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Woodstock 21 - Jefferson Airplane Full Flight

Jlokensky November 30, 2009 User blog:Jlokensky

After the missed opportunities of Edgar Winter, I was anxious to add another signature to my poster. Through my rigorous searching of artists touring schedules, I noticed that Paul Kantner, formerly of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, who tours in a reconstituted version of Jefferson Starship, would be playing on a Saturday night (April 18, 2009) in Huntington, NY at the Inter-Media Arts Center (IMAC) out on Long Island.

I had already obtained Grace Slick's autograph (when I purchased the poster), Marty Balin's autograph ( see Summer of Love blogs in August of 2007), Jorma Kaukonen's autograph (see Woodstock # 9 in December of 2007) and Jack Casady's autograph (also, see Woodstock #9 in December of 2007). Spencer Dryden, Jefferson Airplane's drummer died in 2005 and keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, normally a session player - joined the Jefferson Airplane for their appearance at Woodstock, died in 1994; therefore, Paul Kantner would complete the Airplane on my poster.

I contacted my friend, Mike, who lives near Huntington who agreed to go to the show with me. I used to work with Mike and we became good fiends. However, we don't see each other that often. So, not only was I excited for the opportunity to meet Paul Kantner, I was also excited to spend some time with Mike.

This tour was not the typical Jefferson Starship tour. The band was joined by Bluegrass Mandolin player, David Grisman. Therefore, in addition to playing songs from the Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship cannon, the band also played some of the songs that Dave Grisman played on (including Dave Grisman's work with he Grateful Dead). Also, the band was touring in support of the recently released "Jefferson's Tree of Liberty" album which was the first album of new material released by Jefferson Starship this millenium. The band was scheduled to play two sets that night. Mike and I went went to the earlier show.

The band plays in several different line-ups, depending upon which musicians are available at any given time. The line-up that I saw consisted of : Paul Kantner on guitar and vocals, Cathy Richardson on lead vocals, David Freiberg on guitar and vocals, Slick Aguilar on lead guitar, Chris Smith on keyboards, Donny Baldwin on drums, and Dave Grisman on mandolin. The concert was different than most concerts that I've seen in that not every musician played every song. For example, Dave Grisman didn't join the band until the third song and Paul Kantner left the stage for two songs in the middle of the set.. Highlights of the set included "Fly" which is from one of Cathy Richardson's solo records which she combined with Judy Garland's signature song "Over the Rainow". Also, the Grateful Dead's " Friend of the Devil" was a pleasant surprise; although, it was a great spotlight for Dave Grisman's mandolin. Also, "Frenario" from the new album was terrific. The last song of the set (before the encore) started as a cover of U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" before the band launched into "Somebody to Love". Her's the full set list:

When the Earth Moves Again Hyperdrive Shady Grove with Dave Grisman Lather Chimes of Freedom Get Together Mill Valley Waltz/Pigeon Roost Fly/Over The Rainbow Friend of the Devil Frenario Wooden Ships Pride (In the Name of Love)/Somebody to Love

Bluegrass at the Beach Redemption Song/Imagine Medley

After the show, Cathy Richarson was selling CD's and signing autograph's. After I bought one of her CD's, which she signed for me, I showed her my Woodstock poster and asked her if there was any way that I could get Paul Kantner to sign it. She told me to hang out. After she finished sellung CD's, she brought Mike and me backstage to the dressing rooms. She knocked on Paul's door and asked him if he would sign an autograph for her friend, Jack. I was elated . He agreed to and signed my poster. Mike and I thanked him and thanked Cathy and we left. Not only am I fan of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship, I'm now a fan of Cathy Richardson. New poster total = 26.

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