The spirit of Woodstock was alive and well here in Greenville SC tonight. Now I was not at Woodstock, nor was I even alive then (my folks were 17 at the time & hadn’t met yet) so I may be woefully uninformed. But that being said, being a part of the Woodstock 40th anniversary show tonight at the Handlebar was such a wonderful treat and a special experience of people coming together and sharing music for the simple joy of it and love of it and each other and to support a worthy cause (WNCW). I was also blown away by how much talent there is right here in Greenville. It was so much fun to get our local musical “family” together. Musicians are “family” with other musicians wherever we go, we speak the same language. In L.A. we had the Sin City Sweethearts of the Rodeo and nights at Ireland’s 32 or up at Nick’s house, jamming and playing tunes. I forgot how much I missed and needed the company of my fellow musicians over the last couple years here. Tonight was like a family reunion with folks I had never even met, but it was wonderful.
I took on Joan Baez for my set. I’m pretty unfamiliar with her, have never listened to her music; I basically picked her because I liked the songs she sang and she played solo acoustic and she’s a chick. Over the last few days, I watched the Woodstock movie for the first time ever and was moved by this lone female, gentle voice singing with the darkness of night all around her. I began to feel the weight and importance of her voice at Woodstock, of a quiet yet compelling truth that she represented. I decided I better learn “Joe Hill” which I had not originally planned to do, so I played along with the movie today until I learned it. That was a good idea. Tonight I was the only solo acoustic artist among bands. As I sat, waiting to go on, and listened to the amazing group ahead of me play Richie Havens “Freedom” I thought about Baez, playing mostly solo at Woodstock. I had learned that she was pregnant at the time, her husband in jail for dodging the draft. The lone, strong, female, the earth mother. Then I was introduced. The girl who introduced me said , “The last artist who played on Friday night was the Queen of Folk, Joan Baez”. Wow. As I stood on that stage by myself and began to sing “Joe Hill” I was so moved by the thought that I was representing “the Queen”. I went on to sing “I Shall Be Released” and thought about how she must have felt singing that song, with her husband in jail. I closed with “DrugStore Truck Driving Man”, which I was especially happy to sing, since it was co-written by Roger McGuinn and I feel it’s words ring especially true these days. Some one paid me a tremendous compliment, that me doing Joan Baez was “perfect casting”. Most people complimented me on my version of “Joe Hill” which I had just learned. I’m glad I did. What a night. Thanks to everyone who put it together and played and ran the show and came out to watch. Again I’m reminded what a lucky girl I am.