Folk-rocker Richie Havens was promoting his second A&M album, Mirage, when he recorded this show for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1976. Opening with a very rhythmic version of "Here Comes The Sun," his popular re-arranged version of the George Harrison/ Beatles classic, Havens is in total command throughout this entire memorable performance.
What has made Havens such an important artist is his willingness to take massive chances by re-arranging and recording songs that most people had already instilled in their memories with the original version. Havens has written and recorded numerous original songs, but he is best known for his interpretations of popular chart hits, and in particular, his covers of Bob Dylan and Beatles songs.
In addition to "Here Comes The Sun," Havens offers completely rearranged versions of the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Runnin'," 10cc's ballad, "I'm Not In Love," Frank Sinatra's "It Was A Very Good Year," James Taylor's "Fire & Rain," and brilliant takes on Jean Pierre Cousineau's "Sandy" and Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues," both of which first appeared on his acclaimed 1967 LP, Mixed Bag. He balances the covers with originals such as "Nobody Left To Crown." Havens closes the set with a very funky, updated version of the Steely Dan classic, "Do It Again."
Havens found himself in Greenwich Village in 1961 just at the dawn of the folk music explosion that launched the careers of Bob Dylan, Odetta, Joan Baez, and many others. Havens fell out of vogue during the 1980s and '90s, but has made a successful comeback with jam band audiences, who support his concerts regularly. Havens continues to record and tour, and recently released his 27th album in 2004.