The Donovan Concert: Live in L.A.

2007

The Donovan Concert: Live in L.A.

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1960s folk/rocker Donovan (guitar/harmonica/vocals) celebrates his considerable musical legacy before an SRO crowd in Los Angeles, CA on January 21, 2007 for The Donovan Concert: Live in L.A.. The show features over a dozen of his most memorable selections with accompaniment by Tom Mansi (bass) -- leader of the U.K.-based Icebreakers -- and Stewart Lawrence (percussion). Donovan's daughter Astrella Celeste (vocals) proves that talent can be hereditary. Her own stunning ballad "Dream" is one of several unsuspecting highlights tucked away in the hour-long program. Besides the lucky attendees, the primary benefactor of this specific concert is the Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace -- an organization created by noted cinematic director and musician David Lynch -- which is an offshoot of both parties' interest and commitment to Transcendental Meditation. In fact, Lynch introduces Donovan via a brief speech and two-and-a-half minute prepared audio/visual bio primer. Donovan commences his powerful acoustic set, unleashing the rollicking and practically obligatory singalong "There Is a Mountain." He then prefaces each number with a short spoken preamble, providing insight into the set and setting behind the song's respective creation. Unlike some of his folk-rock contemporaries, Donovan's music is remarkably fresh as is his magnetic, luminous personality and charm. There is a unity of spirit that remains imbued to the youth and innocence of "Catch the Wind," or the optimism in "Try for the Sun" and "Happiness Runs." The latter even turns into an amusing and extended bout of interactive audience participation. He duly credits Buffy Saint-Marie as the source for his earliest hit "Universal Soldier" -- a tune that, if anything, has gained significance in the intervening decades. Speaking of which, time has certainly treated the artist kindly. He breathes fresh life into the well-worn classic pop titles "Jennifer Juniper," "Sunshine Superman," and particularly inspired readings of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "Season of the Witch." As engaging as these are, Donovan aficionados should be truly heartened by the lesser-known and deeper catalog material. "Young Girl Blues" has lost none of its warmth and affection. Among the "bonus songs" are "Sand and Foam (Mexico)," "There Is an Ocean" -- at the request of his daughter Astrella Celeste -- and a new composition titled "The Illusion." At several points during the set, Donovan refers to his adventures in the Ashram of the Maharishi while studying Transcendental Meditation circa February of 1968. During the closer "Mellow Yellow" he invites a fellow traveler from that scene, Beach Boy Mike Love, to sing along. Not only is Love's voice (thankfully) conspicuously absent from the otherwise excellent audio mix, the vocalist appears hopelessly out of place and suitably dwarfed by the on-stage talent. Speaking of audio, the playback options include both a stereo and a lifelike Dolby 5.1 mix.

Estreia Mundial:
2007
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