GIG REVIEW: Joan Baez @ Cambridge Corn Exchange, Sunday March 4

JOAN Baez has an interesting levelling effect on the songs that she sings - whether its an old English folk song, a Dylan classic, or a classic of her own. They may all come from different times and continents, but heard through her beautifully rich voice

JOAN Baez has an interesting levelling effect on the songs that she sings - whether its an old English folk song, a Dylan classic, or a classic of her own.

They may all come from different times and continents, but heard through her beautifully rich voice, the songwriter's voice can still be heard - Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Steve Earl are all present, but Baez provides a perfect meeting place for them all.

Steve Earl's Christmas In Washington reduces the crowd to silence and near tears.

After a particularly loud and long applause, Joan just smiles and says "Thanks, I'll tell Steve."


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Diamonds and Rust is such an honest song it almost felt intrusive to listen to her nostalgic, and there is no other word for it, account of her times with Bob Dylan.

Love Is Just A Four Letter Word is equally emotional - a Dylan cover with a twist. She tells of how he wrote the lyric one night at her house and then having discarded it she recorded and released the song - without Dylan knowing or even recognising it as his own when he heard it on the radio. "That's a great song" he said to her. "Who wrote it?" "You did, ya dope." she replied. CHRIS BOLAND

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