Saturday, February 23, 2008


The Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa County will present “An Evening with Joan Baez” at the Bama Theatre on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. This performance by Ms. Baez will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the 1938 opening of the Bama in downtown Tuscaloosa . Reserved ticket prices are $30, $25, and $20. Tickets are available at, the Arts Council offices, and at 205-758-5195. Concert sponsors include Jim Walter Resources and The University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences.

At various times in our country's history when it was neither safe nor fashionable, folk singer Joan Baez put herself on the line countless times, and her life's work was mirrored in her music. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington in 1963. The soundtrack to those times was provided by a stunning soprano whose natural vibrato lent a taut, nervous tension to everything she sang. Yet even as an 18-year-old, introduced onstage at the first annual Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and during her apprenticeship on the Boston-Cambridge coffeehouse folk music circuit leading up to the recording of her first solo album for Vanguard Records in the summer of 1960, her repertoire reflected a different sensibility from her peers. In the traditional songs she mastered, there was an acknowledgment of the human condition - underdogs in the first, inequity among the races, the desperation of poverty, the futility of war, romantic betrayal, unrequited love, spiritual redemption, and grace.

Hidden within the traditional ballads and blues, lullabies, Carter Family songs, cowboy tunes, and ethnic folk staples, were messages that won Joan Baez strong followings in the U.S. and abroad. Among the songs she introduced on her earliest albums that would find their ways into the rock vernacular were "House Of The Rising Sun" (The Animals), "John Riley" (The Byrds), "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" (Led Zeppelin), "What Have They Done To The Rain" (the Searchers), "Jackaroe" (Grateful Dead), and "Long Black Veil" (The Band), to name but a few. "Geordie," "House Carpenter," and " Matty Groves " became staples for a multitude of British artists whose origins are traced to three seminal groups: Fairport Convention, Pentangle, and Steeleye Span.

Bowery Songs, the newest album from Joan Baez and her first live album in ten years, is a soaring chronicle of her 2003-2004 tour. The album was recorded in its entirety on the Saturday night after Election Day, November 2004, at New York 's Bowery Ballroom. From her opening acapella benediction, "Finlandia," to the prophetic and telling versions of Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and Steve Earle's " Jerusalem " that close the album, there can be no mistaking the medium and the message she sought to capture.

Her awards and nominations include:

Eight (8) Gold Albums:
º Joan Baez
º Joan Baez, Volume Two
º Joan Baez In Concert
º Blessed Are...
º Any Day Now
º Woodstock
º Diamonds & Rust
º Live Europe '83

One (1) Gold Single:
º The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

One (1) Grammy Award:
º 2007 - Lifetime Achievement Award

Six (6) Grammy Nominations:
º 1963 - Joan Baez In Concert for Best Folk Recording
º 1965 - There But For Fortune for Best Folk Recording
º 1969 - Any Day Now for Best Folk Recording
º 1972 - Best Female Vocalist
º 1988 - Asimbonanga for Best Folk Recording
º 1993 - Play Me Backwards for Best Contemporary Folk Recording

One (1) International Bluegrass Award

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