Donovan listening to Kelly
Donovan Listening to Kelly (photo: Ernie)

Donovan Live At The Tabernacle October 25, 2003


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At The Tabernacle '02

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The Downtown '03

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The Stone Pony '03

Beatlefest '03

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The set list:

  • Catch the Wind
  • Ballad of Geraldine
  • Colours
  • Love So Real
  • Universal Soldier
  • Listening to Kelly -the story of Donovan's guitar, Kelly (see photo above), leading into the next song...
  • The Promise -the first song Donovan wrote for his guitar, Kelly
  • Sunshine Superman
  • Refuge of Love
  • Hurdy Gurdy Man
  • Lullaby of Spring
  • Guinevere
  • Beatnik Cafe -new song, Donovan trips back to the beatnik cafes of Cornwall in his early days, smokey blend of folk, jazz and blues
  • Wear Your Love Like Heaven
  • Epistle to Scouse -Tribute to George Harrison ("scouse" being British slang for someone from Liverpool)
  • There is a Mountain
  • Language of Love
  • Lalena
  • Only the Blues
  • Jennifer Juniper

    Don takes requests from the crowd
  • Ferryman's Daughter -Karen's request
  • Brother Sun Sister Moon -Mike's request
  • Mandolin Man and his Secrets
  • Riki Tiki Tavi
  • Mellow Yellow

  • Season of the Witch -for which Donovan brought a pumpkin to the stage!

Richard Barone Opens the Show

Barone opens
Richard Barone (photo: Ernie)

Donovan Takes the Stage

Donovan on stage At The Tabernacle (photo: Ernie)

The set list appears above, but that only reveals the sequence of songs--26 in all! It's been said so often before, but "you hadda be there!" It was mesmerizing. I've seen Donovan perform about a dozen times, from a classic Music Hall Boston 1971 show with Paul Horn (when I mentioned this show to him, Donovan commented, "you could not see the stage for the clouds of marijuana") to The Downtown on Long Island this past summer, but he's never, ever sounded better than on this stellar night.

His voice was strong and his guitar work outstanding. The new songs are reminiscent of songs like "Lalena" and "Sunny Goodge Street". I for one am really looking forward to this cd because Don, though very young at the time and only just catching the tail end of the beat era, did emerge during that era before the upsurge of hippies, the summer of love, and flower power, so I think it will be a wonderful window into that timeless era. At least, that's the feeling I get from the songs he played from the cd. He also asked the audience to call out songs which, again, he rarely plays--a joy for fans who, though we may really like hearing the "usual" setlist, love to hear others from the 100s of songs he's written. These included "Only the Blues", "Mandolin Man and his Secret", "Ferryman's Daughter" and "Rikki Tikki Tavi". Richard Barone (ex of the Bongos) opened for him--a very strong set--and ended his set with a cover of Donovan's "Cosmic Wheels"--for which Don came out on stage and joined Richard in singing. While this might have been planned, it didn't look that way; Don just sort of walked out quietly on stage without Richard knowing he was there, picked up a couple of rattle eggs (which he handed out to the audience later in the show--we've got a purple one!), and walked up beside Richard to start singing. Richard looked surprised, but they really got into it and I think it may have been the best rendition of "Cosmic Wheels" I've ever heard.

More photos in the Photo Gallery.

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All material on this and other Standing Stone Designs Web pages copyright © Ernest Black 2001 unless otherwise noted. This page was last updated on September 25, 2023.

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