Listen to the newest These Just In Mix!

Hello again from The Public Records. It’s another Friday, that means it is another album of the week; and since it is also a new month, we’re switching up genres. All May, we featured all manner of funky European tunes from our fresh collection – Euronation.

For June, we’ve decided to keep it a little more local. Summer is nearly upon us with windows down and stereos blasting. Therefore, the powers that be felt that good old fashioned classic rock block would be the perfect opener of the season. Luckily for everybody, we had been sitting on a stack of just such wax.

Now, when all was said and done, while we were taking a look through our pile for June, there he was staring right back up at us; the perfect artist to open our rock block with. None other than the man who opened the Woodstock festival, Mr. Richie Havens.
Havens, who passed in 2013, was born in Brooklyn, NY in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. While growing up, he was very into singing and would often organize neighborhood doo-wop performances with his friends and by age 16 he was an active vocalist in the McCrea Gospel Singers.

However, this local action was not enough to scratch his creative itch and decided to make a move to Greenwich Village at the age of 20. During his teen years, he had traveled there to listen the beatniks and read his own poetry and paint portraits. It was during these early years there, that he also fell in love with folk music.

He learned guitar and soon his solo performances were gaining much popularity. His blend of soul, gospel, and blues with folk added a refreshing touch that other artists had not been able to tap into. He made two records with the label Douglas Records, he was picked up by Albert Grossman, Bob Dylan’s manager, and was able to land a deal with the much more prestigious and wider reaching Verve label.

In 1966, he released his first album with Verve and by ’69, five more albums had been cut – with two of them charting. It was then he got his big break and was asked to open the Woodstock festival. So many people came to Woodstock, that the resulting traffic jam prevented other acts from getting there on time. To solve this problem, management asked Richie to keep playing. He did. This ended up being a three hour set culminating in that go for broke career making improvisation on the spiritual Motherless Child which we know as Freedom. When the Woodstock film was released, Havens became an international star. It is at this stage of his career that we present him.

Havens’ Mirage (A&M Records, 1977) is his 12th studio and while not charting, it is still a damn good summer time jam. Get ready to welcome in the dog days as the heat and the humidity descend. The Summer Rock Block ‘019 mix is up, the discs have been cataloged, and they now await you on the These Just In shelf. Come on down to An Sibin Friday night and beat the heat in our climate controlled cavern, now you just need an ice cold High King Lager and your summer is off to start the summer off just right.