Just come back from a Joan Baez concert at The Anvil
in Basingstoke which let me indulge in the atmosphere of America a little longer. I'd never heard her play live, and was very impressed by the richness of her voice, still impressive at 66.
She was dressed in a simple black suit over a white shirt, with a green pashmina shawl which tended to have a mind of its own. This started a series of wry jokes that peppered the spaces between the songs, not that there were many spaces since she performed for over one and a half hours with no interval. She was on stage the entire time although her backing band occasionally left. Part of the audience was seated behind her and she always courteously turned and acknowledged their applause, and sang one beautiful unaccompanied song just to them. ("Finlandia")
It was a varied selection of songs, including "The Scarlet Tide" by Elvis Costello (on the soundtrack for the film 'Cold Mountain'), "Christmas in Washington" and "Jerusalem" by Steve Earles, "Ghost Ship" by the Carter family (sung with the band members) "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke (the Don't know much about history
song for those of us who are titulary-challenged). She did 3 encore songs, finishing with the song that was inspired by her relationship with Bob Dylan : "Diamonds and Rust" wryly changing the closing lyrics to
"And if you're
offering me diamonds and rust
well I'll keep the diamonds."
from I've already paid