Flower Power Creative's New York Celebrates George Harrison Concert - starring Roberta Flack and featuring 6 other talented, dedicated groups - stands as a kaleidoscopic interpretation of George's words and music, Spirit and Vision - truly a night of Love and Bliss.
Doug Levison - FPC's CEO / CREATIVES and co-founder - set the Theme of the Concert - a Celebration of George Harrison, the "Quiet Beatle" who went on to a tremendously successful Solo career, organised The Concert For Bangladesh, and enjoyed another wave of fame - along with Rock and Roll icons Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne - in The Travelling Wiburys.
George will be cherished and appreciated for his wonderful faith, humour and talent by generations to come - all over the Planet.
Something - an acoustic band ( named after George's beloved song on "Abbey Road" ) - opened the concert with a tight, up-tempo set. "I Want To Tell You"
( "Revolver" ), "You Like MeToo Much" ( "Help" Soundtrack - UK / "Beatles VI" - US ), "Handle With Care" ( the only Wilbury tune of the night ), and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ( from The "White Album" ).
The acoustic orientation of Something adds an extra element of grace and warmth to their sound, and their set was enchanting.
The Wyld Olde Souls - a Renaissance British Folk group - took George's Eastern Spiritual orientation into account with a set that included a pair of Indian melodies.
Opening with "It Don't Come Easy" ( George's gift to Ringo ), the Wyld Olde Souls - joined by Rick Reil and Kristin Pinell of The Grip Weeds - performed "Gopala Krishna" ( unreleased ) and "All Things Must Pass" ( Title song from George's first solo album ), along with "Govinda" ( George recorded with The Radha Krishna Temple ) and - to close - "Love You To" ( "Revolver" ), featuring Rick on Electric Sitar.
Lou Volpe - Master of Impressionist Jazz Guitar - delivered Solo renditions of "I Need You" ( "Help" Soundtrack ), "True Love" ( a huge hit for Bing Crosby that George favoured ), and - from George's solo years - "Got My Mind Set On You."
Lou has performed with such music legends as Bette Middler,Chaka Khan, Bo Diddey, Liza Minnelli and Lionel Hampton, and he reunited with Roberta Flack
( they have played together on numerous occasions in their stellar careers ) at the Concert. He is considered - along with Les Paul, Wes Montgomery and Tal Farlow - to be among the greatest in the Jazz Impressionist style.
The Concert turned to up-front Rock and Roll when The 253 Boys took the stage.
The 253 Boys won the Fox Soccer International Worldwide Theme Music Competition, and have received ASCAP awards. Special Guest Artists Mark Bosch ( Guitarist / Ian Hunter Band ) , Pete Santora
( famed for portraying George in "Beatlemania" ) Rick Reil ( now on drums ), and rapper TrP ( Gun Hill ) added to sparks flying in a torrid set.
The group opened with "Badge" ( co-written by George with Eric Clapton / George is credited as "L'Angelo Mysterioso" on Cream's immortal version of the song ), moved into "Savoy Truffle" ( The "White Album" ), then mixed "Within You, Without You" ( "Sgt. Pepper" ) with "Tomorrow Never Knows" ( "Revolver" ). Another fascinating dimension of love and respect for George's music was entered with TrP's bounding onstage and flying into a bold, dynamic rap.
The 253 Boys then turned to George's Solo work, with a medley of "This Is Love", "You" and - to close / from "All Things Must Pass" - a stirring version of "Wah Wah", followed by a brief poem to George.
Neil Chaimas - Flower Power Creative's Music Editor / Conceptual Advisor and co-founder - introduced The Grip Weeds.
The Grip Weeds are a Psychedelic Power Pop group, named in honour of the character portrayed by John Lennon in the film "How I Won The War."
The Grip Weeds opened with "Old Brown Shoe"
( "Hey Jude" / Beatles Greatest Hits Album ) - Kristin Pinell white-hot on the Guitar solo. "I Dig Love" and "Awaiting On You All" - both from "All Things Must Pass" - were next, with Rick Reil ( 3rd band !! / now on Lead Guitar ) joined by brother Kurt ( on drums ) and Mike Kelly ( bass ) to round out the sound.
"The Inner Light" ( a George / Beatles B-side ) featured Rick on Electric Sitar and Kristen on flute, and was followed by a blistering "Roll Over Beethoven" - a Chuck Berry landmark that George adored ( "With The Beatles" - UK / "The Beatles Second Album" - US ) to wrap up their set.
The Doughboys - the hottest band in the New York / New Jersey Metro Area - are Rock and Roll legends. Formed in 1964, the group took the Doughboys name in 1966. Myke Scavone ( Lead Singer ), Gar Francis ( Guitar ), Richard X. ( "Richie" ) Heyman ( Drums ) and Mike Caruso ( Bass ) reunited in 2000 - after 35 years - and have been blowing audiences away - inside out - ever since.
The Doughboys are favourites of Little Steven, who features them on his Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Underground Garage Channel.
The Doughboys went straight for George's acerbic / insightful / witty side, starting with a powerful version of "Taxman" ( "Revolver" ), followed by a rollicking "Don't Bother Me" ( First song written by George to appear on a Beatles Album - "With The Beatles - UK / "Meet The Beatles" - US ), an electrifying "I Me Mine" ( "Let It Be" ) and a very determined "Think For Yourself" ( "Rubber Soul" ).
The Doughboys concluded their incredible set with "It's All Too Much" - a song from the "Yellow Submarine" Soundtrack. The group sent waves from the stage that took off to the ends of the Universe.
( "Yellow Submarine" - from "Revolver" - was adapted to become The Beatles only Feature length Animated Cartoon. )
The Doughboys performance left the audience absolutely reeling.
After the only Intermission of the Concert, it was time for Roberta Flack.
Roberta Flack is an icon of music - one of only two artists ( the other being U2 ) to win back to back GRAMMY Awards.
Roberta took the stage to a standing ovation, and glowed with the Aura of a young girl immersed in The Magic Of Music as she settled in before the Steinway Grand Piano and - joined by her loving band - took everyone to another world.
Her interpretation of George's music transported everything that made his Creative Expressions so special into a different dimension.
"Here Comes The Sun" ( "Abbey Road" ) was delivered from a cloud. "My Sweet Lord" ( "All Things Must Pass" ) was Spiritual and Inspirational. "If I Needed Someone" ( "Rubber Soul" ) became a Ballad. "Isn't It A Pity" ( "All Things Must Pass" ) was more a lesson earned than a lament.
Two amazing surprises served to conclude Roberta's set - and the Concert.
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" ( one of her pair of GRAMMY winners / the only "other than George" song of the Concert ) was devoted to George, and delivered with infinite sweetness.
The Finale - "Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth" - saw all the Talent who had performed at The Concert - and Mr. Levison, as Host - join Roberta and her band in Love and Song.
The Concert ended with another standing ovation - a night of Love, Bliss and Celebration.
Roberta Flack's Band / Sherrod Barnes - Guitar & Arrangements / Honey LaRochelle - Backing Vocals
Something / The Band / James Alfaro - Bass / Neil Brodbeck - Lead Guitar / Bob Curtis - Rhythm Guitar / Drew Brown - Drums
The Wyld Olde Souls / Ivy Vale - Lead Vocals & Hand Percussion / Melissa Davis - Vocals & Hand Percussion / Naren Budhakar - Tabla
Elaine Zimmer / Heart & Soul - Lou Volpe & Flower Power Creative
The 253 Boys / Don Puglisi - Lead Guitar & Vocals / Even Steven Levee - Bass / Jason Grant - Lead Vocals / Barbara Lee George - Backing Vocals
Tom Zak / TAZ Productions - Light And Sound
Antonio Pagliarulo / The New York Society For Ethical Culture
Even Steven Levee / Stage Manager - Talent & Production Coordinator