The Spirit of Woodstock is a live recording made in August 2004 in conjunction with a photography exhibit at the New York State Museum in Albany to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Woodstock festival. Rather than perform the music of artists who actually appeared at Woodstock, however, the bluesy bar band Professor Louie and the Crowmatix instead focused on an earlier meeting of musical minds, the 1967 recording sessions of Bob Dylan and the Band that eventually resulted in The Basement Tapes and Music from Big Pink. Accompanied and at times drowned out by Tom "Bones" Malone and the Rock of Ages Horns, the group plow good-naturedly through a selection of songs mostly by Dylan or the Band. The most head-scratching performance is an absolutely terrible, Vegas-like version of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City," which given Springsteen's Jersey roots and status as an iconic artist of the '70s and '80s, not the '60s, doesn't even make thematic sense. Professor Louie and the Crowmatix are no more nor less talented than the average semi-pro weekend cover band, and while they don't embarrass themselves here, there's no real reason to listen to this CD instead of the original songs.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason