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Motherless Child - (Woodstock 2012)


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Description
This song was performed at Woodstock, albeit with a very different arrangement, by Richie Havens. This version is in the folk tradition of people like Tim Hardin, Melanie and Joan Baez (who all performed on Day 1). In one way, it suits the modern era when the sense of freedom and hope that was around in the sixties has been replaced by cynicism and a lack of trust that our leaders will make things better for our societies.

Imagine that this performance took place towards the end of the day. During the day, the audience has been entertained by magnificent music and were emotionally charged by the event itself. Late at night, there is a quietness that overcomes them and a more reflective mood prevails.

The musicians performing here are:
Philip Gardner: vocal and acoustic guitar
Daniel Jack: 2nd acoustic guitar
Walker John: electric guitar
“Sunshine” Gardner: Organ
“Moonface” Gardner: Synthesizer
“Starshine” Gardner: Bass

Unfortunately our drummer, “Moonshine” Gardner had become incapacitated during the day and at the time of the performance was asleep in an equipment box at the back of the stage.

It is permissible to hold a candle in the air and wave it from side to side as you listen to this song.

*The artwork came from a search for "hippie".
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Song Stats
Hits: 2808
Comments: 63
Fans: 29
Plays: 127
Downloads: 50
Votes: 3
Uploaded: Aug 10, 2012 - 01:07:30 AM
Last Updated: Aug 14, 2012 - 12:36:47 AM Last Played: Aug 11, 2017 - 04:37:07 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
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Creative Commons

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Hardware:
Maton FG 100 acoustic guitar
Gibson Howard Roberts electric guitar
Fender Squier 5 string bass
M-Audio MIDI Keyboard
MacBook Pro
Blue Yeti mike
Line 6 UX2
Software:
Garageband
Ozone 5
Comments
alackbass said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Motherless Child - Woodstock 2012
Great performance Philip! I love your fingerpicking and the guitar tone is really great. The tempo and meter change is interesting and very effective. Excellent mix.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks for all that, Andrew. I was happy with the guitar sound so I'm glad that comes across. The arrangement came from somewhere in my past - maybe PP&M? It is a song full of emotion.

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Bob Rodgers said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Oh Yes!
A great performance Philip, excellent recording and a lovely warmth to your vocals. Love your guitar picking and the increase in tempo adds a great effect to a wonderful song, very much enjoyed.
Thanks for the download.

Bob

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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Thanks
That's good, Bob! Glad you enjoyed it and I hope the download continues to give pleasure!
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Fire_Angel said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Very emotional delivery.
Great singing and all nicely put together too. The gentleness of the guitar playing seems perfect for this piece.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks for the generous comment - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
FEEL said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Love the acoustics
The vocals sit well with the music. Sounded great just like it is, maybe moonshine will awake for the next set.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Thanks
I'm not confident Moonshine will rise to the occasion, or that he'll keep a steady beat if he does. He has a few issues that need to be dealt with... But thanks for listening to the song and for leaving a comment - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Warren Smith said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Three-pete
It's structurally difficult to repeat the same verse line three times in a row and keep it interesting over the course of a song. I think you pull it off here magnificently by your potent acoustic guitar work and vocal phrasing. The addition of a second guitar .. and then the change in tempo .. add variety to keep the ear engaged.

If I was to offer any critical feedback, I'd say the final verse could use a more intense or varied lead guitar. It's there, but it doesn't quite assert itself enough to compete with, or balance out, the arrival of those strings. But this is minor point.

Overall, you have accomplished a difficult thing - you have taken an old familiar song and infused it with new life.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed the song. Interesting point you make about the lead guitar in the final verse - I'll have a play around with that. Thanks for listening and for the comment!
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rok41 said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Motherless Child
Simply excellent! beautifully arranged and performed...the vocal timbre is perfect for this. Nice!
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Hi Chris
I appreciate that comment, Chris - thanks for your continued support!
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SmokeyVW said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
warm
i really like the tempo change midway - so apropos

a wonderful recording, balanced mix, very emotional

this brought a tear... well done

many thanks

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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks for that comment - I'm pleased the performance got the emotion in the lyrics across,
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
bud said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Beautiful arrangement
true to the moment as you say - the joy is going out of the blues of late - and we are left with the bluest of blue. If that makes any sense. I saw Richie do this at Woodstock and it was a high point for sure. Great work here.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
It makes sense to me, Kevin. It must have been an incredible time to watch it all unfold!
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BirdmanWayne94 said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
What a heartfelt...
... performance! Very moving. Wonderful playing, singing, and recording. Great job!
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
I appreciate the positive feedback - thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
J_Gretch said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Motherless Child - Woodstock 2012
Good stuff Philip...As aforementioned I like the tempo change too.You have such a smooth style and this one really showcases it.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
I do like performing this sort of material - thanks for listening and for leaving a comment!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
davisamerica said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
.....
sometimes there are just magic moments .... this is one. so very well done.
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
High praise indeed, and I thank you for it!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
B. Flat said 1837 days ago (August 10th, 2012)
Great
voice and guitar arrangement, Philip!
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Philip18 said 1837 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
I appreciate the comment, Donald - glad you enjoyed it!
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haribo said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
warm , sad , serious , beautiful
warm , sad , serious , beautiful rendition of this tune!
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Philip18 said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
I'm pleased that you heard all that in the song - thanks for listening!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
egobandit said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
a long way
what a performance, to all involved that was great Thanks !
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Philip18 said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it. I guess I should admit that the performers' names were just a bit of fun - all me, really... Thanks for listening and for taking the time to comment!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Moviz said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Lovely performance
Great emotional vocals and warm guitars... just loved this Philip with the tempo lift and the orchestration..... top work, regards M
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Philip18 said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, Maurice. Thanks for the positive comments - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Les_Kloo said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Elegant
Fine, fine work. Vocals --- tops. Candle held high, if I can get this damned lighter to ... ah ... oh, crap ... c'mon, c'mon ... OK, there it is. Candle waving. Seriously, man. Very good work.
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Philip18 said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Thanks
Careful you don't set yourself on fire there! Thanks for the comment and the laugh - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
gadzooks said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Motherless Child
Beautiful picking and vocals with feeling. Wonderful arrangement of an excellent tune. Like the tempo change and the bits of lead. Back in the mid eighties I had the pleasure of playing a workshop with Richie at a folk festival here in Canada and also hung out with him at the performers party after. I remember him being real down to earth and wearing a lot jewelry LOL .... Great performance Philip!
Cheers
SG
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Philip18 said 1836 days ago (August 11th, 2012)
Hi Stan
That must have been exciting, Stan - Richie's music is always entertaining and I imagine he would be too. Thanks for the comments on the song - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Daugrin said 1835 days ago (August 12th, 2012)
Revisited
The old folk song doesn't suffer under your gentle touch.
Perhaps a requiem for the nostalgic? Thanks for sharing your music with us.

Daug
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Philip18 said 1834 days ago (August 13th, 2012)
Thanks
Ah yes, I remember nostalgia! I've always thought that to know where you're going, you need to remember where you came from, and this is part of where I come from... Glad you're enjoying the music - thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Char said 1835 days ago (August 12th, 2012)
You
really won over your audience with a spellbinding performance. Moonshine would've just messed up the poignancy.
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Philip18 said 1834 days ago (August 13th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, Char. Yes, poor old Moonshine is no longer reliable. I think I'll stick with Loob or Kevmikwa or Scofugate for drums in the future! Thanks for listening and taking the time to comment!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Doadars Uncle said 1834 days ago (August 13th, 2012)
Beautiful
Simply touching... and wow!
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Philip18 said 1834 days ago (August 13th, 2012)
Thanks
High praise indeed, and I thank you for it - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Vic Holman said 1834 days ago (August 13th, 2012)
Motherless Child
wonderful track and performance philip and the gardner clan
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Philip18 said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
Thanks
Very kind words, Vic - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Garni said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
Motherless child
Such an emotional piece you have here.
Love it! Awesome music and vocals!

G-)
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Philip18 said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, Gerald - thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
TobinMueller said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
Gardner rose
Excellent version. Great guitar arrangement, mic'ing, pacing. But the vocals really penetrate, without being nostalgic. Just authentic. Thanks for sharing this. A beautiful flower, this.

I was on stage with Richie Havens in 1994 ('93?). The best acoustic guitar strummer ever. And a man totally lost in his musical journey. (He needs a handler just to point him to the car.) Like an angel wandering between musical pronouncements. I truly appreciated your version of Motherless Child. I was with him again in 2006 ('07?) A new handler (still a young woman, tho) but no loss of stage presence and internal power. He is like a buddha, there are tempests inside yet the only seem to make him calmer, happy. Your rendition of this classic had its own internal tempest, making this a personal memoir. As it should be. Drips compassion, the right kind.

Really nice. Man, I wish I could sing like you...
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Philip18 said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks for the generous assessment of the song and for sharing your recollections of Richie Havens - I must listen to a bit more of his music!
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Loob said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
The search for hippie
Lots of feeling in this Phil. Melencholy!
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Philip18 said 1833 days ago (August 14th, 2012)
Hi Freddy
It was meant to sound pretty solitary, Freddy. Good to hear from you!
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PeterB7858 said 1832 days ago (August 15th, 2012)
Liking this a lot!
Greetings from the 49th State. I really like this, Philip. One of your most complete posts. The mix is wonderfully balanced and the sensitive, world weary vocals sit nicely upfront the quality guitar work. The change up gives the song real momentum as well. "Moonface" and "Starshine" are still travelling nicely considering the lateness of the day. Probably better in the end that "Moonshine" succumbed to the excesses of the day. I burnt my fingers holding the bic lighter😊. Talk soon, Peter.
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Philip18 said 1831 days ago (August 16th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you found some time to listen as you go on The Great Tour! Thanks for the comments on the song, and I hope things continue to go well in the wilds of Alaska!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
tf10music said 1831 days ago (August 17th, 2012)
this is
really smooth...you've got a silky voice, man. Nice solemn guitar theme, and subtle build. Great work!
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Philip18 said 1830 days ago (August 17th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, and I appreciate the generous comments. Thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Songwriterz said 1830 days ago (August 17th, 2012)
Outstanding
Phillip, your performance in this song is outstanding!!!! So intense and strong! Awesome song and very pro! I love it!!! Love Heidi
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Philip18 said 1830 days ago (August 17th, 2012)
Thanks
Your support is always appreciated, Heidi - thanks for listening and for taking the time to comment!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Jarvoid said 1829 days ago (August 18th, 2012)
Sounds like
a torch song in the making ....very nicely played and professional sounding on the mix good job all round sir,much enjoyed.

Jarvo
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Philip18 said 1829 days ago (August 18th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks for the comment, Chris - much appreciated. I've never really thought of myself as a torch singer, but you never know what's ahead!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
Michael_J_Martin said 1828 days ago (August 19th, 2012)
Awesome piece of work...
When you came and left your comment on my music I just had to listen to something you performed. I do have to say your talents are very apparent - great guitar and your vocals are soothing and easy to listen to. You have a voice that anyone could just sit and listen to all day, at least that is my opinion. Great piece of musical art!
Philip18 said 1828 days ago (August 19th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed it, Michael. Thanks for listening and for the supportive comment - much appreciated!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
paul f. page said 1828 days ago (August 19th, 2012)
very interesting
that you would pick a tradition Negro Spiritual for a 21st century update. Your performance and arrangement are solid proof that this song's original intent (and sadness) are just as strong today as they were in the 19th century when the tune was originally penned. Really nice job on this. I didn't know it was performed at Woodstock, and that is a shock, too. The music and lyrics continue to hold great meaning on all sorts of levels. Thanks for taking another look at this classic and for doing such a fine job collaborating with all the others involved to bring new life into this timeless gem.
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Philip18 said 1827 days ago (August 20th, 2012)
Thanks
Glad you enjoyed this version, Paul - it is a wonderful song. I must admit no-one else was involved though - the names above a a bit of a joke, I'm afraid :-)

Thanks for listening and for taking the time to comment.
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Narad said 1827 days ago (August 20th, 2012)
Motherless Child
Intense, sad and so well performed !
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Philip18 said 1827 days ago (August 20th, 2012)
Thanks
I appreciate the comment - that was how I was hoping it would come across. Thanks for stopping by!
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dave_b said 1827 days ago (August 20th, 2012)
Motherless Child
Pretty picking, and the vocals fit perfectly with this type of arrangement. Change of pace midway is effective.
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Philip18 said 1827 days ago (August 20th, 2012)
Thanks
Thanks for the positive comment, Dave - much appreciated!
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Artist Info
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Name: Philip Gardner
Location: Melbourne Victoria Australia
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Played folk guitar then learnt jazz guitar in the 70s. Worked in folk joints, then pubs, restaurants and reception centres in bands, duos or solo. Now enjoying the opportunities that the digital age supplies to write and record.... [see more]

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