Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Legendary Singer/Songwriter returns in 2008 to Verve Forecast the label home of his seminal Mixed Bag originally released in 1967! One of the most distinctive voices in all of popular music, Havens delivers his first new studio recording in over 4 years - with his unique rhythmic approach to the acoustic guitar, Richie takes material by Pete Townshend (the anthemic and timely 'Won't Get Fooled Again'), Peter, Paul & Mary and Jackson Browne and makes them his own. His uncanny gifts as a song stylist have long overshadowed his considerable talents as a songwriter. Seven of the 13 tunes here are written or co-written by him including the poignant opening track 'The Key'. A captivating live performer who tours constantly, Havens profile will be extremely high in 2009 leading up to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in August `09.
Dirty Linen (p.51) - "Havens' own songs retain the jazzy edge of his early material with memorable melodies and passionate poetry....A passionate work that shows Richie Havens to be a performer and composer at the height of his powers..."
Personnel: Richie Havens (vocals, acoustic guitar); Walter Parks (guitar); Stephanie Winters (cello); Keith Christopher (bass guitar); Shawn Pelton (drums).
Recording information: Sear Sound, NY (05/24/2007-12/10/2007); The Carriage House, Stamford, CT (05/24/2007-12/10/2007).
Over 40 years after the release of his debut album, 1967's MIXED BAG, folk-rock master Richie Havens returns to his original label, Verve Records, for 2008's NOBODY LEFT TO CROWN. Although Havens's public image will forever be frozen as the impassioned singer and percussive guitarist whose improvised set at Woodstock made him a national star, he has not stopped performing or recording during the intervening decades. Along with several strong original songs, including the pointedly political "Hurricane Waters" and the title track, Havens transforms three well-known songs into his unique style: Jackson Browne's "Lives in the Balance," Peter, Paul and Mary's "The Great Mandala," and most surprisingly yet most effectively, the Who's powerhouse protest anthem "Won't Get Fooled Again."