Promoting acoustic music in the Inland Valley


Rounded Rectangle: Gelencser House Concerts in Claremont




by Terry Roland FOLKWORKS Nov 2007

“It's time to celebrate life!" These were the words of folksinger and 60's legend, Barry McGuire last Saturday night at The Coffee Gallery in Altadena, California. His new live show with country-rock pioneer, Terry Talbot of Mason Proffit is called Trippin' The 60's. It is a celebration of life in the present that draws from folk-rock era of the '60's. McGuire and Talbot have capably assembled a review in story and song that reminds us of the significance that music has played in our history and how important it continues to be today. They should know. They experienced it first-hand.

            During this show, they took the audience through a chronological bullet train of a ride through the early to late 60's. Both musicians drew from personal experiences with Bob Dylan, The Byrds, The Mamas & The Papas, John Sebastian, Janis Joplin and John Denver among others. During the concert they told stories and performed the songs that changed the lives of a generation. Included in the show were McGuire's own Green, Green that he recorded while he was in The New Christy Minstrels and his hit, Eve of Destruction. Also included in the show were Talbot's hits with Mason Proffit, Better Find Jesus and Two Hangmen. The other songs performed by the duo were Monday, Monday, Creeque Alley, Suite Judy Blue Eyes, Here Comes The Sun and a host of others.

            What made this show successful was the choice to celebrate the present rather than reach back for some unattainable nostalgia. There was no need to re-create magic when the magic was already there in the evening with these two skilled, veteran performers. In fact, there was nothing nostalgic about the concert. The songs sounded as though they were written yesterday with a vibrancy and relevance that may even put some of the original artists to shame, who have tended to go through the motions performing their older tunes before a live audience.

The performance was so entertaining, fresh, energetic and dynamic, it's hard to believe there were only two people on the stage. The instrumentation was rich with skillful lead guitar work by Terry Talbot along with steady, passionate rhythms by Barry McGuire on his 12-string guitar. He's also a mean foot stomper! The vocal harmonies were tight with a sound that only comes from many years of performing together. Their on-stage rapport was engaging and funny. At times they sang with lightheartedness and at other times with passion like when McGuire sang Eve of Destruction. His performance was intense as he sang with the conviction of an Old Testament prophet while the sweat streamed down his face. The quality of his voice carried the same lion-like growl; rich and deep with the character that made Green, Green and Eve of Destruction such great recordings. Terry Talbot brought a touching warmth to his stories about his encounters with Janis Joplin and John Denver. On lead vocal and harmony, his voice was as smooth as silk and carried a presence that was distinct and soulful. His performance was especially touching on the John Denver song, For Baby(Bobbie). By the show's end, the audience was on their feet smiling and dancing to a medley of Let The Sunshine In and Dancin' In The Street.

            The evening with Barry McGuire and Terry Talbot demonstrated the universal nature of the songs and stories from this era. They showed how these songs have become a part of our consciousness and perhaps, even touch a part of ourselves that we've lost so many years ago. But, ultimately, the music they presented last Saturday evening served to reawaken those missing pieces of spirit that we may have forgotten was there all along. Music and their messengers have a way of doing that

As the evening closed with a standing ovation and encore, Barry McGuire stood on the stage alone, quietly strumming his guitar to a subtle, allegorical finish; a beautiful, intimate narrative that he dedicated to his "best friend." This gem of a song called Cosmic Cowboy gently and poignantly revealed the source of Barry McGuire and Terry Talbot's musical odyssey and celebration.

            Barry McGuire with Terry Talbot will be performing Trippin' The 60's this Saturday night November 10 at 7:00 PM at The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. For reservations call (626) 398-7917. To learn more about Barry McGuire and for future booking information contact

            Terry Roland is an English teacher free-lance writer, occasional poet, songwriter and folk & country enthusiast. The music is in his blood since he was raised in Texas, but came to California where he was taught to say, 'dude' at an early age.