Joan Baez - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano; Jim Gordon - drums; Duck Dunn - bass; Dean Parks - guitars; Larry Knetchel - keyboards
This performance was recorded at New York's popular Palladium Theater in the fall of 1975, just days before she would join her ex-lover, Bob Dylan, for his historic Rolling Thunder Revue tour. Next to Dylan, Joan Baez was the single most popular folk singer to emerge from the early 1960s. On this tour, she was promoting her acclaimed Diamonds & Rust album for her then-new label, A&M Records.
After years of juggling her repertoire between the more commercial, story-driven folk songs and the more overtly political protest songs that helped weave the fabric of the '60s, Baez had finally started making records that everyone could understand and enjoy. This period also marked the dawn of her efforts as a songwriter (prior to this time in her career, Baez had primarily recorded other writers' material).
This brief but powerful set includes some originals, including the hit "Diamonds and Rust," which Baez wrote about her failed romance with Dylan. The set consists mostly of her versions of contemporary folk rock songs of that era. She opens with Jackson Browne's "Fountains Of Sorrow," and pays homage to her pal Dylan twice - on "Forever Young" and "Simple Twist Of Fate." She also dips into gospel music with her take on the Edwin Hawkins classic "Oh Happy Day," and delivers a gorgeous rendition of "Amazing Grace." Also included in the show is a medley of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and the Band's "Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down," the latter of which had been a Top 10 hit for Baez in 1971.
The musicians working with Baez at the time included former Delaney and Bonnie/Derek and the Dominoes/Joe Cocker drummer Jim Gordon and Duck Dunn, bassist for Booker T. & the MG's and Eric Clapton.