October 13, 2017

Joan Baez to retire from touring

Variety - Joan Baez was one of several singer-songwriter luminaries to appear Tuesday night(Oct. 11) at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles for a benefit concert supporting the JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service). The folk icon and recently inducted Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer was joined by Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, and Brandi Carlisle, and revealed to Variety shortly before taking the stage, that she’s winding down live performances in the near future.

“Next year is my last year of formal touring,” said Baez. “There will be four different tours, one month each, and then that’s it. I can choose if I want to go sing at a protest, or do something like this. The voice is so difficult to deal with now that having a point where I don’t have to do it anymore will be wonderful.”

Sam Smith - Mount Auburn 47, which opened in 1958 and later known as Club 47, was a coffee house located just around the corner from my entry of Harvard's Adams House. The current owners of what is now called Club Passim, described the early days:
"The first few months were rocky as the club was shut down by the Cambridge police. The local blue laws at the time prohibited more than three stringed instruments in a place that served food and beverages. So they got a non-profit educational charter and reopened as a private club, making people members at the door. It wasn't long before it earned a reputation for good music, coffee, and company. And it was here that a friend of then unknown 17-year-old Joan Baez rented the club out just to get her on stage. Baez quickly built a worshipful following and became a regular feature. Here, she introduced Bob Dylan who played between acts. The Club was shut down by Cambridge police once again, but the performers rallied and held their own hootenannies to keep the music going."
The club [for which I still have my membership card] would become increasingly famous with time, eventually becoming more important for folk singers than similar spots in New York. Bruce Springsteen was refused a gig there, Bonnie Rait hung out there, and Muddy Waters attracted the Cambridge police who, according to one account, "couldn't believe that the loud music could be coming from a place that only plays 'folk' music." Other musicians who cut their teeth at the club over the years included Tom Rush, Peter Wolf, Taj Mahal, Judy Collins, Suzanne Vega, Nanci Griffith, and Shawn Colvin

There was also Eric von Schmidt, with whom I even played a couple of practice sessions when he was wondering how guitar and just brushes on snare would sound together. And Joan Baez made

And Lew Waling, a friend of Joan's, who was the guy  her first radio appearance on WHRB, the Harvard radio station where I was news director.

A few years later, Lew's luck would turn. He was part of a classified Air Force mission in Vietnam. His plane went down and according to an accoun,, "Dawn found the SAR team getting off a Vietnamese Army helicopter on a dirt road several miles from the crash site. The team, led by Colonel Gleason, hiked across the side of a mountain where they found the C-47 had plummeted into a ravine and burned almost completely." Walling's name is one of the first forty on the glazed black wall of the Vietnam Memorial.

No comments: