Music Monday: "Please Come to Boston," Joan Baez

Monday, February 04, 2013


I was going through my parents' old records (the vinyl kind) the other day when I found a small goldmine. Little did I know that my mom was into the same kind of music I'm into back when she was my age ... she had some Simon & Garfunkel, Carpenters, Bay City Rollers (okay, I'm not into them), Beatles and Joan Baez.

I've been a peripheral fan of Joan Baez for a while now, and even more so since I watched the "American Masters" documentary on Bob Dylan, titled "No Direction Home." Maybe it's because I'm not of that era or generation, or maybe it's something else entirely, but I find myself drawn to the artists and writers of the 1950s (the Beats) through the 1970s time and time again. I don't buy into all of it, though -- I think Bob Dylan was a mediocre singer at best, but I figure his genius lies in his powerfu lyrics and songwriting, not his voice.

Anyway, instead of popping the Joan Baez record onto our electronic record player (I don't want to ruin anything), I set my Pandora to "Joan Baez" and let 'er rip. It was the first time possibly EVER that I didn't find myself correcting the station to suit my taste. I guess the Joan Baez station IS my taste.

Here's one of the songs that played on that station, originally written by Dave Loggins. Joan Baez spent some of her formative years in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she also "came up" as an artist. I feel this is an "American" song through and through, a song that seamlessly weaves the flavor and character of the United States and its distinctive cities into its lyrics. Impressive even when it's as simply done as it is here, I think.

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