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Published: 2011/05/31

Crosby & Nash, Bruce Hornsby, Jorma, Steve Kimock and Dr. John Wish Wavy Gravy Happy Birthday Too

Photos by Vernon Webb

Wavy Gravy hosted the East Coast edition of his 75th birthday party at New York’s Beacon Theater this past Friday. Like the birthday benefit Wavy Gravy hosted in California on May 14, the show benefited the SEVA foundation. Yet with the exception of guitarist Steve Kimock, Friday’s show featured an entirely different lineup.

1960s folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie opened the show and was followed and New Orleans pianist Dr. John. The musicians each performed a handful of songs and also collaborated on a few numbers. Wavy Gravy’s old San Francisco pal Jorma Kaukonen performed next; the Hot Tuna guitarist led a band that included Kimock and Hot Tuna’s Barry Mitterhoff. Bruce Hornsby then offered a solo set that included a segue from “Where’s the Bat” into “Talk of the Town.” Kaukonen, Kimock and Mitterhoff then returned to the stage to join Hornsby for a take on “San Francisco Bay Blues.”

Wavy Gravy and SEVA executive director Dr. Larry Brilliant entertained the crowd between songs with stories and clips from the new Merry Pranksters film New MagicTrip and the Wavy Gravy documentary Saint Misbehaving.

While Wavy Gravy is often associated with the jamband and hippie scenes, he also has deep ties to the folk and beat poet cultures dating back to the ‘50s. He’s continued to recruit younger folkies to play his SEVA benefits and Friday’s show also featured short sets by Ani DiFranco and Steve Earle, the latter of whom invited Kaukonen out for an encore appearance. Jackson Browne also played a few hits, including “Before the Deluge” “Running on Empty.”

Crosby & Nash, who have spent a good portion of the year touring as a duo, headlined the night. The longtime collaborators opened with David Crosby’s Byrds anthem “Eight Miles High” and later ran through classics like “Wooden Ships” and “Long Time Gone.”

Please visit our sister site for a more extensive photo gallery of Friday’s benefit.

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