Album #24 – Joan Baez
The first album of the 60’s is by none other than Joan Baez. I know a lot about this amazing woman and singer/songwriter. She famously dated Bob Dylan between 1963 and 65. She is an activist and promoter of peace and justice for all, she says she was born into a family of activists. Joni Mitchell has been at odds with Baez for years because Baez supposedly stole Mitchell’s guitar playing style and vocal sound and ended up being famous before Mitchell. Mitchell dislikes Baez to this day. The difference is Mitchell writes all of her songs. Baez covers them. I first heard Baez on the radio when I was a child doing her version of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. I thought she wrote the song but it was written by Robbie Robertson and recorded by The Band on the self-titled second album (which is also on the list). This album was good because it was stripped down and live. It was just Baez and her songs. These were all covers of folk songs. Much like her contemporaries in the folk revival, Baez played these songs at coffee houses. These songs are very well known songs and Baez adds her distinct vocals to them. But, this album got annoying pretty quickly. Baez’s voice can be annoying and too high pitched and vibrato-laden at times. But, as a listener, I sense the emotion and vulnerability in her voice. Highlights include: Silver Dagger, Fare Thee Well and All My Trials (which almost made me cry). Overall, I give this album 3 out of 5 stars.
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