Thursday, April 25, 2013

RIP Richie Havens, Late Night Pick: The National

Folk singer Richie Havens, probably best known for being the opener at Woodstock and the video of his great performance in the Woodstock movie, passed away on Monday at age 72. You can read his obit HERE. I bartended at a small restaurant/bar called "The Hearth" outside of Doylestown PA in the early 90's. Our owner was a big music fan and even though the place was small, he would book some really good acts to play this small intimate bar. Richie played there and I didn't make much on tips that night because barely anyone came to the bar during his performance as everyone was enraptured. I wasn't complaining as you don't get to see someone with that much charisma and talent in such a small venue. After the show, he hung out "backstage" i.e. the kitchen for a bit and talked with some of us on the staff. I'll echo Bruce's comments in that he was indeed kind, gracious and outgoing. I recall that the owner's girlfriend had made Richie some chocolate-covered strawberries and he seemed genuinely pleased to get them, beaming that fantastic smile of his. We've truly lost a great talent and a beautiful soul. Godspeed Richie!

Tonight, check out the band The National on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC at 12:35 AM. The National's new album "Trouble Will Find Me" will be out on May 21.  They will also be playing here in Richmond at the club, The National, on June 8.