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Joan Baez

Joan Baez

1960

Buy At Rough Trade
Joan Baez
Album Summary

Joan Baez is the debut solo album by folk singer Joan Baez. The album was recorded in the summer of 1960 and released the same year. The original release featured 13 traditional folk songs. Later reissues included three additional songs.In 2015, the album was selected for induction into National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for special recognition and preservation as one of the sound recordings in over 130 years of recording history that has "cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation's audio legacy".

Wikipedia

Rating

2.95

Votes

11417

Genres

  • Folk
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Sun Feb 28 2021
1

Unlistenable. This sounds like Woodstock and the Renaissance Fair had a baby.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

“Joan Baez” by Joan Baez (1960) I don’t know what you were doing in 1960, but with this album, Joan Baez was launching her career as a folk icon. Actually, she wasn’t. She was simply singing beautiful traditional folk ballads and laments with her inimitable voice and deftly executed acoustic stylings. Her ‘career’ was simply the loving conversation that the world had with her musical magic. This recording is both tasteful and tasty in its simplicity, its resonance, and its depth. Her lyrics, melodies, and chord structures are all, of course, features of well-selected traditional folk songs (Her songwriting would come later). But it’s what she did with these songs that yanked on the heartstrings of millions—and still does. Vocally, her characteristic rapid vibrato over an equally characteristic sonorous timbre wrings every drop of passion out of the poetry. When she attacks the melody in her upper register, she freezes the listener in his tracks, like the ears of a deer caught in the headlights. Her dynamic variation is frightening—going from soft and sweet to a powerful wail in the space of a skipped heartbeat. Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she chooses and performs fingerings and fills that are perfectly suited to each composition. Beginning guitarists would be well advised to listen to her, learn, practice, and aspire—in that order. This was Joan Baez’ first album. Most tracks were recorded in one take, with voice and guitar together. No dubbing. No effects. No frills. Folks, this is as pure as folk music gets. 5/5

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Fri Jun 24 2022
5

Well, looks like I've fallen in love with a voice again. Joan, you have my heart. Don't tell my wife.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
2

i don’t hate it but it’s boring as fuck

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Sat Jul 17 2021
4

Beautiful in its simplicity is something I've said on previous albums but this is another perfect example. Folk that I can get behind. Nothing more beautiful than a person and their guitar. Great cover of House of the Rising Sun.

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Sat Aug 14 2021
4

This was a very nice folk album with such a clear and clean sound. I enjoyed how the guitar feels like it's just there to enhance her voice.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
2

I just have never enjoyed her fluttery voice. Not my style.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
1

I thought this was going to be perfect listening for a slightly hungover Sunday morning but her voice is far too shrill for my tastes, I only made it halfway through.

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Tue Sep 15 2020
4

Joan's voice is incredibly clear and bright. The album is mastered so well for something as old as it is. This is gorgeous, very stripped folk music that highlights an incredible voice.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
4

Such a beautiful first album from the goddess of folk. Totally forgot that House Of The Rising Son was on her debut. Hard not to get emotional on All My Trials or Girl Of Constant Sorrow, and have some peyote and run around like a kid in the fields of Walnut Grove as school lets out on Wildwood Flower. I would have loved to be on the hillside listening in at Woodstock when she was 6 months pregnant and missing her husband who was in a Texas prison for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War. There is a reason that a passion for folk songwriting is in my soul, and I know that Joan had something to do with it. Tip of the hat to present era folk troubadours like Colin Meloy who continue to water the flowers that Baez planted.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
2

I know what they are trying to do and I think they are doing it well. I just am not a fan.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
2

not really my taste in music. the singing was very high pitched and light and airy with a thin backing track. not really what i like

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Fri May 07 2021
2

Not as unpleasant as I feared.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

this is one of those albums that are too good to rate I can’t tell you how much I love this kind of folksy music the vocals, the guitar, those nice melodies, it all comes together to create a beautiful, warm atmosphere it reminds me a lot of Vashti Bunyan’s album Just Another Diamond Day (one of my favorite albums ever) I would love to find more albums with this kind of sound Cottage Songs by Naomi Lewis is a pretty nice album, but the genre is a little too different, it still sounds incredible and I love that album, but it could use a little more one on one with her voice and some warm guitar anyway, this album is just too special for me to give a simple 10/10 I really need more music like this

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Fri May 20 2022
3

Joan does some good stuff with these songs, but I do find 30+ minutes of her warbling away a little testing.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
2

Baez isn't, and has never been, my kind of thing. She's too earnest.

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Mon Mar 28 2022
1

My momma said if I don’t have anything nice to say I shouldn’t say nothing.......sorry mom. Joan is a talented lady no doubt - but This was painful to listen to. Nails on a chalkboard bad.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

Very calm and relaxing. Every song sounds like it should be in a Disney movie.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

Lovely and haunting, spare and magnificent.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
1

Fair warning: generally, I loathe folk music with a passion. I'm actually neutral on hip hop and rap--stop snickering. Really. I mean, if someone came out with a great rap album tomorrow, I'd be the first to say so. But folk--especially the early 60s folk revival--look, my mom listened to Ian and Sylvia and the Kingston Trio nonstop when I was a toddler and it scarred me for life. Genre per se is rarely a barrier for me, but I'll make an exception for folk. Which is all to say that I make not give this album a fair shake. You've been warned. Sure enough, Joan Baez's debut album is pretty awful, but not for the reasons I would have expected. I was tempted to begin with praise because Baez actually has pretty decent taste -- she's curated a bunch of solid tunes from various folk traditions, and her voice is strong, but no. Baez has zero interpretive skills. She approaches every tune the exact same way--not counting shifts in dynamics and an irritating vibrato--and ends up flattening the entire folk tradition into an amorphous blob. She sounds exactly like what she is--a middle class white woman with negligible life experience. She drains the blood out of every song she sings and proudly presents the bleached white corpse like it's some kind of accomplishment. Actually, I'm glad I reviewed this album because now I understand why I loathed early 60s folk as a kid. Acts like Ian and Sylvia and the Kingston Trio and yes, Joan Baez, made their living by homogenizing and whitewashing any number of musical traditions that are well worth hearing. I'm sure Joan Baez had good and pure intentions, but she ends up loving this music to death.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
1

Oof. So muchbof this just feels the same. You can randomly pick a song, pick a random spit within it and pretty much know what you're going to hear. Sparse instrumentation isn't always boring but it is here. Sometimes it's okay-ish most of the time it plods along. Her voice is not exactly terrible, but its sleep inducing. It's also very same feom track to track. Factor in the way too long run time and the faint smell of hippie and I've got to hit this with the 1 star hammer. I know she's well regarded and yadda yadda but this just is not something I would ever want to listen to unless I was suffering from insomnia.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
1

I hope you like folk ballads sung in a high-pitch warbly voice, because that's pretty much all you are getting here. There are only two songs that sound even slightly different than the rest. Wildwood Flower has a sort of bluegrass feel to it, and El Preso Numero Nueve is sung in Spanish. I didn't enjoy this at all and can't give it more than one star.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
1

Oh god, that shrill voice was painful first thing in the morning. My tinnitus was so bad by the halfway mark, I actually thought about giving up on this. There were periods where I was lulled into a false sense of security and then the screeching would start up again. I guess this wasn't quite dreadful enough for only 1 star, but there was little here that I took any enjoyment from. The guitar playing was okay, but the horrible voice ruined this for me. I can imagine this album being weaponised by being played at loud volume to get protestors to move on, which would be slightly ironic. The folk songs chosen here had no interest to me whatsoever, boring and twee. There was little joy in this recording, it came over as too serious and almost forced. I was glad to get to the end and will make a point of never listening to this again if I can help it.

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Fri Aug 11 2023
1

I feel bad but I really struggled to get through this one. It's a voice of its time, but the high falsetto and vibrato in her voice really starts to become grating quick cultural significance be damned. I didn't like it!

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Sun Oct 08 2023
1

Joan Baez's voice is like an angel scratching their nails on a chalkboard

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Sun Nov 05 2023
1

18 Based on this scale: 1 - 0 to 19 2 - 20 to 39 3 - 40 to 59 4 - 60 to 79 5 - 80 to 100 This is just not for me. I get that she's an important figure in folk music, but I just can't. Some of those notes just hurt me.

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Sun Feb 25 2024
1

Just a girl and her guitar. Her guitar should be taken away. I prefer silence to her minimal style.

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Fri May 03 2024
1

It was painful attempting to listen to this. The songs were so boring and her excessive warbling vibrato drives me nuts.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

it's good in a weird way. me likes it.

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Sat Aug 14 2021
5

Casi 4, pero por El Preso Numero Nueve ...¡¡5!!

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Sun Oct 03 2021
5

tanto su voz, su música como sus letras son increíblemente bellas. este álbum se merece las cinco estrellas completas, y eso sin olvidar que es su álbum DEBUT.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

My Mum played a lot of Baez when I was growing up, but, being 10, I never really saw the appeal. This album really clicked for me, though; it's very straightforward, but her pitch-perfect voice and skills as a guitarist elevate it to stratospheric levels. What's more is that it has a level of authenticity and sincerity that's sorely missed in modern music.

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Sat Feb 05 2022
5

Don’t sign love songs You’ll wake my mother

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Wed Apr 06 2022
5

Alllllll the scrumptious folky singing, jangly guitar and all executed perfectly by the effortlessly cool Joan Baez. Voice of an angel combined with epic guitar skills. Absolutely beautiful and flawless renditions of some traditional folk songs. Finally, an album to get really excited about again! I love the feeling an album like this gives me, the story telling is done in such a relaxing yet haunting way. I'm so drawn into a different time in history, even if the subject of the story is super mundane. Ugh the Spanish tooooo, incredible. In awe!

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Fri Jun 24 2022
5

Excellent example of why I think Folk Music may be the TRUEST form for music, no matter the origin. It feels Primordial and contemporary all at once.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

A true classic. She exemplifies true folk....a masterpiece. Joan, Janis Jopin, Joni Mitchell, Carole King.....the true greats!

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Thu Mar 09 2023
5

Such a beautiful voice. A must listen to.

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Mon May 22 2023
5

Absolutely incredible, transporting album. I adore her voice, and the songs were excellently chosen. The queen of folk to this day. Favs: Silver Dagger, House of the Rising Sun, Henry Martin, El Preso Numero Nueve, Girl of Constant Sorrow

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Tue Jun 13 2023
5

Nice to hear the first album from such a singer. While I will gravitate to her later more instrumentally complex albums, I very much enjoyed the simplicity of a beautiful voice with a guitar.

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Tue Jun 13 2023
5

That was a nice dose of folksy music, not something that I am always into, but Joan’s voice was something special.

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Tue Jun 13 2023
5

Here's another artist I was hoping to get to know better in this project, and I'm glad it was her debut album for us to start. This was so earnest and sincere that it's sometimes hard not to think about Bluto smashing a folk singer's guitar in Animal House. (Stephen Bishop!) But once I get my mind set to appreciate it, it's quite beautiful and wonderful and I enjoyed Joan Baez's unique voice and her selection of songs very much. As the child of parents who appreciated, played, and sang folk music, this was a nostalgic day.

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Sun Jul 16 2023
5

Such an excellent folk album I’m just going to give it a 5. Engaging guitar playing, singing and moments of quietude that keep you focused until the end, after which you’ll want to go back for more

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Fri Jul 28 2023
5

Folksy guitar-and-vocals covers of classic folk songs.

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Mon Aug 21 2023
5

Pure, pure folk, of the purest kind. Just Joan on her guitar, and that voice. John Riley is utterly captivating. The guitar on Silver Dagger.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Flawless folk record. Beautiful voice, great guitar and ambience. A joy to listen and a wonderful piece of history.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Voice like an angel. No skips whatsoever.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

Pekne to je, mozno v jednej pesnicke sa trosku opustila

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

Was ready to knock a star off regardless of the score knowing that these were all covers of folklore tracks...lesson learned. Joan elevates many of these classics. Beautiful, haunting, and pure. From the first measure, voice and guitar blend incredibly for close to an hour, invoking a wide range of emotions. The sound and mix is incredibly refined for 1960, just a masterpiece from every angle. Favorite track: Mary Hamilton (and it takes a LOT for House of the Rising Sun to not be my fave)

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Warm, soft, haunting. While listening to this record, I feel like I'm listening to someone telling old ghost stories around a campfire. There’s just a wonderful simplicity to it all. Just a guitar and vocals, and yet Baez and her guitar are able to tell some wonderful stories. This is another one of those folk albums that absolutely would not have interested me a few years ago, and it probably wouldn’t mesh well with me at the height of summer either. But I’m well and truly an adult now, and it’s a cold and unpleasant winter. It’d be a perfect one for exploring the great outdoors, embracing nature and the elements even at this time of year, but it’d also be great for snuggling up under a blanket with a hot chocolate in the warm comforts of home. This self-titled debut is a perfect winter companion, mostly comprising of arrangements of traditional folk songs. I’ve never heard Baez’s performances of these songs, and most of these I don’t think I’ve heard in any form, with the exception of House Of The Rising Sun (Which I forget was originally a traditional folk song) and Henry Martin (My first exposure to it was by self-proclaimed “Pirate Metal” band Alestorm!) This was an excellent record. It’s one of those sorts of albums that makes me want to move far away from society and go and live in the forest. Who needs all these computers and cars and stuff? Just give me a cabin, a campfire, a guitar and some interesting friends who are good at telling stories. I can dream. Favourite: Henry Martin

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

I absolutely LOVED this album! Her voice is beautiful and impactful. At times it felt like she was singing me folklore stories but I guess some of her songs were based on biblical stories. So, makes sense. She loved talking about “Mary’s and Maidens”. I also liked her version of “House of the Rising Sun”, seemed more genuine coming from her”. Then she sang Spanish to me which solidified my rating! 10/10

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Casi 4, pero por El Preso Numero Nueve ...¡¡5!!

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Tue Feb 20 2024
5

Casi 4, pero por El Preso Numero Nueve ...¡¡5!!

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Wed Mar 06 2024
5

Beautiful debut album from Joan Baez. Just her acoustic guitar and her angelic voice. So many gems here, but my favorites are House of the Rising Sun, Donna Donna, Mary Hamilton, Henry Martin, and El Preso Numero Nueve.

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Thu Apr 11 2024
5

Ahead of it's time. Chill, yet somehow boppy at the same time.

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Sun Apr 14 2024
5

Oh wow, I didn't think I would love this as much as I do. Her voice is absolutely gorgeous, and the simplistic instruments are not only beautiful and atmospheric, but give her voice so much more of a presence. And her storytelling is just amazing, the lyrics are so captivating and really make me want to keep listening.

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Mon Apr 29 2024
5

How have I literally not listened to her much before. I know the name so it’s not lack of awareness. Somehow just haven’t listened. This was great. I love the simple production. Woman and guitar. What more do you need.

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Mon May 06 2024
5

The 1960s represented the apogee of the folk genre in mainstream terms, giving us some of the most prominent and impactful names, songs and albums that still makes its presence felt to this day. Joan Baez, album and person, encompasses this moment. As though she were both a gust of wind and a kick up the ass, Joan solidifies her stature with delicate arrangements of materials well sung and well-traveled yet her approach to them veers them into becoming the definitive versions, most notably on House of the Rising Sun, Silver Dagger and John Riley. Baez also makes poignant use of her Spanish tongue on (what was initially) the final track El Preso Número Nueve, offering representation within folk. Overall, an excellent debut and a sign of things to come.

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Fri May 31 2024
5

A beautiful voice singing simple, delightful songs.

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Fri May 31 2024
5

I was hoping for more gripping stories, but the timeless, placeless almost medieval melodies did grow on me. The shrillness of her voice makes sense in the last song, underscoring her Mexican heritage. She makes up for it with sensitivity. Her Scottish songs (Henry Martin, Mary Hamilton) really brought this album together for me.

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Wed Jun 05 2024
5

A folk legend knocks it out of the park.

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Wed Jun 12 2024
5

Great voice, incredible lyrics, simply a treasure.

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

1960. Key Songs: Fare Thee Well, Donna Donna

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Tue Oct 20 2020
4

Great mix of genres, like social part of the songs

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Great voice. Had memories of the Carpenters with more a country/folk twist.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
4

Well produced cover album, not my usual style but quite nice.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Interesting sound, love the House of the Rising Sun cover

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Simply good, great classic songs and arrangements

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

A modern folk touchstone. Those pipes!

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Sun Jun 20 2021
4

Obviously a pinnacle talent in this genre, though I think her style meshes better with some songs (Silver Dagger, John Riley), but can't quite carry others (House of the Rising Sun) where her singing is just too refined and frankly pretty for the content of the lyrics.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

I've enjoyed it, calm and nice.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

Fav: East Virginia, Donna Donna, Henry Martin

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Beautiful renditions of some classic songs. Interesting to read about how it was recorded in a hotel with just Joan and an acoustic guitar. Highlights: -East Virginia -House of the Rising Sun -I Know You Rider

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Mon Apr 05 2021
4

I very much enjoyed it. Didn’t know House of the Rising Sun was a Baez jam.

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Love her or not, Baez is definitely one of the foundational pillars of modern folk in America.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
4

Love her. Her voice is haunting and so gripping. I've only heard this first album a couple of times, so it's a nice revisit.

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

Joan Baez has a beautiful voice. this is a great collection of folk covers

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

goodone, very nice record, the spanish track was a great find

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Proof that simplicity does not mean something has to be dull or uninspiring.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

I was very surprised when I heard woman of constant sorry and house of the rising sun on this album. She has a beautiful voice that fits so well with the genre she was playing

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

A very soft and intimate album... Like you're sitting in someone's living room or around a fire and listening to them tell you stories. Thoroughly enjoyed. Favorite Tracks(s): "Silver Dagger," "House of the Rising Sun," and "Henry Martin"

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

The Queen of folk according to sam's dad

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