That Voice! Those Songs!

Joan Baez celebrated her 75th birthday year by giving us a new album and in Santa Barbara last week a wonderful concert of the songs from the album. Her birthday, but we got the presents! She arrived on the stage of the Arlington Theatre proudly showing off a “Nasty Woman” tee, to the delight of the audience. She and her guitar flew solo for a while and then she was joined by a couple of “Bad Hombres”: son Gabriel Harris on percussion & Dirk Powell on various fretted instruments and accordion. Singer (and personal assistant) Grace Stumberg joined for several delightful duets and a solo song. Joan’s voice is still so uniquely lovely, those songs are so great and her good humor and trenchant observations about the fractious politics of today were so spot-on, that the loving audience was very grateful for the gifts she was giving out as we all celebrated her birthday. Of course, she got something back–wild applause and cheers.