Richie Havens

Something Else Again

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The sound here is more keyboard-heavy than its predecessor Mixed Bag, but Richie Havens continues in a similar vein with his distinctive smoky voice and thumb-fretted open-tuned guitar. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and "Don't Listen to Me" are propelled by Warren Bernhardt's percussive electric piano, while "Inside of Him" and "Sugarplums" are pretty ballads featuring the flute of Jeremy Steig. "The Klan" and "Run Shaker Life" are cut from the same mold as "Handsome Johnny," the Woodstock show-stopper from Mixed Bag. The melody of "New City" has attractive, expansive intervals, and "From the Prison" is an intense piece of balladry built around a riff on the guitar's bass strings. Finally, the title track is seven-and-a-half minutes of sitar, flute, tamboura, and tabla, very much of its time, when George Harrison's interest in Ravi Shankar led many musicians to experiment with Indian instruments, rhythms, and melodies. This cut could be the soundtrack to a flower-power dance in the park or an incense-laced gathering around a hookah beneath posters and black lights.

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