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Joan Baez 2011 and 1961

GUEST,StephenX 13 Sep 11 - 12:40 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 11 - 12:49 PM
Bettynh 13 Sep 11 - 12:59 PM
lefthanded guitar 13 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM
Wesley S 13 Sep 11 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,StephenX 13 Sep 11 - 04:06 PM
ClaireBear 13 Sep 11 - 04:18 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 13 Sep 11 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,jeff 13 Sep 11 - 07:06 PM
tonyteach1 13 Sep 11 - 07:24 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 11 - 07:25 PM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 11 - 10:04 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Sep 11 - 02:11 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Sep 11 - 02:44 PM
voyager 14 Sep 11 - 02:48 PM
Bettynh 14 Sep 11 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,StephenX 14 Sep 11 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Songbob 14 Sep 11 - 05:16 PM
Don Firth 14 Sep 11 - 05:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Sep 11 - 05:31 PM
Joe Offer 15 Sep 11 - 03:14 AM
Mrrzy 15 Sep 11 - 05:15 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 11 - 06:15 AM
Fossil 16 Sep 11 - 08:39 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Sep 11 - 09:30 AM
CupOfTea 16 Sep 11 - 10:06 AM
StephenX 16 Sep 11 - 10:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 11 - 04:19 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 17 Sep 11 - 05:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Sep 11 - 06:24 AM
David C. Carter 17 Sep 11 - 06:32 AM
wysiwyg 17 Sep 11 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Jaze 17 Sep 11 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,StephenX 17 Sep 11 - 10:31 AM
StephenX 17 Sep 11 - 10:35 AM
Don Firth 17 Sep 11 - 02:30 PM
CupOfTea 18 Sep 11 - 10:29 AM
StephenX 18 Sep 11 - 10:46 AM
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Subject: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,StephenX
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 12:40 PM

I hope to be approved as a member of this unique forum. Please allow me time to see and interact as to how things work here.
I found Mudcat.org doing a search on Joan and was fascinated by all the replies to a thread about Joan being "fake".

I'm exploring more now, and it seems the last thread about her was years ago. Is this true?

Although I prefer her earlier works, especially "Baptism", she amazes me how she never gives up her principles, and does not understand how people to this day have such raw emotions about her career.
She is a goddess to me.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 12:49 PM

I've been a great admirer of Joan and her work ever since about 1960 or thereabouts. Still admire her to this day.

It's easy to be "approved" as a member of this forum. Just sign up.

My parents bought Joan's first album when I was about 12 years old, and I became an instant fan. As far as I was concerned, she was the perfect folksinger in just about every way imaginable.

If people snipe at Joan or pick on her, I think it's mainly because they just have a pretty need to pick on somebody rather than it having anything much to do with Joan Baez.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bettynh
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 12:59 PM

Even if a thread is old, it's available for comment here. If you have something to say, go ahead and have your say. The thread will rise to the top again, and will probably attract further discussion. That said, PLEASE read enough of the old thread to get the gist of the discussion/argument. Some of those threads in which Joan's name was invoked I'd rather not see again.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM

I agree that Joan has been loyal to her principles, while others have wavered or abandoned them. I've always enjoyed her music, the One Day At A Time being the 'highlight' album for me. And her voice has only grown better- I've seen her in concert many times and it's always a profound experience.
To me, she is second only to Pete Seeger, in the talent of bringing a concert of hundreds or thousands of people together to sing as one humane presence - and to feel spiritually uplifted by the music.

There was a great PBS documentary on her recently, sure it will be repeated. As far as the critics, I agree with Little Hawk, you will see on this forum there's a fair (or unfair?) amount of nitpicking, just for the sake of it. But stick around, there's some great info and folks here too.

Nothing fake about Joan, she's the real deal.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Wesley S
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 01:18 PM

"I'm exploring more now, and it seems the last thread about her was years ago. Is this true?"

It's possible that during your search you've only found threads with Joan Baez in the title of the thread. That doesn't mean that she wouldn't have been mentioned in dozens of recent threads about folksingers, protest singers, songwriters, female singers ect.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,StephenX
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 04:06 PM

The newbie section says contact "Joe@..." but it keeps timing out for registering [ ??].
Anyway, thanks for replies noticing JB. My secret desire is to own a Martin 0-45 reissue of Joan's 1929 model.
She will be playing here (Richmond) in November and I am on the list.
I have only seen her once in concert. 1967 at the Sylvan Theater in DC and what a moving experience that was. I think that may have been her "protest" to the DAR to give this performance for free.
She has a golden heart, angel's voice, and to my dismay it was only a few years ago that I realized what a fine guitarist she is.
Henry Martin and East Virginia come to mind......


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: ClaireBear
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 04:18 PM

Stephen, if you go to the filter near the top of the Mudcat forum page (just to the right of "Create a new thread"), enter Joan Baez, and set the filter date for three years (for example), then you will get every thread with Joan Baez' name in the thread title that has been refreshed within the last three years. There are 18 of them. She has many devotees here, me among them.

Hang in with the registration thing, and do email Joe if you have trouble. He's a great guy who has seemingly endless patience under almost all circumstances.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 06:38 PM

I love Joan - one of my favourite-ever singers, with a voice that just does not age. Wonderful lady too, from everything I have ever seen, heard, or read.

Try emailing Joe again and be sure to put "Mudcat" in the subject heading because he says he can sometimes miss them otherwise.

I'll also send him a quick PM (personal message) now, alerting him to this thread and I'm sure it won't be long. He's lovely and helpful. Welcome to Mudcat - nice to have you here!

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 07:06 PM

"...what a fine guitarist she is..."

While respecting her political stances and humanistic beliefs her voice was not to my taste. Not a big fan of a rapid vibrato. ALWAYS thought she was a GREAT guitarist, though. Learned a great deal about understatement in arrangements and never oversinging the narrative from what little I DID listen to her. Her right hand fingerpicking and left-hand chord clarity are as good as anyone in the business.

Like the Beatles it wasn't until I began to become an accomplished musician myself that I began to awaken to HOW great was her musicianship. She was always 'submitted' to the song. Never 'used' the song to get her licks in or show off her chops.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: tonyteach1
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 07:24 PM

Loved the purity of her voice My wife listens to her stuff constantly Along with June Tabor and Maddy Prior she has the perfect voice for folk - acoustic music


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 07:25 PM

Yeah, I'd love to get hold of one of those Martin JB 0-45's too.

Stephen, have a look around at used bookstores (or on Amazon) and see if you can get a copy of her 2nd Autobiography ("And a Voice to Sing With"). It's a great book, and I'm sure you'd enjoy it a whole lot.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 10:04 PM

Hi, Stephen-
I didn't see an e-mail from you, so I hope you'll try again. Put "Mudcat registration" in the title of your e-mail, so I can sort it out from the Spam.
-Joe Offer, Mudcat Archivist-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 02:11 AM

I heartily second Hawk's recommendation of her memoir And A Voice To Sing With. It should be pretty easy to get ahold of if it's out of print (which it ought not to be). Good secondhand book websites are
Abe Books http://www.abebooks.com/
Bibliofind (connected with Amazon these days) http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=299899011


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 02:44 PM

here
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=and+a+voice+to+sing+with&_sacat=267


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: voyager
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 02:48 PM

I'm just glad that Ms. Baez dumped Dylan when she had a chance. Nothing good was going to come from that guy :^D

voyager


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bettynh
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 02:51 PM

Or here if you're in the US and as broke as I am. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,StephenX
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 05:05 PM

Thanks again to everyone for the replies! I can usually judge the quality of a forum by how many threads/posts are entered each day, and Mudcat appears to be very active compared to many others.
Joe, I'll try again to email you.
I will look for that bio of Joan, I love a good documentary read and there is so much I don't know about her.
I guess I never paid much attention to her guitar playing in the past because I come from a blues/rock background and I was only noticing the stars such as Bloomfield,Clapton,Guitar Slim, etc. These days I hardly ever play that stuff but I am re-discovering the music from my "innocent" days like Joan, PPM, early Dylan, etc.
Thanks for the welcomes, it's nice to be hear and there is nothing I love like music.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 05:16 PM

As for that guitar of hers. I understand the Joan Baez models actually have a hand-written note on the underside of the top, in pencil, that says, "Too bad you're a Commie!" The original was put there by a workman years ago when the guitar was in for a tuneup, and when they made the new ones, she approved their adding that, too.

Classy lady.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 05:26 PM

Welcome aboard, Stephen!

I had the pleasure of meeting Joan after her concert in the Seattle Center Opera House in summer of 1962, during the Seattle World's Fair.

There was a song fest going on up on Capitol Hill, a short drive from the fairgrounds, I think for some singers who procrastinated too long and couldn't get tickets for Joan's concert (3,100 seat opera house sold out!). Dave, a friend of mine, and I planned to drop in after the concert. When intermission came along, Dave said, "I'm going to go backstage, and if I can get close to her, I'm going to ask her if she'd like to come to the party."

"Fat chance!" I thought.

But he got back just before the end of the intermission and said, "She said she'd love to come. It seems she's been wandering around Seattle for three days, doesn't know anyone here, and she's lonesome! I'm to go backstage after the concert and pick her up!"

Outstanding!!

We pulled the car into a passenger load zone near the stage door, and a few minutes later, Joan and Dave emerged. Introductions were made, and off we went to the song fest. We chatted a bit during the short drive to the party. Most pleasant young lady!

Joan didn't sing at the party because she'd already sung for nearly two hours, and she said she was afraid she was on the verge of a cold, with more concerts coming up! But she wanted to meet and hear some of the Seattle singers.

Bob (Deckman) Nelson was also there. He learned that she had to catch a plane at the Seattle-Tacoma airport at gawdawful o'clock in the morning, and it was already getting late, so he checked with his wife to see if it would be okay with her, then when the party ended, he drove Joan to her hotel to pick up her baggage and check out. Then she stayed with Bob and his wife (they lived near the airport, which is way south of the city). In the morning, Bob drove her to the airport and saw her safely aboard the plane.

Two years later, I was attending the 1964 Berkeley Folk Festival where Joan was one of the featured performers, along with Doc Watson, Almeda Riddle, Sam Hinton, Mississippi John Hurt, and Alice Stuart, with ethnomusicologist Charles Seeger (patriarch of the family) and Archie Green as major panelists.

I had attended one of the morning workshops and was heading off campus to grab a bite of lunch. As I was starting down the stairs, there was a dark haired young woman in a T-shirt, cut-offs, and thong sandals coming up the stairs. We just about collided. It was Joan. She was scheduled to do her concert that evening and she had come to check the arrangements.

We stood there and chatted for a while. And damned if she didn't remember who I was!

Don Firth

P. S.   Beautiful voice, which she handles very well. Excellent command of folk guitar techniques, and that all-important quality, taste.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Sep 11 - 05:31 PM

tHERES A LOVELY BOOK CALLED bABY lET mE fOLLOW yOU dOWN WHICH HAS SOME NICE PICTURES AND GOOD ACCOUNTS OF JOAN IN THE EARLY DAYS. SORYY ABOUT THE CAPS.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 11 - 03:14 AM

Stephen -
Sorry about your problems with registration. I think my Mudcat e-mail isn't working. Please contact me at this address:
joe-offer@msn.com

Thanks.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Sep 11 - 05:15 PM

She is still one of my heroes.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 06:15 AM

I love Don's story about her coming to the party! When I lived in Boston I used to hear various tales of people who had met her in similar casual circumstances - private parties and informal get-togethers that someone "famous" would not normally be attending. They all commented on how natural and friendly she was. My mother used to live near Carmel in California, and people there said the same thing. I think you can always get a fair idea of what someone is like by the impressions and experiences of the local population, folks who get a chance to see what a celebrity is "really" like. Judging by that standard, Joan comes up trumps.

My favourite contemporary essayist, Joan Didion, wrote an account of meeting her while visiting her institute for non-violence and also reporting on a court case (which I can actually remember from living in the area at the time) in which certain surrounding landowners tried to stop Baez from running her organisation, which was on her own property. (So I guess not all local folks were well-disposed towards her - see below*.) Didion adopts a cool neutral-narrator journalist's stance, but you can tell that she's rooting for Baez - who seems to have made mincemeat of her opponents during the hearing.

This piece is published in either Didion's The White Album or Slouching Towards Bethlehem though I can't recall which - I love them both so I tend to get them mixed up. Also, I don't think the article actually has Baez's name in its title, so it would take a bit of digging to identity. But it's well worth finding - both those books are pure gold anyway. (Joe: Read Some Notes From A Native Daughter which is in one of them - she's from the same area you are.) My copies are buried somewhere in a rambling old farmhouse stuffed with books so I can't give any clearer info than this. If anyone can, please post it!

Anyway, Didion gives a crystal-clear snapshot of Baez, both in her study-centre sessions and in court. Because it was written as the events were actually happening, it has an immediacy that really brings the young Baez to life.




* [from WikiSpaces] The original Institute had been established by Ira Sandperl and Joan Baez in Carmel only after a strong and loosely organized conservative opposition fearful of "communist hippie weirdo's" invading "their "valley and threatening "their" way of life , tried to kill it. Fortunately, despite the opposition, the county board of Supervisors didn't see it that way and granted the Institute the necessary permit.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Fossil
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 08:39 AM

When I was a student (more years ago than I now care to think), I was in love with the purity and clarity of Joan's voice, and - as has been said further up - her restrained, tasteful guitar playing.

I still have a couple of her songs in my repertoire ( but the high notes are getting more and more difficult these days...).

The story about the inscription inside her Martin is apparently true and according to the publicity it is repeated inside all of the replicas that are now on sale. A worthy ambition, to own one - not that I'd want one myself, you understand, the HD-28 is my dream, but a good axe, nevertheless.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 09:30 AM

One of my treasured possessions as a teen was The Joan Baez Songbook (which I still have) and I always remember the editor's exhortation in the preface that we should not try to sing like Joan (as if any of us could!) because that wasn't why she had presented her songs, and that we must try to find our own way into them as she had. What good advice - those words have stayed with me ever since, as have the lovely photographs of Joan and her guitar out in an open field.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: CupOfTea
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 10:06 AM

For me, it was Joan Baez in early 70s and late 80s.

In highschool (class of 73), so many of us wanted to grow up and be Joan Baez. Like Bonnie, I had (and still have) the Joan Baez Songbook and for me it was a great springboard to trying to sing, learning about song souces, and seeing how traditional material gets edited/colleted/arranged. ( Judy Collins Songbook was right there next to it). The album of hers that got the most wear was The First Ten Years.

I tried everso hard to play a cheap guitar and sing those songs. I gave up on the guitar, but not the songs & when I started playing autoharp, "House Carpenter" was one of the first I arranged & the Joan Baez version was my starting point. My first time singing it in public, I was stopped partway through by a rude purist who declared "that's NOT the way Joan Baez sings it!!!!" in a scandalized voice. noshitsherlock. And who could? I still sing songs that I first associated with her.

I heard her perform several times & never had the luck to have the personal connection-the closest I got was picking up takeout Chinese food for Joan & her band/crew at one of the Cuyahoga Valley festivals, where she charmed people by gleefully dancing along to the Mariachi band who were on one of the workshop stages. It was in inviting out of town friends to come for that festival performance of Joan's that I learned that 4 of my favorite singers of hard core traditional material had first discovered their love of it through listening to Joan Baez in the 70's when I did.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: StephenX
Date: 16 Sep 11 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for so many cool stories about Joan! You are some fortunate people.
As far as hitting the "high notes", I'm not so sure that even Joan can quite do that anymore. After 50 some years, even the best voices have a toll taken. That said, her charm and loving ways seem to only get better with age.
She is truly a person I would name on one of those "who would you like to meet/converse with" polls.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 04:19 AM

I've had two (or is it three?) of those Baez songbooks. The fat one and the thin one. (I always give stuff away)

I used to love those Ric Von Schmidt weird illustrations that looked like applied tissue paper.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 05:27 AM

What thin one was that, Al? I only remember what I think must be the fat one, with the large profile pic of her against a greenish background background on the cover. Never even knew about any other songbook.

Like CupofTea, I also had a much-loved Judy Collins Songbook, and the pair of them sat together on my bookshelf - as indeed they still do. I'm looking at them as I type, two grand ladies who have spent years being dragged through countless digs and bedsits and flats in three countries. This is their (and my) first actual permanent house.

Back to Joan, and a memory that her book sparks: When I was new to London, I earned a bit of money by teaching piano to the ten-year-old daughter of some friends. This child was psychologically fragile in some way - very reclusive, stayed only in one room and would not come out, didn't speak unless absolutely necessary (at which times she could communicate perfectly well). It had to do with some emotional trauma centred around the death of her mother and unresolved mourning, rather than autism, which her family reckoned meant that she might be cured. Because the room she would not come out of had a piano in it, and the girl had shown herself to be musical and liked to sing, they figured that learning music might help heal her and bring her out of her self-imposed shadows. And that is where Joan and her book come in:

I tried all sorts of different things with her, in an effort to evoke a response and get an impression which musical path might entice her. Classical piano - apart from showing her how to hold her hands - didn't seem to be working, nor jazz (to the limited extent that I could teach any). Then, at a local music shop I saw in a window display the Joan Baez Songbook - my faithful friend and companion throughout high school - and something of the comfort I had taken from it flashed through my mind.

So I bought it, took it along to the next lesson - and it unlocked the door for this child. We worked on Joan's lovely songs, the girl started singing them, I showed her some simple piano chords (maybe guitar ones too, can't remember) and the road to healing began. These people later moved out of London and I lost touch with them decades ago so I don't know how she got on in later life, but by the time we parted the skies were looking much sunnier. And Joan's music was a direct cause of that.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 06:24 AM

It comes from buying everything on the cheap. You always end up spending twice as much as the wise investor, whose still got his first plectrum. there was definitely a thin one (I may still have it if i come across it - I'll pass it on to you), and I've had two of the fat ones.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: David C. Carter
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 06:32 AM

Joan is playing tonight here in the north of Paris.

It's the Communist Party's annual 3 day bash.

A few years back we saw,to our surprise,Pete Seeger followed by James Brown.What a day that was!

David


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 07:08 AM

I was a child when I first heard her recording of Amazing Grace. In those days I was not hearing much Christian music, and (I know it's hard to believer) had never really heard that hymn. So I heard her version and assumed that it was "the" "correct" version. Years later I became active in church life and was astounded to see, in the hymnal, that all her little flourishes and ornamentations are not actually written in the music. But no matter where I am, if we're singing that, it's her recorded melody line that comes out of my neck. I may ADD some touches, but always upon that melody as I received it as a child! And I do not think anyone else's voice has had quite THAT effect on my singing!

I later came to know that style as typical in the Black Gospel that flowed from the Spirituals, so in a way you could say that Joan Baez is one of the grandmothers to my interest in those genres.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,Jaze
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 08:32 AM

Stephen, she is going to be in Richmond,VA in November?


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: GUEST,StephenX
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 10:31 AM

Keep the stories and memories coming> Very nice.

Yes, she will be playing at the Carpenter Center. She was originally booked to play a much smaller venue at the University of Richmond, but demand for tickets was so great they had to move her concert to a bigger hall. That speaks volumes.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: StephenX
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 10:35 AM

Here is the UR websites explanation:

"An Evening With Joan Baez"

Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music

November 18 Joan Baez Show Moved

Due to overwhelming demand, the November 18 Joan Baez Performance has been moved to the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage

Subscription ticket holders will automatically have their seats transferred to the Carpenter Theatre. Check back for further details.

For more than 50 years, Joan Baez has remained a musical force of nature. Her influence is incalculable, whether she is singing traditional ballads, continuously developing dynamic musical partnerships with other artists, or remaining a strong voice for awareness of civil and human rights struggles throughout the world.


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 02:30 PM

CupOfTea (Joanne),

Been there, done that. It was around 1959 or 1960, I was singing regularly in a coffeehouse when someone asked me to sing "The Sloop John B." I had learned the song from An American Songbag by poet and song collector Carl Sandburg (publish 1927) and had been singing it for a good five years. So I sang it. The guy grumped that I hadn't sung it right. I asked him what was wrong with the way I sang it. He said, "That's not the way the Kingston Trio sings it!"

I didn't even know the Kingston Trio had recorded it!

I figured he deserved a smart-ass response, so I said, "Of course not! There are three of them and there's only one of me!"

Got a laugh from the rest of the audience.

The Joan Baez Songbook is right there in my library of folk song collections, too.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: CupOfTea
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 10:29 AM

(**************Slight thread drift alert**************)

Don's similar experience and Susan's reaction to Amazing Grace brought to mind how interesting it is when we imprint, like ducklings, on one particular version of a song, frequently the first heard. It becomes the "right way" template in our heads. Few of us are obnoxiously evangelical enough to insist that it's the only right way, but in our heart of hearts it's OUR "right way". Satisfaction in our own interpretation can mean how closely our version approximates this internal template.

"Folk Processing" brings lots of variations on familiar material that spans the range from brilliant to desecration: from seeking out variations on a song, or lyrics sung to another melody, to finding versions/verses/melodies that suit us better (or make us clench our teeth). I think of Joan Baez as my starting point for singing, and loving House Carpenter and Lady Mary/Palaces Grand , with my interpretations informed by other peformers/texts. There are other songs where I find, no matter hw much I love a perfomer, the version I've imprinted on is too perfect to change. What comes to mind is how I learned Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy - Copper family version passed through several people. I adore Brian Peters,love listening to him, yet his version with a different melody is something I just skip over.

In the end, I see it as a bit of musical maturity to be able to look at a whole range of interpretations, and have a developed enough taste to direct how we want to sing a song... Without a slavish adherence to ONLY the versions done by THE SACRED perfomers. The vitality of the music is increased by mixing it up, hearing it from unexpected directions. Taste is knowing why you prefer it one way or the other not just "because that's how X sang it."

It's not the singer, it's the song.

Joanne in Cleveland getting off her soapbox now


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Subject: RE: Joan Baez 2011 and 1961
From: StephenX
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 10:46 AM

I *often* have one preferred version of songs that many have done so I empathize with your comment.
Sometime though it's funny how I love every version I heard of a particular song ( All Along the Watchtower) and there are some that stay on an equal basis like "Someday Soon". Ian & Sylvia and Judy Collins versions are so different but both do it for me.


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