Peace theme for Baez's first album in 10 years

Joan Baez
Joan Baez

NEW YORK • At 76, folk legend Joan Baez is not done with righting the world's wrongs yet.

On Wednesday, she announced her first album in a decade, a collection of covers that returns to her long-time theme of global peace.

The singer and activist, who earlier this year was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said Whistle Down The Wind will come out on March 2.

It will be her second straight album to take its title track from a song by Tom Waits, the famously raspy-voiced songwriter, following Day After Tomorrow (2008). The new album also features covers of songs by Americana singers Josh Ritter and Joe Henry, who produced Whistle Down The Wind.

In one of the lesser-known covers, Baez performs Zoe Mulford's The President Sang Amazing Grace, a piano ballad about the 2015 massacre by a white supremacist of African-American churchgoers in South Carolina and the subsequent eulogy at which then president Barack Obama sang that well-known Christian hymn.

The album news comes after Baez said that next year will mark her last year of touring.

She has already announced a European tour that will open on the album's release date in Stockholm and include a 10-night stretch in June at the Olympia in Paris.

The singer was one of the major musical figures behind social justice movements in the 1960s, becoming a confidante of Martin Luther King Jr. She performed songs, including the iconic We Shall Overcome, at the 1963 March on Washington.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Peace theme for Baez's first album in 10 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe