Judy Collins Sellersville Theater
I went as a writer and photographer to a Judy Collins concert the other night.
Well, the conditions for photography were not good so, no pictures. Sorry.
But, I have to say it was an absolutely fantastic night of music. The show opened with a set by Ari Hest. Ari was excellent singing some songs from his new album Shouts and Whispers. A great song “Bona Fide” stands out in my mind. He also has an album of Brazilian rhythms Bluebirds of Paradise dueting with Chrissi Poland. He proceeded to sing one of those songs singing both parts of the duet. Great song and fun to hear him sing both parts.
After a short intermission Judy came on with guitar backed by piano and proceeded to sing some of her amazing songbook. “Who Knows Where The Time Goes”, “Send in the Clowns” and others. Judy’s stage presence is so down to earth and inviting. She really communicates with her audience telling stories about how songs came about. Very open letting the audience into her life past and present. Judy brought out Ari Hest again and told us about their collaboration on an album of duets written by both.. They played some songs together including a fantastic “Strangers Again” from her new album. Judy also told us about the new album. An album of duets with some names we all knew. Willie Nelson, Jackson Brown, Jeff Bridges, and others. I have to say it is a real treat to listen to it as I have over and over again just before and since her concert.
Judy went to the piano for more of her songs which are just so beautiful. She went back to guitar and had Ari join again for a three song encore including “Someday Soon”. Fantastic. They really are good together. The last encore song came with a story about how the author John Newton, a slave trader, found religion when one of his slave ships crashed. That song, “Amazing Grace”, ended the show and it was truly amazing.
Mark J. Smith
Judy Collins, Sellersville Theater, Sellersville, PA, January 2016