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Joan Baez

A Conversation with Joan Baez (continued)

PM: I've always enjoyed the way your records have reflected important and unusual writers of any given period when they appear. And I thought it was quite a testimony that both Greg Brown and Gillian Welch & David Rawlings got two songs apiece on this record.

JB: [laughs] Well, they're good, huh?

PM: Yeah, they're good. And along with Steve Earle's great "Christmas in Washington," there were covers much more obscure. Caitlin Cary and Josh Ritter, and one of my favorites, Joe Henry.

JB: Uh-huh.

PM: You must listen to a lot of records to be really inside all these guys.

JB: I'm inside their songs once I hear them. But when I listen to music I usually listen to classical.

PM: Ah. So how do you get turned onto writers this far under the radar?

JB: My manager. I said, "Listen, I'm going to quit writing songs, [laughs] so... I'll take care of the voice. I'll do maintenance and delivery. You find me the stuff."

PM: [laughs] "I'll do maintenance and delivery!" Oh, that's funny.

JB: It's true. It's true. So he said, "Okay." He took it as a challenge.

PM: That's wonderful. He pulled up a beautiful bunch of songs.

JB: Yeah, he did.

PM: And Josh Ritter has done some opening for you, I think, right?

JB: Yeah. He's a doll. I go out and sing on his set also.

PM: Oh, wow. I love that.

JB: Yeah.  continue

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