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Grace of the Sun

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Audio CD, July 20, 2004
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$8.29 $3.79

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stormy Forest Prod.
  • ASIN: B0002IQIVK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,590 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. By The Grace Of The Sun
2. Way Down Deep
3. Woodstock
4. We Both Know
5. Dusk
6. Red Flowers
7. All Along The Watchtower
8. When
9. Scarlet Flames
10. Pulling Up The Stone

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
His skills as a writer and composer are honed to a razor sharp edge.
Growing up in the 60's and 70's, Richie Havens was always a popular music choice.
Susan M. Simpson
Pulling Up the Stone is brilliant as is Scarlet Flames and Red Flowers!.
M. Manzino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By M. Manzino on July 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Richie Havens is one of my all time favorite singer/songwriters guitarists!. I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert a few months ago and actually got to meet him!. His version of Watchtower is enchanting and reminds me of when I saw him in concert. Grace of the Sun is no exception. I also have Wishing Well, and this newest release seems to pick up where Wishing Well left off. This album is filled with lots of sunny songs, a refreshing change from the darker music of today. Grace of the Sun immediately draws you in with it's groove and Richie's intense rhythmic strumming. Watchtower is another favorite of mine, and Richie's approach to this song is quieter then Hendrix or Dylan's. But sung with just as much passion and conviction. Woodstock is a classic! I've heard this song performed by many other artists, Joni and CSNY but Richie again makes this song his own. This song alone is worth the price of the album!. Richie's version evokes such feeling and the haunting way he sings "By the time we got to woodstock we were half a million strong everywhere there's a song and celebration" Way Down Deep is wonderful drawing you in with the lyrics and melody Dusk is one of the few instrumentals that's kept my interest all the way through. Pulling Up the Stone is brilliant as is Scarlet Flames and Red Flowers!. We both Know is wonderful accented by Richie and Walter Parks on guitar. When is also wonderful with some seventh chords in the beginning and Richie's soothing voice singing "Tell me when you leave the phone" This album is amazing! I only purchased it a few days ago, and it's already in constant rotation in my CD player. If you're looking for an album that is stunning, quiet and beautiful buy this one highly recommended!.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By R. N. Marley on October 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Richie Havens, employing his signature D guitar tuning, delivers a gem with Grace of the Sun. Taking a recent interest in American and world politics, he gears his songs toward this subject matter with his covers of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," and Fred Neil's "Red Flowers." Havens' percussive strumming helps to build energy, fuelled by his unmistakable voice, which resonates with decades of passion for freedom, truth and justice.

It is this credo he has spread the world over since performing as the opening act of the Woodstock folk music festival in 1969. In tribute to the 35th anniversary of the festival, Havens performs a spirited rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock." A wonderful folk song by Mitchell and a spirited rock anthem by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Havens delivers what can only be called an epitaph for those individuals who were daring enough to dream of peace, and beautiful enough to make that dream a reality, even if only for one weekend.

This, his second release in as many years, reflects Havens at his finest, as he appears to be approaching a new outburst of creativity in his already storied tenure as a folk legend. In a career closing in on 4 decades of performing and recording music, the multi-talented Havens has recently began exploring photography, painting, and even digital art, seeking new ways to express himself. While Havens may be proving that an old dog can learn new tricks on Grace of the Sun, he still comes through with the classic Havens sound on his covers as well as a few originals. A must own for any Havens fan and a good intro for any curious listener.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jim Newsom on October 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For a brief period at the turn of the 1970s, Richie Havens was a bona fide semi-popstar. He never sold many records and didn't have any hit singles, but his passionate performance captured in the film and soundtrack album of the Woodstock festival brought him a considerable cachet of coolness within the counterculture and on college campuses.

From the opening lines of Havens' new CD, Grace of the Sun, it's clear this troubadour hasn't lost one bit of his distinctively soulful voice. Indian percussionist Badal Roy's tabla blends with the singer's own trademark open-tuned strumming to take the listener back to the days when the music really mattered. After the upbeat second cut, "Way Down Deep," you're pulled into the music, rockin' in rhythm just like Richie himself as he wowed the Woodstock crowd with his improvised riff that became known as "Freedom."

Ironically, track three is Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock." While an appropriate number for this great interpreter to tackle, he approaches the song more like Joni's own somber version than like Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's rocker, and at six minutes long, it drags. Unfortunately, the disc drags in several other spots along the way, and a certain sameness threatens to take hold as the program progresses. It's not that the tempos are slow, for there is rhythmic variety, but the overall tone of the album feels down, almost mournful.

There are some nice sonic touches within the arrangements, and the instrumental "Dusk" has a delicious world music ambience with electric sitar and Turkish violin. However, the individual components of the acoustic guitar army employed on most cuts get in the way of one another at times.
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