JJ 03/63: Joan Baez, Vol. 2

Graham Boatfield's 1963 Jazz Journal review of folk singer Joan Baez shows that 'jazz-related' is not a new concept. First published in JJ March 1963


Joan Baez made an impression with one pleasant track on an otherwise rather dull folk LP a little while ago.

Judging by this record – which is a good collection – she is an extremely competent singer, and gives the impres­sion of being a natural one. It is of course a misleading impression. Burl Ives appeared just the same when he made those wonderful first records of his, but even then he was a schooled and prac­tised singer.

Joan Baez has a good voice, which she uses extremely well. The support on most of these tracks is her own guitar, which is excellent – the first two tracks of side 2 featuring the Greenbriar Boys. There is some admirable material on this record, and the only minor quibble is that two of the tracks are men’s songs, a common mistake made by performers of both sexes.

This singer has tremendous control, and nearly always avoids the temptation of using actors’ tricks.

Wagoner’s Lad; The Trees They Do Grow High; The Lily Of The West; Silkie; Engine 143; Once I Knew A Pretty Girl; Lonesome Road (22 min) – Banks Of The Ohio; Pal Of Mine; Barbara Allen; The Cherry Tree Carol; Old Blue; Railroad Boy; Plaisir d’Amour (22½ min)
(Fontana TFL 6025 12inLP 33s. 1d.)