Richie Havens
Indian Rope Man/Just Above...

Released 1969 on Verve Forecast
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 05/12/2001ce

Sadly Richie Havens is only remembered these days for being the first performer to take the stage at 1969's Woodstock Music & Mud Festival. This is indeed a shame because he cut many superb discs in the late 60's (Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones was a major fan.)
I have a promo of this 45 so I'm not certain which track is the A side, there is a check mark on the label next to "Just Above My Hobby Horse's Head" so I'll assume it was the plug side (it's actually a nice folk-rock tune with colorful sitar touches.) But it's "Indian Rope Man" that I want to talk about here. Pulled from his splendid "1983" album "Indian Rope Man" is a lost psychedelic classic. It begins with mellotron and a killer fuzz bass riff that leads the way for a magical trip to points unknown. Richie's rough and ready vocals are just plain "out of sight." This is a fabulous record that's really worth seeking out.
Note-"Indian Rope Man" was also done by The Brian Auger Trinity With Julie Driscoll on the Marmalade label (UK), their version is also top notch!

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