75TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
(Razor & Tie/Planet)
You sense the inner beauty of the woman through her singing so strongly that sometimes you’d swear Joan Baez’s voice actually emits light. And this is at the age of 75! Since the dawn of her remarkable career 56 years ago Baez has had an unerring instinct for presenting a song with absolute honesty. She has no truck with pretence or front, just heart-to-heart communication.
So as well as an audience queuing up for this birthday concert in January of this year in New York, other artists were queuing to participate. This who’s who of acoustic music includes Paul Simon, Richard Thompson, Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins and David Crosby. Among the highlights are a riveting Gracias a la Vida performed with the Chilean singer Nano Stern and a potent She Moved Through the Fair with Damien Rice. Jackson Browne creates something of a flat spot, but even then Baez is there to shine her luminosity upon the song. This delightful double album is accompanied by a DVD of the concert.