Paul Stookey at T.H.E. Show

Paul Stookey, now 74 years young, sounded optimistic, vibrant, and sweet, delivering a solo performance to the audiophile crowd at the Flamingo, as hosted by T.H.E. Show, Cary Audio, and PBN Audio. Somehow Paul has retained all the youthful energy and optimism that characterized his role when was a member of the Peter, Paul and Mary trio. Although I associate him more with the flower child, utopian, flower-child world of the 1960s, celebrating love, sex, freedom and occasionally drugs ("Puff the Magic Dragon"), he easily slipped into the role of audiophile troubador. Although his vocal range had narrowed with the years, his guitar accompaniment was superb.

He brought the house down with a holocaust-inspired sorrowful ballad about a French boy from Alsace-Lorraine. Paul weaved a wonderful story about how the song grew from a purely musical idea of a chord and its harmonic progression into a rich tapestry of musical color and poetic lyrics.

Robert Deutsch adds: One of the highlights of my time in Las Vegas was the concert by Noel Paul Stookey, sponsored by PBN speakers and Cary Audio. As self-effacing as he is talented, Noel (as I understand he likes to be called) told that audience that if they were expecting a one-man version of a Peter, Paul, and Mary, concert they were going to be disappointed. He is very much his own man, with his own songs—and very good songs they are, too, performed with the confidence of a master of the folk genre. From the audiophile perspective, an interesting aspect of the concert was that the PA speakers were custom-made by PBN, and the electronics were tube-based Cary Audio models. The sound was excellent.