Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Baez At Her Prime
Phil Friess | Hunt Valley, MD USA | 11/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Joan Baez has certainly fallen out of favor. Not sure I know why. Perhaps her music is too much out of step with the times. In any event, if you can get by the applause on this live CD, you will experience perhaps the finest artist of the prime folk movement at her prime - in voice and guitar. All the songs are a joy to listen to from a story/voice/instrument viewpoint. The voice and guitar on "Lady Mary" is perhaps Joan at her very best - a pure voice with no harsh edges and simple guitar which moves the heart. I have never heard "Black Is The Color Of My True Loves Hair" performed in any manner approaching this aching rendition. "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" melds Joans moving voice with a guitar which literally pulls you down the highway. All in all a moving CD which demands that it be listened to - and therin may lie it's lack of popularity today. Buy it if you have an ounce of reflection in you."
E. A. Lovitt | Gladwin, MI USA | 06/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has three extra songs that were not on the original vinyl recording of "Joan Baez in Concert." They are "Streets of Laredo," "My Good Old Man," and "My Lord What a Morning." Not much of a bargain, considering the fact that Joan sings kind of wishy-washy spirituals, and "Streets of Laredo" is set to slightly unfamiliar music, which makes it difficult to sing along with. I'll get used to it, though, and as always Joan's Child Ballads and Southern Appalachian ballads are to kill for. The liner notes that accompany this CD are also quite interesting. They discuss Joan's very early career and how she overcame her fear of large audiences.Remember that the songs on this CD were recorded 'in concert' so you will hear occasional applause and crowd noises.There are sixteen songs in all, and here are a few of my favorites: "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" - I always thought this was a Bob Dylan song, but the most popular version turns out to have been recorded by Led Zeppelin. According to their web site, Jimmy Page heard the Baez version and decided to rearrange it for his band. The original version of the song has been traced to Anne Bredon, a folk musician who wrote and recorded the original song in the 1950s. At any rate, Joan sings it as a very lovely, plaintive ballad. I'm probably one of the few people in America who has never heard the Led Zeppelin version."Geordie" - A version of this Child ballad (#209) "God be wi' thee, Geordie" appears in the "Straloch Manuscripts (early 17th century)." It also appears in Buchan's "Ancient Ballads and Songs (1828)" under the name of "Gight's Lady." According to the Child Ballad web site, it's six pretty babies that Geordie's wife has borne, not Joan's three, and Geordie appears to have stolen 'six milk-white steeds' from the king, not deer. According to Buchan "Geordie" was Sir George Gordon of Gight (1512-1562), the son of the illegitimate daughter of James IV, who was imprisoned for becoming "too familiar" with the Laird of Bignet's wife (no deer or horses in this version). Geordie's wife, Lady Ann, went to Edinburgh to plead for his life. She was successful, but upon being freed Geordie killed his faithful wife. I like Joan's ending a bit better: Geordie is hanged in a golden chain and that's the end of it. "Kumbaya" - This spiritual apparently originated with the Gullah, an African-American people living on the Sea Islands and adjacent coastal regions of South Carolina and Georgia. 'Kumbaya' means 'Come by here' and it really brings back the Sixties for me (we always sang it at the sit-ins). Joan asks the audience to sing along with her (you will hear it as a dull muttering in the background), and so I do."Black is the Color of my True Love's Hair" - There are many versions of this tune, including "Black is the Color of My True Love's Eyes." It's best known as a tune from the Southern Appalachian Mountains and is probably based on an 18th century English tune. Joan sings it almost as a lament, and I always expect the black-haired lover to die at the end, but in truth the ballad ends on a slightly happier note: the singer only threatens to kill herself if she loses her love. "House Carpenter" - This Child ballad (#243) is also known as "James Harris, or the Daemon Lover." I like the Buffy Saint Marie version slightly better (on her album "Little Wheel Spin and Spin), in which the lover is an actual demon: "He stomped his foot and down they sank, and sank to rise no more." Joan's slightly sanitized version makes no mention of demons, although the carpenter's wife and her lover go to the 'hills of hell' when their ship accidentally sinks."Danger Waters"- This song has a chorus that I'd never been able to decipher completely, until I went to the web. Anyway the chorus goes something like this: "And I holler why, and I holler why, and I holler why," (now comes the hard part) the Burgess (or gorgeous?) boy "no mon ami." 'Burgess' turned out to be 'tortoise.' Oh well. This is a West African song, and Joan makes it sound very wistful even when she is demanding the return of her 'schillins.' Lovely, lovely Joan. This CD is a 'must' for her fans."
The way it was
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 09/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Time was, when this document of a 1962 Baez concert was released, that a musician could go on stage, armed with only a guitar and voice, sing songs that required listening and involvement by the audience -- and be successful. While that time may seem long ago and far away now, this first volume of "Joan Baez in Concert" proves that once upon a time, such things were possible.One thing you might notice as soon as you listen to the release: there are no annoying hoots, hollers, yells, whistles, etc., etc., as Baez sings, or as she quietly prepares to play. One thing you will most certainly notice is the incredible quality of Baez's voice -- it was one of popular music's great instruments, producing bell-like tones of absolute purity. And finally, you will notice the quality of the material. Baez's love of songs that extend back in America's and the world's history is evident in her interpretations of much-sung tunes such as "Black Is the Color" and "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You." Lest you think you are buying a hoary disc filled with dated protest songs, be assured that "In Concert" contains very little overtly political material. In fact, the only pure protest song, the excellent "What Have They Done to the Rain" is as much poetry as protest. And another of the disc's high points, the moonshine tune "Copper Kettle," leavens the performance with a dose of good humor.This is music for quiet, reflective moments, a commodity in short supply today."