I don’t know about you, but “Un-Block The Music” has always felt left-out of the “cool” group being too young to really remember much of the 1960s. How can I be a music writer and not have experienced the Woodstock Festival in 1969 in upstate New York? I watched the documentary and I’ve listened to the music, but I want more!!! Now, there’s a chance to get in a time machine and go back to 1969 at Schoolhouse Theatre this Friday night, August 23, when Guitarist Peter Calo and his Friends take everyone Back To The Garden. https://www.schoolhousetheater.org/
Peter is the musical director for the show which stars he and Lauren Fox with special guests Laurel Massé and my personal favorite, my daughter, 20-year-old Holly Block! Holly is proof that this music still has relevance today.
“Un-Block The Music” profiled Peter earlier this year https://unblockthemusic.blog/2019/03/13/a-guitarist-for-all-seasons-all-music-discover-peter-calo/. Not only has Peter worked with a slew of musicians including blues and rock guitarist Robben Ford and Rock Goddess Carly Simon, he has played on musical theater projects as well. He also has his own album called “Time Machine.” https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/petercalo3
Peter told “Un-Block the Music” that Friday night’s show will not only be a concert, it will also be a trip back in time. The songs will be presented through the perspectives of the original 1969 artists. “It will almost feel like the singers and songwriters are telling the stories themselves,” he says. Like me, Peter was young in 1969, and his first exposure to it came through the movie. The song, “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die” by Joe McDonald really hit home, Peter says. “He put the whole Vietnam anti-war sentiment into one song and he managed to do it in an almost humorous way.”
Even younger than Peter and I is, Lauren Fox, who seems to embody the era within her. If you read reviews of her shows, reviewers always says she seems to know more about the period than most people who lived through it. It doesn’t hurt, that not only is Lauren a talented singer, she has theatrical experience. In fact, she will be performing, The Evolution of Joni Mitchell at 54 Below in New York City, September 13 9 https://54below.com/events/lauren-fox-the-evolution-of-joni-mitchell/). Lauren’s past three solo shows, Love, Lust, Fear & Freedom: The Songs of Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen, Canyon Folkies: Over the Hills & Under the Covers, and Groupies: The Muses Behind the Legends of Rock & Roll have received critical acclaim from, among others, The New York Times.
At Friday’s show, other 1969 artists will be covered including Richie Havens, Melanie, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Band, Sly and The Family Stone, The Who, Joe Cocker as well as Crosby Stills and Nash. Laurel Massé, whose name you may remember as one of the original members of The Manhattan Transfer, will be performing songs of Jefferson Airplane. Holly is going to channel her inner Janis Joplin and Peter will even perform the Jimi Hendrix version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.”
So, come to The Schoolhouse Theater in your best tie-dye…and look for “Un-Block The Music” to say hi. I want to meet my readers and find new ones. Let me know how you enjoy the show.
Just a note: if you love Peter on Friday night, head up to Redding, Connecticut’s Town Square on Sunday, to hear his Joni Mitchell/Paul Simon Tribute. https://townofreddingct.org/parks-and-recreation/upcoming-events/concert-on-the-green-series/. You can certainly learn a lot about American tovkhistory just listening to the music. (I bet even Kendrick Lamar would agree with that!)