Newly released: Complete Woodstock sets by Sly, Joplin, Santana, Airplane and Winter (with video)

Uh oh, the 40th anniversary of Woodstock is about a month and a half away. Did you remember? If not, it’s probably due to the distinct lack of buzz, seeing as there is no official concert scheduled, although boosters keep adding “as yet” in hopes that original co-producer Michael Lang will manage to put together a show in New York’s Prospect Park.

A handful of mostly lame events are planned for different parts of the country, and a tour called Heroes of Woodstock — featuring Mountain, Jefferson Starship, Tom Constanten (repping Grateful Dead) and others — has 16 dates on the books (none in the Southeast). In all, though, it would seem as if folks have other things on their mind than memorializing the watershed cultural event.

That doesn’t mean it’s a complete wasteland. Sony Music has released a well-thought-out group of reissues called The Woodstock Experience, five two-CD packages pairing a classic 1969 album and a complete Woodstock performance. Sony catalog artists Santana, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane and Sly and the Family Stone got the treatment.

Thirty-three acts performed at the Woodstock Music & Art Fair from Aug. 15-18, 1969, including such long-forgotten names as Quill, Sweetwater, Keef Hartley Band and Bert Sommer. (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Byrds and a handful of lesser-knowns declined invitations. Jeff Beck, Iron Butterfly and Joni Mitchell canceled.)

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About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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