The notion of choices, of course, inspired one of The Lovin' Spoonful's top hits -- "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind."
Their "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind" reached No. 2 on the charts in 1966 -- the same year that five of the band's singles cracked the Top 10, including "Do You Believe in Magic," "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice" and "Summer in the City."
By the time those hits had rolled out, however, Sebastian had already collaborated with many different musicians, including Bob Dylan and Judy Collins. He had already been part of a group, too, performing with The Even Dozen Jug Band.
It is this varied background that Sebastian, 68, taps when he performs these days, whether he is on stage with such musicians as Al Kooper and Jimmy Vivino (including a recent show at New York City's Highline Ballroom), or solo, as he will be on Saturday, June 16, in Fairfield.
"It's going to be one guy, with one guitar," Sebastian said recently during a phone interview from his Woodstock, N.Y., home. "Well, maybe actually a few guitars ... some harmonicas. It's mostly a kind of conversational approach to the way this music has all come down and the part I played and the part that other people played."
Throughout his career, Sebastian has glided back and forth from frontman and solo artist to sought-after accompanist, excelling on guitar, harmonica and autoharp.
"My professional life began as an accompanist, so has Jimmy's and, in many ways, so has Al Kooper's, so it's a very compatible arrangement," Sebastian said.
"But we should address the fact that when I come (to Fairfield), I will be coming as a solo artist, which gives me a tremendous amount of freedom," he added. "I find very often that the audience is the best person to determine the set list.
"It isn't so much `shout-outs' as it is the mood of the crowd," Sebastian said.
He said in one venue, for instance, there might be many fans from his jug band days, others from his four-year tenure with The Lovin' Spoonful -- which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 -- and still others who liked his solo work leading out of the 1960s and into the '70s, including the 1976 No. 1 single, "Welcome Back," which became the theme song to the "Welcome Back, Kotter" television show.
"It's wonderful to be able to have more than one bag to draw from," he said.
The original font of creativity formed early, with Sebastian growing up the son of a father who was a well-known classical harmonica player and a mother who wrote for radio, television and theater.
"I was underfoot in theaters at a very early age," he said, laughing.
Growing up in Greenwich Village, Sebastian also was at the center of the music scene that launched such artists as Dylan, The Mamas and the Papas and others, including mandolinist and composer David Grisman, a fellow member of The Even Dozen Jug Band.
"David and I have known each other since 1962, when we were in New York University together, but we also were playing in Washington Square park," Sebastian said. "It was the first blush and bloom of the folk movement ... and everyone was trying to be as much a part of it as they could."
In 2007, the two musicians teamed up for "Satisfied," an album from which Sebastian draws, even when he is appearing solo. He and Grisman have staged a number of tandem live performances, too, over the last several years and will likely meet up for a few dates in the summer.
Sebastian said he enjoys playing live, and keeps up a rather busy schedule.
"I think that it just has to do with the eternal tour that a musician is on," he said. "You know, it is part of my routine to try to have music pretty regularly in my schedule."
Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford St., Fairfield. Saturday, June 16, 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7. $55, $50. 203-259-1036, http://fairfieldtheatre.org/
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