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Leader of 1960s band The Lovin’ Spoonful will perform at the Hamburg Palace Theatre

BRING IT BACK — John Sebastian, from the 1960s band The Lovin’ Spoonful will be performing a solo concert at the Hamburg Palace Theatre on Thursday, April 10. Photo courtesy of Skyline Music.
HAMBURG — The Beat Generation bloomed in New York City’s Greenwich Village during the 1960s; alternative life was pungent. During that time, American folk music was on a revival upswing, and John Sebastian played a part in it.

During its split, The Mugwumps hit a moment that spawned two bands of the ‘60s music era. While the group’s Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty formed The Mamas & the Papas, Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky collaborated for The Lovin’ Spoonful.

The group was completed by drummer and vocalist Joe Butler and bassist Steve Boon.

Sebastian wrote “Do you Believe in Magic” in July 1965. Produced by Erik Jacobsen and released by Kama Sutra Records, the track was not only ranked in the top 10 of the Billboard© charts Hot 100 at that time, but has also gone on to be used as theme songs for TV series, in commercials and movies and sporting events.

In 2004, Rolling Stone© released its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” and that Lovin’ Spoonful song was listed at No. 218.

“While rehearsing the song, Sebastian affixed a contact mic to his autoharp and, in combination with Zal Yanovsky’s electric guitar, they hit on a unique sound,” that publication’s blurb read, about the single.

All four original Lovin’ Spoonful members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 6, 2000.

Far from being a one-hit-wonder, the group has released other tracks, including “Daydream” and “Summer in the City.”

Today, Sebastian tours either solo or with his new group, known as the J-Band. He will be coming through the Southtowns area and performing a solo concert at the Hamburg Palace Theatre on Thursday, April 10.

Opening the evening will be Amy Speace, “due to popular request,” according to promoter Norman Zintz of Zipco Events. Speace will display talents on guitar, vocals and keyboard; Zintz said that those who like Joni Mitchell will “love Amy Speace.”

The artist, who once acted with The National Shakespeare Company, is now a musician who tours on a national level. Zintz said that the upcoming local concert is an event to not miss. “[Sebastian] is a legend from early-on days of modern rock ‘n’ roll,” Zintz said. “These people, of course, aren’t getting any younger, and we’re fortunate to get him to come to our town.”

Beer and wine will be available for purchase, during the event. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 7. Reserved and VIP seating is available for purchase. Visit www.hamburgpalace.com/events for more information and to buy tickets.

The Hamburg Palace Theatre is located at 31 Buffalo St. in Hamburg.
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