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Making a little noise for the 'quiet Beatle'

The Ditchflowers, shown performing at Skipper’s Smokehouse in 2007, are, from left, Steve Connelly, Brian Merrill, Ed Woltil and Michael Hoag. They’ll headline the tribute to George Harrison.

Photo by Mat Hotho (2007)

The Ditchflowers, shown performing at Skipper’s Smokehouse in 2007, are, from left, Steve Connelly, Brian Merrill, Ed Woltil and Michael Hoag. They’ll headline the tribute to George Harrison.

LARGO — Which Beatle made the best album after the breakup?

John Lennon with Imagine?

McCartney with Band on the Run?

Ed Woltil believes the honor belongs to George Harrison for his work, All Things Must Pass.

"It's spiritual and heartfelt, and it's musicianship at its greatest,'' said Woltil, who is a founding member, vocalist and guitarist for the Ditchflowers, a Largo-based pop/rock band.

It was 40 years ago, on Nov. 27, 1970, that the album, which includes My Sweet Lord, Awaiting on You All and the Bob Dylan collaboration If Not For You, was first released.

In honor of the anniversary, the Ditchflowers will headline the WMNF 40th Anniversary Tribute to George Harrison and All Things Must Pass on Saturday at the Largo Cultural Center.

"I remember I was 13 when I got that album,'' said Woltil, 53. "It had just come out that November, and my mom and dad gave it to me for Christmas. (George Harrison) became a big influence on me, as did all the Beatles.''

This marks the second tribute WMNF has held at the center. Last year, the radio station held a Pink Floyd Tribute for the 40th anniversary of The Wall.

"We had just finished with The Wall when we started thinking of putting on this event,'' said Lee Courtney, WMNF's music director. "I thought the Largo Cultural Center was fabulous when it came to the production aspects of putting a show on, and we really appreciate the size of the stage and the intimacy of the theater setting.''

Like last year's event, the Harrison tribute has a lineup of local musicians who will join the headliners on stage throughout the evening. Special guests include Anne Waddey, Rebekah Pulley and Rick Olson.

Harrison's All Things Must Pass was the first triple album released by a solo artist. The original vinyl release came in a box and featured two LPs of rock songs, while the third LP, titled Apple Jam, was composed of informal jam sessions.

WMNF selected the Ditchflowers as the headliner because of the band's Beatle-esque style.

"Last year, they did an Abbey Road album tribute at Skippers for us, and they know their stuff,'' Courtney said.

All 18 songs of All Things Must Pass will be performed in the order of the original album. "We plan on staying close to the material, but with a few of our own twists thrown in,'' Woltil said.

He cannot single out one Harrison song as his absolute favorite.

"I'm reluctant to say just one. George Harrison had such spirit, and his work is made up of beautiful melodies,'' he said.

Courtney agrees.

"What I'm most eager about is to actually see this album performed live,'' he said. "I remember when it first came out. George was the quiet Beatle, and I didn't expect it to have such magnitude, and ultimately, I ended up playing that album a million times."

Reach Piper Castillo at pcastillo@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4163.

If you go

What: The WMNF 40th Anniversary Tribute to George Harrison and All Things Must Pass. Performers include the Ditchflowers with special guests Anne Waddey, Rebekah Pulley, Rick Olson of Bogus Pomp, Billy Daniel, Alex Merrill and Danny Scordato of Sound Parlor and Eddie Entreken of Briar Hill.

When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; show starts at 8.

Where: Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive.

Cost: $22 in advance; $23 day of show; $19 if purchased through either wmnf.org or by calling the radio station at (813) 238-8001.

Making a little noise for the 'quiet Beatle' 11/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 12:51pm]
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