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Donovan

  • Capitol Theater 201 State Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Scottish folk songwriter Donovan Leitch found great pop success in the mid-to-late-1960's under the aegis of Mickie Most, the British producer who had managed to create enduring singles for groups like The Animals and Herman's Hermits. Donovan turned 21 in 1967 and had already scored a run of hits, on top of shaking off an early but persistent Bob Dylan comparison. As the '60's went on, Donovan became more and more entrenched in starry-eyed hippiedom, sometimes to near-parodic levels: Many British stars of the '60's were interested in flowery mysticism and lightweight material, but no one else titled songs "Breezes Of Patchulie" [sic] or devoted multiple albums to children's music. Donovan's commitment to sticking by his stylistic guns (or, alternately, his inability to adapt to new trends) eventually gained him fading relevance, but his mid-'60's hits such as "Sunshine Superman" (with a shuffling, harpsichord-based arrangement that still fascinates) and "Mellow Yellow" still sound catchy and tuneful today. He also found fans in odd places years after his period of fame: Hüsker Dü covered "Sunshine Superman" and the Butthole Surfers covered "Hurdy Gurdy Man." He plays here as part of the 50th Anniversary Sunshine Superman Tour. —Mike Noto