Richie Havens

Richie HavensRichie Havens, like Country Joe, is alive and well and still performing his unique style of playing the guitar:

…I wanted to learn fast. I wanted my friends in Brooklyn to hear these songs, I thought they might hear what I heard and felt them, And many of them did. Through the years many young people have asked if I teach the guitar, but being on the road since 1967 and still going, I didn’t have the time. So this page is dedicated to all those young guys out there wishing to sing their songs in a couple of days.

Richie is of course famous for his performance at Woodstock with his song Freedom:

When I had sung every song I knew it came out right there on stage. I saw and experienced, like everyone else there, what strength in numbers did to change the status quo consiousness of a nation in need. It was the culmination of what I had hoped to see in my lifetime. A true gathering of human consciousness of every age, sharing like mind for World Peace.

Oh yeah. A classic.

His guitar playing is more about rhythm and technique than skill (though I wouldn’t discount that). From his mystery chord configuration description:

I use it as a resolving chord. don’t really know what it is. it’s a tough one. It is played By holding down the three top strings in a fret with your thumb and the bottom three strings two frets below your thumb…with whatever finger works… and then resolving the chord by playing the 5 top strings and just the bottom one… two frets below the chord… you may need a big hand to play it or a thin-neck guitar… good luck.