The Villager Voice ~ from Alan

I am the last one to wish the summer away - I love the leisurely languorous feeling of summertime - and there are still five weeks left to the season.  (Although I will add that the last day of summer will see me on my way to Provence, but that’s a column for another day...). But we are nearing the end of our Summer Sermon Series, “1969:  That Was The Year That Was;” next week, August 25, will be the final installment.

We’ve gone deep with a number of hard topics the past several weeks:  systemic racism,  violence against gays and lesbians, gender bias (and gender identity bias), war...  But this weekend we will lighten up a bit and celebrate the power of peace, love and music idealized in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival.  Sunday’s service will feature no fewer than nine different songs that were performed that weekend, music performed by Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, Blood Sweat & Tears, Richie Havens, Sweetwater, Janis Joplin and The Incredible String Band.

It’s not often that I get to prepare my Sunday sermon by listening to wall-to-wall late 60s rock.  But all this week Sirius XM Radio’s Deep Tracks station has been playing the music of Woodstock, not just the same stuff we’ve been hearing for the past fifty years, but an incredible amount of recently discovered and re-engineered recordings of performances that have otherwise been long forgotten (have you ever heard of Bert Sommer?  Quill?  The Keef Hartley Band?  Did you know Ravi Shankar performed at Woodstock?  For me the answers are No, No, No and No).  But I will intrepidly follow my sermonic research in whatever direction it takes me.

This week it takes me back to the garden.




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