Having worked with Richie Havens many times in the past, I remembered the routine fairly well. He prefers to mike his guitar with a plain old Shure SM-57, and uses a Shure SM-58 on his voice. He brought a lead guitarist with him, who was miked with a Beyerdynamic MC-704 condenser mike, and his conga player brought his own congas. We also had a second set of congas set up behind Richie, which he brought a friend up from the audience to play. Richie also played congas on one song. Congas were miked with Beyerdynamic M-88 microphones.
Richie only wanted to hear his guitar and voice in his monitors, and the other band members needed to hear themselves as well as Richie. Sound check was very short with no problems at all, and everybody seemed happy with the way everything sounded.
Attending a Richie Havens show is quite an experience. It is a great combination of monologue, story telling, and unique music. Richie's very recognizable voice is a pleasure to listen to. His soft speaking voice made the whole evening feel like you were sitting in your living room listening to and talking with Richie Havens. His musical and personal accomplishments make for great stories and great entertainment. His powerful guitar playing and timely songs kept everyone's attention focused on center stage.
He did an eclectic mix of his old and his new songs, and wasn't afraid to give the audience what they wanted. When he ended his show, the audience wouldn't let him go without an encore. For that encore, he did an acapella Hebrew song (I think it was Shalom Aleichem), and a couple of others that kept the audience standing and applauding.
His sparkling personality, his calm demeanor, his great sense of humor, his consistently great music, and all of his stories made for quite an unforgettable evening for all. Find every CD of his and buy it, and go out of your way to see him in concert. I guarantee you won't forget it!
Visit Richie's web site by clicking here.
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