Published on March 8th, 2018 | by Mike Ainscoe0
for International Women’s Day – Joan Baez: Whistle Down The Wind
It’s INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY so where else to go than to one we’ve been saving especially for the occasion by a woman who was/is/shall continue to be an inspirational singer, songwriter and activist legend. Last week Joan Baez released her first studio album in a decade, ‘Whistle Down The Wind’.
Gathering material by some of her favourite composers and recorded swiftly over ten days of sessions in Los Angeles, the album comes as she announces her final year of extended formal touring. The result of a lifetime of musical mentoring which has included introducing the world to Bob Dylan and taking on a high profile role alongside such figures as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
I saw her up close give a stately performance at the 2015 Cambridge Folk Festival and she remains both live and on record, a stately and elegant spectacle, the years not dulling her passion and integrity.
The new collection sees her cherry picked selection, old habits dying hard and heading towards the more obvious and expected on things like like Joe Henry’s ‘Civil War’ and Zoe Mulford’s ‘The President Sang Amazing Grace’, a highlight of her own ‘Small Brown Birds’ album.
Not so much a singular vision, she aims more left field and topical taking on ‘Another World’ by Anhoni, the English-born singer, composer, and visual artist, who was formerly known as Antony, the lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons. Josh Ritter’s ‘Silver Blade’ is a dramatic and cinematic take with swelling cymbals adding an ominous wash, however, the best is saved till last with the traditional song (learned from Tim Eriksen’s version) of ‘I Wish The Wars Were All Over’. An arrangements that travels back decades, it’s the epitome of coming full circle.
Her tour dates are below. Possibly the last chance to tick the ‘seen a legend’ box.
Listen to The President Sang Amazing Grace here:
The 2018 UK and ROI dates are as follows:
March 13 York Barbican 0844 854 2757 www.yorkbarbican.co.uk
March 14 Birmingham Symphony Hall 0121 345 0600 www.thsh.co.uk
March 16 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall 08444 999 990 www.gigsinscotland.com
March 17 Edinburgh Usher Hall 08444 999 990 www.gigsinscotland.com
March 19 Belfast Waterfront Hall 028 90 334455 www.waterfront.co.uk
March 21 Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre
March 22 Dublin Bord Gais Energy Theatre
ROI 0818 719377 & NI 0844 8472455; www.ticketmaster.ie
May 23 Bristol Colston Hall 0117 203 4040 www.colstonhall.org
May 24 Manchester Bridgewater Hall 0161 907 9000 www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk
May 26 Gateshead The Sage 0191 443 4661 www.sagegateshead.com
May 28 London Royal Albert Hal 0207 589 8212 www.royalalberthall.com
May 29 London Royal Albert Hall 0207 589 8212 www.royalalberthall.com