Joan baez stays true to folk

joan baez stays true to folk

Her bright soprano was the voice of the american protest movement. Peace marches, woodstock, mass demonstrations against the vietnam war, even in prison joan baez sang in the hope of world peace.

In the meantime, the long, black hair has become female and short. Politically she is still. But the voice, says the "queen of folk", the voice is no longer what it used to be.

The high notes no longer come as effortlessly from her lips as they once did. "It’s so hard to sing," she tells the rolling stone. Nevertheless she has recorded a new album. "Whistle down the wind" will probably be her last, she says. What surprises after these honest words: baez voice on it is by no means weak. Deeper perhaps, but powerful. Goosebumps. Joan baez has lost none of her intensity at the age of 77.

The folk queen meanwhile thinks that the pure soprano of yesteryear no longer fits at all. "I am rougher," she says. More at peace with itself, but also a little more worn, marked by all that it had experienced. "And that comes out in the voice."

Of the ten songs on her new studio album, the first in ten years, she didn’t write a single one herself. There are covers of songs by tom waits ("whistle down the wind") and zoe mulford. She listens to "the president sang amazing grace" on the radio while driving. "It just happened, and it wasn’t my intention for the songs to become mine," says the american from new york’s staten island neighborhood.

Melodic folk guitar dominates the music. And just this haunting, gentle, but at the same time somewhat rough voice. "I am the last leaf on the tree," sings baez. In fact, there are not many of their kind left. Not many left who use music to make politics – and shaped an entire generation, like baez and her longtime friend, nobel literature laureate bob dylan.

Both were inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, baez only last year. She has proven that being loud is not the only way to be loud, they say. Baez proves the same style and class with her new, and possibly last, album. It’s a moving look back at her life as a musician and activist.

She will probably not go into the studio again, says baez. The tour in spring and summer is also to be the last very rough one. From the 25. March she is thus in germany.

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