A Conversation with Joan Baez
Joan Baez: Hi, Frank, this is Joan.
Puremusic: Oh, hi, Joan, how you doing?
JB: I'm doing okay.
PM: Thanks for your time today. It's very nice to get your call.
JB: Oh, right back at you.
PM: I've been enjoying Dark Chords on a Big Guitar.
JB: Oh, good, good.
PM: It's wonderful to hear another record from you. That's a great band you've assembled. How did you round them up?
JB: Well, I think a lot of credit goes first to my manager for finding the drummer, George Javori, and then to George for finding everybody else.
JB: We made him musical director, in fact, because he's just really brilliant and well connected, and seems to inspire the mood of whatever song is coming next.
PM: And who's your manager that found him?
JB: Mark Spector.
PM: Oh, so the guy who produced as well.
JB: Yeah, he did. He was looking for a producer, he had George, who I'd been playing with, and Byron [Isaacs]. And he knew about Duke McVinnie up north. And he'd say, "Oh I've got to find the right producer. I've got to find the right"--and I said, "Why don't you just produce it? [laughs] You know me, you know what you want to hear, you know the musicians." And so he didn't say anything else, but we never--I never heard any talk about another producer after that.
PM: Oh, well, that's a beautiful testament. I mean, I can feel throughout the record and the website, really, the trust and just the love that you put into the band.
PM: It's really evident, and it's evident in what you're saying right there.
JB: Oh, nice. Okay, well, thanks. It's true.
PM: Beautiful. So after a handful of years out of the studio, what prompted you now to pop a record out and go on the road again?
JB: Well, I've been on the road, actually, all of this time. It's a strange industry, though. I mean, the competition is just unbelievable.
PM: It's insane and unseemly.
JB: Uh-huh. [laughs] Very good, yeah. So if you don't do something fresh and make a big racket about it, nobody's going to know you exist.
PM: That's right.
JB: So your question is perfectly valid. I put a lot of energy into this, into making the record, and now into touring with it. And I have faith in it. I love what you said about it, because it really--it has a lot of caring for the music in it. The question is: Why did I make another CD?
JB: Because I didn't have to. And so we waited around for the right idea to strike, and it started to develop, finding the kind of song that was right. Songs by people who--they all have a little bit in common, they're a little bit quirky.
JB: And the songs are all just under the radar.
JB: Yeah. So they began to find a home with each other, these songs. And it looked more and more like record making time. continue