Iconic folk singer Joan Baez is celebrating the 50th anniversary of her career's start with her first album on the Billboard charts in 29 years. Day After Tomorrow (Bobolink/Razor & Tie) was produced by Steve Earle, with an array of smart touches that allow Baez to shine. Her exquisite voice doesn't soar quite like it once did, but has acquired a golden authority imparting an even deeper sense of wisdom. And Earle matched her classic voice with an accomplished acoustic ensemble including himself, bassist Viktor Krauss, mandolinist Tim O'Brien, and drummer Kenny Malone. Baez and Earle also selected an astute assortment of contemporary songs reflecting her classic repertoire of traditional, folk, and protest songs, which made her an icon of the peace and justice movements stretching over multiple decades. There are three Earle tunes, including a spiritual a capella version of "Jericho Road," plus warm, striking readings of Eliza Gilkyson's "Rose of Sharon," Patty Griffin's "Mary," and "Scarlet Tide," written by Elvis Costello and T Bone Burnett and sung by Alison Krauss on the Cold Mountain soundtrack. Baez, accompanied only by her own guitar, also does a stunning interpretation of Tom Waits's title track about the personal ravages of war.
Thu., Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2008