News - 19/09/97

Richie Havens 'unplugged' tour for SA

By Jeremy Dowson

Ever since Richie Havens delivered a shamanic version of 'Freedom' at Woodstock in 1969, the distinctive US singer has carved a singular niche for himself as one of the most inspired blenders of rock, soul and folk styles on the international music scene.

The good news for South African fans is that Havens is to perform a five-date national tour in October thanks to the efforts of Durban-based promoters 3rd Ear Music, whose past successes have included tours by folk legend Shawn Phillips, Texan muso-comic Kinky Friedman and the inimitable Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Havens's SA concerts are to be presented in an 'unplugged' format. The tour will launch 3rd Ear Music's 'Theatre Series', a regular series of music shows to be performed in theatre venues around the country every two months.

The Rolling Stone Album Guide says of Havens's 1967 debut album 'Mixed Bag': "Not quite folk, the sound was meditative and artful, his remarkable voice lending significance even to the slighter pieces. His range was very narrow but his grainy voice and his air of great authority made him a riveting interpreter." Other releases over the years have included 'Richard P. Havens' (1983), regarded by some as his masterpiece, 'Richie Havens Sings the Beatles and Dylan' (1987) and 'Now' (1991).

The SA tour dates, for which tickets are available through Computicket, are as follows:

  • Cape Town: Nico Theatre (October 2 and 4);
  • Johannesburg: Civic Theatre (October 8 and 9);
  • Durban: International Convention Centre (October 10).

    For more details contact 3rd Ear Music on (031) 207-5314 or by

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