Friday, July 30, 2010
Joan Baez at Cheekwood
Last night, July the 29th, LIVE! at Cheekwood welcomed legendary folk singer, songwriter, and activist, Joan Baez, to their summer concert series. Ms Baez began her career over fifty years ago performing in coffeehouses in the Boston-Cambridge area. She emerged out of obscurity in 1959 as an unknown performer at the Newport Folk Festival.
She began her recording career a year later in 1960, achieving immediate success with her first three albums – Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert. All three albums achieved gold record status, and stayed on the charts for more than two years.
Ms Baez is well known for her distinctive vocal style, the topical songs she writes, and the material she has chosen to record. In the 1960s and 70s she recorded and was instrumental in helping to bring the songs of Bob Dylan to national prominence. She has spent her entire adult life as a social activist dealing with nonviolence, human rights, and environmental issues.
She is, perhaps, best known for such hits as "Diamonds & Rust", Phil Ochs's "There but for Fortune", "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word", and The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" – all of which she performed last night to standing ovations.
Despite the heat and humidity, the croaking (rib-bit) of frogs in the background, and the stage lights attracting numerous bugs, Joan made it a magical night for all who came. The outdoor venue and gorgeous scenery of the Cheekwood gardens and ponds, with the famed Chihuly glass sculture exhibit only added to the enchantment of the evening.
In the coming months John Hiatt, the Indigo Girls and the Del McCoury Band will also perform LIVE! at Cheekwood.