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December 02, 2016
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Woodstock, legends and all that jazz

The sounds of the sixties made the crowd “so very happy” as Blood, Sweat & Tears performed for the Woodstock anniversary show.

“Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime” are but a few of this group’s mega-hits and the preview performance at the gallery conjured up images of hippies, peace signs and hitchhiking to Yasgur’s farm back in the day. Touted as the first “integrated, multi-gendered” group, the Family Stone’s many hits still sounded fresh and relevant when they hit the pavillion stage the next night, joining fellow Hall of Fame inductees Blood, Sweat & Tears in a tribute to the Woodstock generation.

With a slew of chart-toppers in their repertoire, BS&T can still rock the house and I closed my eyes as they performed

originals and covers like “Spinning Wheel,” “You Make Me So Very Happy” and the prophetic “And When I Die,” which gave me pause. Best known for their unique blend of rock, jazz and pop, these guys put on a show that rivaled the “old days” with vitality, exuberance and showmanship and for a brief, shining moment, I was young again.

When I opened my eyes and saw Tommy James and the Shondells on stage, my reverie came crashing to a halt. Although The Shondells were a smash in the mid ‘60’s and already a hit before I started buying albums, songs like “Hanky Panky” and “Crimson and Clover,” although legendary, echoed the earlier sound of the ‘50s and ultimately gave way to the beat of a different drum.

To be honest, groups like The Shondells were somewhat shut out as a new groove began to take hold; and although there was not a gray hair in sight on stage, I had to admit that even my “inner child’ has wrinkles. The decades were no longer as blurred as I would have liked and suddenly, I felt like a dinosaur, recalling what it was like listening to a (fossil) record on the gramophone. As I reach for my walker and place the bifocals on my nose, I can’t help but think that age may be “just a number” but there are days when I have trouble counting that high.