Celebrities, Fashion and Beauty

Joan Baez: Whistle Down The Wind — ‘an admirable farewell’

Joan Baez: Whistle Down The Wind — ‘an admirable farewell’

Joan Baez: Whistle Down The Wind — ‘an admirable farewell’
March 12
08:14 2018

Loading...

Joan Baez

Whistle Down The Wind

(Proper)

It has been ten years since Joan Baez’s last album (and indeed 60 years since her first concerts), and it is hard not to suspect that one factor sending her back into the studio has been her country’s recent change of presidency. The 45th President is never referred to directly, but a couple of the songs are pointedly chosen. A version of Zoe Mulford’s “The President Sang Amazing Grace” refers back to the eulogy at the funeral of Clementa Pinckney, murdered along with eight other churchgoers in Charleston in 2015, during which President Obama broke into the old anti-slavery hymn. Baez narrates the story of the murders and the funeral in steely low gospel tones, stretching out the vowels and underlining with her trademark vibrato. “We argued where to lay the blame/On one man’s hate or a nation’s shame.”

And although “Civil War”, written by the album’s producer, Joe Henry, dates back to 2007, its lyrics sound starkly contemporary. “We build this up and we knock this down,” sings Baez, over a barely adorned piano waltz, “We call our little mob a town/We nail a sign above the door/‘God bless our little civil war,/God bless our little civil war’,” as if Civil War is the constant state of the union.

For many years, Baez maintained her celebrated three-octave soprano range, with increasing difficulty. “If I went into the lower register of my voice”, she said a decade ago, “I’d be okay. But I don’t want to do that. My voice coach says, ‘My dear, didn’t you know? Eventually gravity takes over everything.’ ” Now she has reconciled herself to gravity, her voice sounding more like a veteran soul singer’s growl than its former folky gleam. There is a hint of the old spryness on Josh Ritter’s “Silver Blade”, an explicit slight return to her shivering “Silver Dagger” in 1960. The new song sees “a maid/who mistook a thief for love” repaying sexual betrayal with murder.

Baez (like several contemporaries, including Paul Simon) has indicated that her current tour will be her last. If this is also her last album, it is a muted farewell, admirable, but not loveable; it is relentlessly mid-paced and any anger is expressed in terms that are relentlessly reasonable — or, worse, resigned.

★★★☆☆

Loading...


Source link

Share

About Author

webmaster

webmaster

Related Articles

Ads

The Red Tea Detox

Ads

Ads

The Red Tea Detox
Loading...
Vertical Jump Affiliate program
Get Paid Taking Pictures