In this summer of 2019, some 50 years after the iconic Woodstock Music Festival, a local band toured the country playing the music from the summer of 69’, an era that, arguably, left an indelible mark on society and the music world.
Sun Events’ “Peace & Love Tour” brought a celebration of the music of Woodstock to over 25 cities across 7 states with Paisley Craze supplying the music, the memories and the Mojo. Media powerhouse, Gatehouse Publishing, parent company of Sun Events, and DR Media promoted the shows in towns hosting their newspapers and used their advertising power in both print and digital media to draw hippies across the country to rock and remember the 60’s music culture that set the stage for Rock & Roll for the next 50 years. The tour features music played at Woodstock with ample helpings of Jefferson Airplane, CCR, Grateful Dead, The Who, Joan Baez, The Band, CSNY, Richie Havens, Santana, Joplin, Hendrix, Canned Heat, Sly and The Family Stone, Joni Mitchell and much more. The show featured excellent light show and concert sound from both PR Audio and Lights Out Audio.
From Florida stops in Palm Beach, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Ocala and Sarasota to James Brown’s home Theater “The Imperial” in Augusta, Georgia, The Johnny Mercer Theater in Savannah and far flung shows in Galveston, TX, Austin, Amarillo, OK City and The Orpheum in Memphis, the Paisley Craze found pockets of hippies and 60’s music lovers who came out of the woodwork to hear a band play their music in a style they remember; loud, proud, unapologetic and faithful – the vibe of the times.
Paisley Craze finds that the full and rich 60’s music culture of Peace, Love & Music still lives with the young and old alike. “We never saw it coming,” says bandleader Marty Bednar. “The response to the music was way beyond what we’d imagined it might be. People cried as they hugged us after shows and wove heartfelt stories of their Woodstock period experiences and how much music really meant to them, their “tribe” and the world. They deeply miss the feeling of unity, love and community that the music of the time encouraged.”
The band’s experiences were many and they met devotees who wanted to talk about the era. Meeting fans in Galveston, TX who sat in 10th grade, Port Arthur, TX math classes with Janis Joplin and union stage technicians in Augusta, GA who worked hand in hand with James Brown at his home theater, “The Imperial”, where they respectfully refer to The Godfather of Soul as “Mr. Brown”, will never be forgotten.
Band member Marty Bednar says, “We respect the music, the people who created it and the fans who still love it 50 years later. The music is so much fun, there’ so much there, so many different genres and styles all melded together in one era and all of it accepted and loved by so many people. The times were very inclusive both socially and musically. Record collections frequently included Hendrix as well as John Coltrane, Cream with Beach Boys, Paul Revere with Grateful Dead. It was wide open then and folks miss that vibe from a music industry now based on formulas and star power.” Vocalist Donna Lamoureaux remembers, “The tour’s been great fun, a lot of work, deeply satisfying and strangely addictive for all of us. After doing the tour for a couple of months you just want more.”
While members of Paisley Craze have toured separately throughout their careers the band has done little touring as their 60’s music anthology group born almost 6 years ago in Sarasota. Drummer, Kenny Crawley, toured with Dickey Betts and Great Southern. Bass player, Marty Bednar, worked state and country fairs across North America. Keyboardist, Dave Mankes, toured regionally in the 70’s and 80’s with NY based 50’s show group “Big Wheelie and The Hubcaps”. Guitarist, Bob Dielman, played Europe and the Middle East with USO Tours and vocalist, Donna Lamoureaux, worked between Orlando’s Universal Studios and Atlantic City’s casino market.
Band members wanted a group that would pay homage to the Woodstock era but also be tight, musically muscular and cover as many styles as possible from the 60’s. Being tapped to headline the tour was a dream come true. The band felt that being the “Peace & Love” band for a summer was a chance to help people feel positive and remember when music brought community, love and unity.
There are still lots of Paisley Craze Peace & Love Tour concerts coming with shows in Bradenton at Neel Auditorium on November 2, Punta Gorda on February 28 as well as stops in Peoria, IL, Columbus, OH, Akron, OH, Wilmington, NC and others being added.
While Paisley Craze headlined the tour, two other guest artists worked not only in the show but, also opened the show as support acts, played during the fun pre-show experience designed by Sun Events as well as intermissions. Rob Garcia and Harry Havery added another layer of fun and energy to the evenings!
Bob Dielman – Guitarist and Vocals
Kenny Crawley – Drums
Donna Lamoueaux – Vocalist
Dave Mankes – Keyboards and Vocals
Marty Bednar – Bass and Vocals
Special Peace & Love Guests Artists
Rob Garcia – Guitar and Vocals
Harry Havery – Guitar and Vocals
Photos from Paisley Craze.