Published on October 21st, 2012 | by e0
The Interpreter – Joan Baez, “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”
The hip kids would say that it’s not cool to like Joan Baez, but Joan Baez remains cool anyway. She has largely dropped out of mainstream consciousness in this era, but she’s still recording and touring, regardless of the fact she long ago paid her dues. Those that know the voice, know of its raw, untrained power. She wrote some good songs (Diamonds & Rust, for example), but like Sinatra and Elvis, she made her name as an interpreter mostly. Lucky for those that enjoy great vocal chops and great songwriting, she loved to interpret Bob Dylan. Even without analyzing the personal side of their relationship, it is safe to say that Baez is one of the few people who can make a legitimate case for covering Dylan better than he covered himself. The Bard himself has said so. Her vocal chops are, perhaps, unparalleled over the last 50 years, she sings with a eerily cool panache that soothes and challenges the listener with its almost menacing confidence and, yet, Baez still manages to stick her nose into any and every political cause that moves her (apparently there are still very many), as she has been doing since the days of Camelot. Let’s give her credit: she taught Dylan how and why to care about politics before he knew what he even knew what the stakes were. On the occasion of Dylan’s 35th release, The Tempest, and with the utmost respect, why not pay tribute to one of his greatest champions and interpreters, Joan Baez, performing Dylan’s classic love song, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, in 1965.