Richie Havens

Wishing Well

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The earnest Richie Havens of Woodstock has turned into a mellower, wiser man and a very spiritual individual -- which infuses his music with a wonderful depth. "The Well," the album's opening track, is a prime example, a small path toward truth and love. But love in all its forms is the central idea of the album -- even down to one of the covers, a glowing, laid-back version of Gary Wright's '70s FM staple "Love Is Alive" that's enough to make you forget the original (now if he could only manage the same for "Dream Weaver"). But his individual stamp is unmistakable, whether on his own songs, which make up the majority of the disc, or his covers -- his take on Pink Floyd's "On the Turning Away," remaking it as an Indian meditation, is nothing less than inspired. But inspiration runs deep throughout Wishing Well. It's a walk through a blooming garden of the mind and heart.

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