Thursday, July 17, 2008

GMVW # 28: "Hootenanny!"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 28:  Hootenanny!
Song: Just Like A Woman by Bob Dylan
(Songwriter: Bob Dylan)
Covered Here By: Richie Havens
July 17, 2008

Consummate professional musicians all have the ability to develop momentum in their concerts.  It’s something you see a lot of at outdoor festivals.  Folks will be milling about at the beginning of a set, but slowly the musician grabs their attention, and as the show progresses the crowd settles down and locks in.  This is also what distinguishes a great live album.  A great example is the Who Live at Leeds.  I did not truly enjoy this album until they added the entire set list to the dozen or so songs that were selected out of the Leeds show in the original release.  Once the entire concert played out in the re-release the music flowed and built up in intensity.   Now it’s one of my favorite albums to play when I have the luxury of listening to something loud!

As for the festivals, the 2 musicians I can think of that are great at creating momentum in their sets are Arlo Guthrie and Richie Havens.  They both can be deceiving.  At first your thinking, “hmmm, maybe I’ll go to the beer booth” as they fidget about with tuning guitars, chumming with the crowd and telling stories.  The first few songs are usually nothing special.  However, the set soon gathers moss and before you know it your knee deep in Hootenanny!

When Richie Havens played at the ‘Bob Fest’ (in honor of Bob Dylan’s 35 years with Atlantic Records… also discussed in Gem # 9) he had to pack this momentum into one song and he does it brilliantly in this weeks Gem video, his cover of Dylan’s ‘Just Like A Woman’.  It helps that the song itself is intense.  A great many critics believe Dylan to be an overly private individual, but I believe that one of the secrets to his success is his openness and ability to throw caution and privacy to the wind in his lyrics, which comes out in this song.

Richie Havens was the opening act at Woodstock in 1969.  I was just looking at the set list (url attachment below Gem), started reading thru other set lists (from the other musicians who played), and could not believe how many great songs were played there…the video and album of Woodstock only tell a very small part of the story.  On the subject of Woodstock, I am also including a link showing a hilarious interpretation of Joe Cocker’s version of the Beatles ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’, which Cuz Jack sent to me.

- Pete

Gem Music Video: Just Like a Woman (This fantastic footage has been temporarily lost *Dec, 2009).


About the Video: Bob Dylan’s 30th Anniversary Concert

Video Rating: 1

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