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Joan Baez
"Ring Them Bells" (Collectors Edition)
Out 12/02/07 on Proper Records
::: Distributed in Ireland by Gael Linn :::
Deluxe re-release of this long-deleted live album in a 2CD format, at a single CD price, with 6 previously unreleased tracks and a 16 page booklet with liner notes by Joan Baez.

Described as a watershed event in post-modern folk music it was recorded in 1995 at the Bottom Line in New York. Joan's guests, all included here, were Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Janis Ian, Tish Hinojosa, Mary Black and Mimi Farina.

More than a decade has now passed since April 1995, when Joan Baez and her guests took over the Bottom Line cabaret in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village for the recording of Ring Them Bells, a watershed event in post-modern folk music. This is an expanded edition double-CD: 90 minutes vs. the original single CD’s 64 minutes. The original's 15 tracks have now been upped to 21 tracks – the additional six of which are previously unreleased – more accurately reflecting the sequence of the recording over the course of two nights, with two sets each night. Added in are three additional performances by Joan (Love Song To A Stranger, Geordie, You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere), a second duet with Tish Hinojosa (Gracias A La Vida), a second duet with Indigo Girls (The Water Is Wide), and a second duet with Mary Chapin Carpenter (Stones In The Road).

Full track listing: The Lily Of The West / Love Song To A Stranger / Sweet Sir Galahad / And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda / Willie Moore (with Kate and Anna McGarrigle) / Swallow Song (with Mimi Farina) / Don't Make Promises / Jesse (with Janis Ian) / Ring Them Bells (with Mary Black) / Welcome Me / Geordie / You Ain't Goin' Nowhere / Suzanne / You're Aging Well (with Dar Williams) / Pajarillo Barranqueno (with Tish Hinojosa) / Gracias A La Vida (with Tish Hinojosa) / The Water Is Wide (with Indigo Girls) / Don't Think Twice It's Alright (with Indigo Girls) / Stones In The Road (with Mary Chapin Carpenter) / Diamonds & Rust (with Mary Chapin Carpenter) / The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

At a time in America’s history when it was neither safe nor fashionable, Joan put herself on the line countless times, and her life’s work was mirrored in her music. She sang about freedom and Civil Rights everywhere, from the backs of flatbed trucks in Mississippi to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in 1963. In 1964, she withheld 60% of her income tax from the IRS to protest military spending, and participated in the birth of the Free Speech movement at UC Berkeley. A year later she co-founded the Institute For The Study Of Nonviolence near her home in Carmel Valley. In 1966, Joan Baez stood in the fields alongside Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers striking for fair wages, and opposed capital punishment at San Quentin during a Christmas vigil. The follow­ing year she turned her attention to the draft resistance movement. As the war in Vietnam escalated in the late ’60s and early ’70s, she traveled to Hanoi with the U.S.-based Liaison Committee and helped establish Amnesty International on the West Coast.

The soundtrack to those times was provided by a stunning soprano whose natural vibrato lent a taut, nervous tension to everything she sang. Yet even as an 18-year old, introduced onstage at the first Newport Folk Festival in 1959, and during her apprenticeship on the Boston-Cambridge coffee house folk music circuit leading up to the recording of her first solo album for Vanguard Records in the summer of 1960, Joan’s repertoire reflected a different sensibility from her peers. In the traditional songs she mastered, there was an acknowledgment of the human condition – underdogs in the fight, inequity among the races, the desperation of poverty, the futility of war, romantic betrayal, unrequited love, spiritual redemption, and grace.

“All of us are survivors,” Joan Baez wrote, “but how many of us transcend survival?” More than four decades after the release of her first recordings, she has never meant more to fans across the globe, has never shown more vitality and passion in her concerts and records, and has never been more comfortable inside her own skin.

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