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Bowery Songs

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Joan Baez remains a legend after five decades in music for many reasons, not least of them that she's a glorious performer. This recording, made live in New York, upholds her reputation as a communicator-in-song par excellence. Mixing old favorites ("Joe Hill," "Farwell Angelina"), newer repertoire ("Rexroth's Daughter"), and concert favorites that she presents for the first time on an album ("Jerusalem," "Dink's Song"), Baez once again triumphs. She exemplifies the continuing American folk tradition, invoking the power of the music's past while never loosening her commitment to worthy songs of the present day. Songs written decades apart form a seamless bond of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Joan Baez remains a legend after five decades in music for many reasons, not least of them that she's a glorious performer. This recording, made live in New York, upholds her reputation as a communicator-in-song par excellence. Mixing old favorites ("Joe Hill," "Farwell Angelina"), newer repertoire ("Rexroth's Daughter"), and concert favorites that she presents for the first time on an album ("Jerusalem," "Dink's Song"), Baez once again triumphs. She exemplifies the continuing American folk tradition, invoking the power of the music's past while never loosening her commitment to worthy songs of the present day. Songs written decades apart form a seamless bond of camaraderie, due to the direct expressiveness and unwavering focus she brings to bear. She's just one of a kind.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Bowery Songs is a collection of live tracks taken from Joan Baez's performance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on November 6, 2004. While it is not an entire performance, there is more than enough to satisfy fans. Baez and her band take on material old -- "It's All Over Now Baby Blue," "Farewell Angelina," "Joe Hill," "Deportee," etc. -- and some fine performances from her last studio outing, Dark Chords on a Big Guitar -- including "Christmas in Washington" and "Rexroth's Daughter." But the big news for fans is that there are four unrecorded songs that have been part of Baez's standard stage repertoire and are often requested by fans. The album's bookend pieces are an a cappella read of "Finlandia" and a fine reading of Steve Earle's "Jerusalem." She also does an amazing version of Bob Dylan's "Seven Curses" here, as well as "Dink's Song." This is a deeply satisfying recording, and Baez is at her very best as an interpretive singer. The read of Earle's "Christmas in Washington" is a case in point. Baez brings a much deeper sense of history and social justice struggle to the tune than Earle does, and she brings it to bear in every line. One can hear her heartbreak as she cracks the song open, bringing the tattered banners of labor unions to the listeners' eyes, and as she invokes the ghosts of Emma Goldman, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Woody Guthrie, among others, to the fore, one can feel the sense of hurt, betrayal, and failed promise, but also the trace of rigorous perseverance that the original does not hold. The only song that isn't here but should be is Ryan Adams' "In My Time of Need," which was such a standout on Dark Chords on a Big Guitar. But this is a minor quibble, as Bowery Songs is Baez's edgiest and most darkly seductive live album to date.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/6/2005
  • Label: Koch Records
  • UPC: 099923571421
  • Catalog Number: 5714

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Finlandia (2:08)
  2. 2 Rexroth's Daughter (5:00)
  3. 3 Deportee (Plane Wreck at los Gatos) (5:24)
  4. 4 Joe Hill (4:18)
  5. 5 Christmas in Washington (5:17)
  6. 6 Farewell, Angelina (3:36)
  7. 7 Motherland (5:16)
  8. 8 Carrickfergus (5:41)
  9. 9 Jackaroe (5:07)
  10. 10 Seven Curses (5:26)
  11. 11 Dink's Song (4:37)
  12. 12 Silver Dagger (3:52)
  13. 13 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (4:26)
  14. 14 Jerusalem (4:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joan Baez Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Graham Maby Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Duke McVinnie Guitar, Vocals
Erik Della Penna Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Lap Steel Guitar
George Javori Percussion, Drums, Musical Direction
Erik Dellapenna Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, Lap Steel Guitar
Technical Credits
Jean Sibelius Composer
Joan Baez Arranger, Adaptation
Woody Guthrie Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Earl Robinson Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Natalie Merchant Composer
Mark Spector Producer, Audio Production
Norman Moore Art Direction
Lloyd Stone Composer
Traditional Composer
Hardi Kamsani Engineer
Martin Hoffman Composer
John Mark Harris Engineer
Peter Gary Stage Technician
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    All This Amazing Grace

    On this live recording (New York City at the Bowery Ballroom 11/06/04) Joan Baez sings Greg Brown’s composition “Rexroth’s Daughter”, a song full of a lifetime’s worth of insightful lyrics. One phrase that stood out specifically to me as I listened to it on this particular recording was: “If you try to swallow what they shove at us you run out of tears to cry I heard a man speak quietly I listened for awhile He spoke from his heart to my woe then he bowed and smiled What is real but compassion as we move from birth to death?” Compassion is woven throughout Joan’s performance here, as she sings quietly, sweetly, sadly, and strongly, of age-old woes, dreams, hopes, and the desire for peace, both personal and political. What is most central to the success of this record is Joan’s voice. It is up front & center in the mix, where it rightfully belongs. Joan has now lived 64 of those years “from birth to death”, and her vast amount of experiences (personal and musical) is reflected in her knowing interpretations of these achingly beautiful songs. As Greg Brown also writes in “Rexroth’s Daughter” “…pray that we will find a way to get with all this amazing grace.” Listen to Joan Baez’s “Bowery Song’s” awhile, and you’ll find that it’s a great place to start.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Baez Still Shines

    On her latest live recording -- a document of her fall 2004 concert tour -- Joan Baez handily retains her legendary status as she works her way beautifully through a well- chosen repertoire of both old classics and recent compositions. Baez's voice still amazes and thrills, as she demonstrates an upper register that continues to raise goose bumps in its fifth decade -- and that now coexists alongside an amazingly enhanced lower range. From the revisiting of her first album via "Silver Dagger," through pulse-quickening social statements such as "Joe Hill" and "Deportee," up to new gems "Finlandia" and "Jerusalem," this is Joan Baez at her age-defying best. A must- have for existing Baez fans and any lovers of classic musical talent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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