Joan Baez [ web site | Amazon.com ] has been as busy as ever in the years since she celebrated the 50th anniversaries of her legendary residency in 1958 at the famed Club 47 in Cambridge, and her subsequent debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. In addition to multiple tours of the US and abroad, the recent past has included the induction of Joan's 1960 debut Vanguard LP by the National Recording Academy into the Grammy Hall Of Fame and the presentation to her of the inaugural Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights at Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary gathering in 2012. She remains a musical force of nature whose influence is incalculable—marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, inspiring Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, singing on the first Amnesty International tour and standing alongside Nelson Mandela when the world celebrated his 90th birthday in London's Hyde Park. She shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez, organized resistance to the Vietnam War, then forty years later saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest the Iraq war. Her earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock vernacular, before she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963, beginning a tradition of mutual mentoring that continues to this day. If you ever had any doubt about where Steve Earle's [ web site | Amazon.com ] musical roots are planted, his new collection, So You Wannabe an Outlaw , makes it perfectly plain. "There's nothing 'retro' about this record," he states. "I'm just acknowledging where I'm coming from." So You Wannabe an Outlaw is the first recording he has made in Austin, Texas. Earle has lived in New York City for the past decade but he acknowledges, "Look, I'm always gonna be a Texan, no matter what I do. And I'm always going to be somebody who learned their craft in Nashville. It's who I am." In the 1970s, artists such as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, Billy Joe Shaver and Tompall Glaser gave country music a rock edge, some raw grit and a rebel attitude. People called what these artists created "outlaw music." The results were country's first Platinum-certified records, exciting and fresh stylistic breakthroughs and the attraction of a vast new youth audience to a genre that had previously been by and for adults. In the eighties, The Highwaymen was formed by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. Their final album The Road Goes On Forever , released in 1996, began with the Steve Earle song "The Devil's Right Hand." So You Wannabe an Outlaw is an homage to outlaw music. "I was out to unapologetically 'channel' Waylon as best as I could," says Earle. "This record was all about me on the back pick-up of a Fender Telecaster on an entire record for the first time in my life. The singing part of it is a little different. I certainly don't sound like Waylon Jennings." Patty Griffin [ web site | Amazon.com ] is a Grammy-Award winning artist who has achieved great acclaim for her songwriting as well as her powerful voice. Her first two albums, Living With Ghosts and Flaming Red , are considered seminal albums in the singer-songwriter genre, while Children Running Though won Best Album and led to her being named Best Artist at the 2007 Americana Music Awards. She won the Grammy for Downtown Church , her 2010 gospel album. Her songs have been covered by a myriad of artists including Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks, Joan Baez and Bette Midler. She was born in Old Town, Maine and resides in Austin, Texas. Over nine albums, Griffin has proven herself a writer of uncommon perception, with a genius for character-driven storytelling. On Servant of Love , her tenth, she brings that genius to bear on her over-arching themes. The same trans-migrated soul seems to inhabit the characters in these songs, all different, yet all walking the same beat, speaking from the same source: the storyteller herself, of course, but also, the album suggests, a greater source. A source we reject at our peril. That melting polar ice cap in "You Never Asked Me"? That's no metaphor. That's the real world consequence of our spiritual deficit. As Servant Of Love travels through different musical terrains—folk and blues, rock and jazz, ancient sounds and modern—a spare, organic quality persists. Patterns and recurrence weave through the album in small ways and large: the drone of open tunings, modal riffs and bluesy moves, images of nature. That lonely trumpet. They create a sense of sonic return that buoys Griffin's larger message: Love persists. In the dark, in the mud, in disaster, in the sun, there love is. An elemental force.
Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees featuring Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, and special guests
- 423 Central Ave NW
- Albuquerque, NM 87102
- $75, $85, $95, $125 and $250 (plus applicable service charges)