellar rendition of 'Woodstock' (he had his ashes scattered by plane over the site) and an urgent, driving version of 'All along the Watchtower'. The title track is a Havens original and is simply a beautiful and memorable song, as is the instrumental 'Dusk'. There are eleven musicians in the the band (including tabla by Badal Roy who played with Miles Davis), but the sound is never crowded and the analogue recording is warm and enhances the whole listening experience. I have played this album so many times since getting it a year or so ago. Hearing it always makes me regret not seeing him at the Jazz Cafe in London for his last U.K visit. As he is no longer on the planet, this great late offering must suffice.
Rarely musicans get to the point of melting with the music. Richie Havens was that kind of musican, who was infiniatelly immersed in music he played. And he brought such happiness and joy into it. Everytime I listen to this album it puts a smile on my face. Just a stellar groove, recorded with pristine sound.
If you are thinking about having only one Richie Havens album get this one and get happy with your life experience. Life is good!