Album & Single Reviews

Published on March 8th, 2018 | by Mike Ainscoe


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.

Image result for joan baez cambridge folk festival 2015

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

March 14    Birmingham    Symphony Hall      0121 345 0600

March 16    Glasgow         Royal Concert Hall    08444 999 990

March 17    Edinburgh         Usher Hall       08444 999 990

March 19    Belfast             Waterfront Hall   028 90 334455 

March 21    Dublin       Bord Gais Energy Theatre

March 22    Dublin       Bord Gais Energy Theatre

ROI 0818 719377 & NI 0844 8472455;

May    23     Bristol        Colston Hall    0117 203 4040

May    24     Manchester       Bridgewater Hall    0161 907 9000

May    26     Gateshead      The Sage              0191 443 4661

May   28      London             Royal Albert Hal   0207 589 8212

May   29      London             Royal Albert Hall    0207 589 8212


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About the Author

Mike's mellowed in his old age, discovering the delights of traditional folk and acoustic music and the constant stream of new music coming through his passion as a gig-goer, music photographer and writer. With favourite artists and favourite songs which change daily, even hourly, he adds another spoke to the Sonic Bandwagon wheel of fortune.

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