As the musicians performed at Richard Barone “Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s” concert at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, March 29, vintage black and white photos of ’60s songwriters — ranging from Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger to Buddy Holly, Dion and Lou Reed — were shown on a screen, on one side of the stage.
Only one pictured a musician who also was part of the show: One with Eric Andersen and the late Phil Ochs, sitting together on a stoop, playing acoustic guitars.
Barone released his Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s album in 2016 and, since then, has presented many shows under the “Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s” banner, with a constantly changing roster of talent. In Montclair, Andersen (whose “Close the Door Lightly When You Go” was sung by Barone and Allison Moorer on the album) joined the cast for the first time, and was given the honor of performing last.
Andersen, who is 76 and is about to embark on a North American tour (which will include a show at the Lizzie Rose Music Room in Tuckerton, April 10), reached backed to the ’60s for “Close the Door Lightly When You Go” (performed as the grand finale) and the forlorn, intense “Dusty Box Car Wall.” But he also performed “Blue River” (a 1972 gem of the Singer-Songwriter Era) and moved all the way up to 1998 for “Rain Falls Down in Amsterdam,” a chilling (and still very timely) meditation on hate, intolerance and war.
His voice may not be quite as powerful as it once was, but it always has had a bit of fragility to it, so it still seemed to fit the material perfectly
Before these four songs, Andersen also backed guitarist Steve Addabbo (a member of his band who also performed with many of the other singers, throughout the evening) when Addabbo sang a moving version of Andersen’s bittersweet ballad, “Faithful.”
Despite the occasional darkness of the material in the three-hour show, the performers emanated good vibes and a warm camaraderie with each other. Addabbo and Barone, also on guitar, formed a kind of a house band with Pete Kennedy (who also switched to bass at times), and Barone left some bongos on the stage for anyone who wanted to join in on that instrument.
Tammy Faye Starlite added some humor to the evening by impersonating Velvet Underground chanteuse Nico, displaying a unique combination of cutting sarcasm and aloof disdain in her exchanges with Barone between songs. When Barone suggested they perform Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Keep It With Mine” next, she rolled her eyes and sneered, while imitating Nico’s thick German accent, “Like he hasn’t been represented enough …”
Starlite, as Nico, also sang Reed’s foreboding Velvet Underground song “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and added backing vocals to Barone’s sparkling version of another Reed-written VU song, “Sunday Morning.”
Other show highlights included Barone’s ingenious mashup of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and Ochs’ “Changes”; The Kennedys’ rhythmically driving and emotionally compelling take on Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”; and Glenn Mercer’s version of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” which was so fast and taut it took on a bit of punk-rock flavor.
Jeffrey Gaines belted out a powerful version of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” before returning, later in the evening, for a rowdy take on Dylan’s “From a Buick 6” and then The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” (done in Richie Havens’ distinctive style).
Here is the setlist, with the lead singer and songwriter for each song. Below it are videos for six songs, shot by Cindy Stagoff:
Richard Barone: “When I’m Gone” (Phil Ochs)
Richard Barone: “Learning the Game” (Buddy Holly)
Richard Barone: “The Road I’m On (Gloria)” (Dion)
Jeffrey Gaines: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” (Pete Seeger)
The Kennedys: “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” (Bob Dylan)
Richard Barone: “The Other Side of This Life” (Fred Neil)
Glenn Mercer: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (Bob Dylan)
Glenn Mercer: “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” (Book of Ecclesiastes/Pete Seeger)
Richard Barone: “Blowin’ in the Wind” (Bob Dylan)/”Changes” (Phil Ochs) mashup
Richard Barone and Mary Lee Kortes: “Pack Up Your Sorrows” (Richard Fariña and Pauline Marden)
Tammy Faye Starlite (as Nico): “All Tomorrow’s Parties” (Lou Reed)
Tammy Faye Starlite (as Nico): “I’ll Keep It With Mine” (Bob Dylan)
Richard Barone: “Sunday Morning” (Lou Reed)
The Kennedys: “Chimes of Freedom” (Bob Dylan)
Jeffrey Gaines: “From a Buick 6” (Bob Dylan)
Jeffrey Gaines: “Here Comes the Sun” (George Harrison)
Steve Addabbo: “Faithful” (Eric Andersen)
Eric Andersen: “Dusty Box Car Wall” (Eric Andersen)
Eric Andersen: “Rain Falls Down in Amsterdam” (Eric Andersen)
Eric Andersen: “Blue River” (Eric Andersen)
Eric Andersen and Ensemble: “Close the Door Lightly When You Go” (Eric Andersen)
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I would have paid the cover just to hear Glenn sing “Don’t Think Twice.”
I’ve see this show 5 or 6 times it a Great Gig I think the highlight is Richard combining Phil Ochs CHANGES and Bob Dylan’s BLOWIN IN THE WIND unreal