Dono­van cel­e­brates 50 years in mu­sic at Kirby Cen­ter

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - News - BY PA­TRICE WILD­ING STAFF WRITER

Dono­van Leitch racked up plenty of hon­ors over his ca­reer that in­di­cate the power of his pop mu­sic, which lis­ten­ers could de­scribe as trippy, catchy, folky, po­etic and tran­scen­den­tal all at once.

Among the Scot­tish- born singer/ song­writer/ gui­tarist’s cred­its are spots in the Rock& Roll Hall of Fame and the Song­writ­er­sHall of Fame, the Mo­joMav­er­ick­Award, the Ivor Novel­laAward and Life­Time BBCFolkAward, not to men­tion his nu­mer­ous Top 20 hit songs, in­clud­ing “Sun­shine Su­per­man” from the in­flu­en­tial psy­che­delic al­bu­mof the same name and the fol­low- up, “Mel­lowYel­low.”

It was also widely re­ported that Dono­van tu­tored the Beatles dur­ing a trip to In­dia, where he taught John Len­non, Paul McCart­ney and George Har­ri­son a fin­ger- pick­ing gui­tar style and his own unique chord pat­terns that­would go on to live in in­famy on nu­mer­ous tracks on the Fab Four’s “White Al­bum.”

OnSun­day, Dono­van brings his 50th An­niver­sary Cel­e­bra­tion tour toWilkes- Barre for an in­ti­mate showatF. M. Kirby Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts. He re­cently spoke with­The Times- Tri­bune by email about some of the events and in­spi­ra­tions that shaped his sto­ried mu­si­cal cat­a­log fromthe last five decades.

Q: Your tour cel­e­brates 50 years. Tell me about howit feels towatch your mu­sic en­dure through ev­ery fad, emerg­ing style or ma­jor cul­ture shift of the last half- cen­tury. Why do you think it has sur­vived the tests of time and taste?

A: The hu­man jour­ney re­mains the same fro­man­cient times to now. Mysongs are of the same hu­man jour­ney. The ways to dis­trib­ute mu­sic, art, lit­er­a­ture and films have new­plat­forms, but one thing never changes: the need for live mu­sic and the need of artists to cre­ate. Age has noth­ing to do with it, re­ally; my songs are time­less.

Q: Is there a cer­tain mo­ment dur­ing a showyou strive for each time? When you knowyou’ve of­fi­cially con­nected with your au­di­ence?

A: WhenIwalk on­stage, it is a re­con­nec­tion that hap­pens. Not be­cause they knowthe songs, moreso be­cause the solo poet sings to the In­ner Con­scious­ness of the au­di­ence. And­with the sounds of my mel­liflu­ous voice and­mov­ing vi­bra­tions of the gui­tar, it har­mo­nizes all of us and heals any im­bal­ances, which iswhy I like to go out in concert, be­cause I need this as­much as my au­di­ence. This means the au­di­ence and I, we bal­ance each other. It’s sym­bi­otic. An­dreally should be — the true ef­fect of art on us all.

Q: Will you share some of your fa­vorite mo­ments, anec­dotes or mem­o­ries from the last 50 years?

A: 1968: Twenty- thou­sand peo­ple in Madi­son Square Gar­den, just back fromIn­dia, dressed inmy Ashram gear. I walk on­stage solo, and awave of at­ten­tion movesme like a strong wind, and I need to im­me­di­ately sit cross- legged in case I fall over. I singmy soft­est song I know, “Isle of Is­lay.” Very rare NewYorker si­lence, and the au­di­ence are in awe. That night, I “broke the gate” at the Gar­den, earn­ing more than any other solo artist in the Gar­den’s his­tory ( at

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