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RED BANK: TWO NIGHTS OF PEACE ‘N MUSIC

nash-family-stone-9039413Woodstock-era icon Graham Nash takes to the Basie boards on Saturday…while fellow festival veterans, the not-so-sly Family Stone, headline a 70s Rock and Funk Fest on Sunday.   

One weekend past the 46th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock festival, the Count Basie Theatre offers audiences here on the greater Green an opportunity to catch up with several veterans of those “Three Days of Peace and Music” — all in climate-controlled comfort, and with no requirement to get all muddy about it.

The shared experience begins Saturday night at 8 pm, with a very rare solo-tour appearance by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Graham Nash. Spotlighting material from a massive career-cataloguing box set, the British-born singer/songwriter and activist who first invaded the colonies as a member of The Hollies — and who homesteaded the Laurel Canyon sound through his culture-defining work with CSN (and sometimes Y) — is expected to lend his signature skills to songs that range from “On a Carousel,” “Marrakesh Express,” “Our House” and “Just a Song Before I Go,” to solo stuff like “Chicago” and a possible preview of a work-in-progress studio project. Reserve tickets ($27.50 – $73.50) right here — and flip the record over for more.

For the then-new supergroup of Crosby, Stills and Nash, the original Woodstock festival represented only the second live gig in their history — while among the many other acts shuttling on and off Max Yasgur’s farm that weekend was a groundbreaking concert juggernaut then at the peak of its powers, with four strong albums to its credit and a string of smash singles that included “Dance to the Music,” “Stand!,” “Everyday People” and “I Want to Take You Higher.” With their multi-racial, multi-gender personnel and their ability to frame frank social commentary within a deliriously danceable revolution, Sly and the Family Stone surfed the crest of the cultural moment in summer ’69 — although the years to come would see increasingly unpredictable bandleader Sly Stone become a liability to his band’s touring capability, even as he conjured some of the most innovative sounds of his career. With Sly more or less sidelined from active duty (even as he touts some just-released new music in the wake of a substantial back-royalties legal victory), several classic-lineup members of The Family Stone are back on the road; serving up milestone hits and headlining a 70s Rock and Funk Fest package tour that comes to the Basie this Sunday night, August 23.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Cynthia Robinson (trumpet), Jerry Martini (sax) and Greg Errico (drums) are teamed with a savvy crew of pros for the tour (formerly advertised as “Hippiefest”), which further features another 1960s-era powerhouse of the live stage, Mitch Ryder (“Devil with the Blue Dress,” “Sock It To Me Baby”). Rick Derringer, the singer-guitarist-producer who hit with “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” (and who played a significant part in the success of acts ranging from the “Hang On Sloopy” McCoys to the Winter brothers to Weird Al Yankovic) makes a return to the local area after a long hiatus, and the program is completed by Joey Molland and the 2015 edition of the Brit hitmakers Badfinger (“Day After Day,” “No Matter What,” Baby Blue”). Tickets for the 7:30 pm show ($25 – $69) available right here.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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