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Day After Tomorrow

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Audio CD, September 9, 2008
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Product Description

2008 marks Joan Baex 50th anniversary as a recording artist. The album was produced by the legendary Steve Earle. Joan gives her distinct interpretations to songs from Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin and more. Razor and Tie.

Fifty years after the start of her career, Joan Baez remains as committed to her twin muses of art and politics as ever. On Day After Tomorrow, her stunning collaboration with Steve Earle, she continues to find and interpret some of the finest contemporary songs of social injustice and spiritual salvation, often showcasing the work of others, much as she did Bob Dylan in his salad days. Earle, who sits in the producer's chair, plays guitar, sings occasional harmony, and contributes three songs (including the stirring "I Am a Wanderer"), has assembled a perfect clutch of players, yet all here, including Earle, stay out of the way and bow to Baez. 67 years old at the time of recording, Baez is always compelling, bringing the weight of her lifetime of activism to each song. She shines brightest on Tom Waits' heartbreaking title tune and on Jones's wrenching "Henry Russell's Last Words," the real-life tragedy of a miner. One of the beauties of this effort is that in keeping Baez utterly modern in the choice of material and the employment of acoustic instruments and simple production values, Earle has also made a record that returns her in spirit and message to her great albums of the '60s. Inspired, and inspiring. -– Alanna Nash
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • ASIN: B001A62ZLA
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,040 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Mahir Ali on September 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I put this on my iPod as soon as I was able to lay hands on a review copy and have been listening to it almost every day for weeks, without ever being inclined to skip a single track. Here's the review I wrote for The Australian newspaper in Sydney:

IT has been quite a while since the ethereal soprano that thrilled Joan Baez's early audiences made way for an earthier alto, and her voice has mellowed further over the decades. It remains a captivating instrument, but on studio recordings during the past couple of decades it has invariably been mixed too low and, as a result, overwhelmed by the orchestration. Day After Tomorrow demonstrates the folly of that technique: here the vocals are accorded the primacy they deserve and complemented by exquisitely balanced acoustic accompaniment. Add to that the most sublime bunch of songs to have graced a Baez disc since the mid-1970s, and the result is an outstanding addition to her oeuvre. The achievement can be credited in part to Steve Earle, who not only produced the album but contributed 30 per cent of the songs, including the opening and closing tracks, God is God and Jericho Road. They are both formidable songs in the vein of Christmas in Washington, but neither of them is quite as poignant as the gently anti-war title track, penned by Tom Waits, and Baez's take on Elvis Costello and T-Bone Burnett's Scarlet Tide is equally arresting. She has consistently been supportive of younger songwriters (including B.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Folkfanforever on September 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joan appears to be very much at home in a musical, spiritual, and
political sense on this album, the 24th studio recording of her now
50 year long career. This collection of 10 songs provides much for
the head & heart to think and feel.

With the use of only acoustic instruments, the album provides an echo
of Joan's early folk records. The difference in this record is how
diverse the ensemble of instruments is: guitar, mandolin, Hawaiian
guitar, resonator guitar, bouzouki, harmonium, tamboura, bass, drums,
tambourine, fiddle, Dobro, banjolin, and percussion. The musical
accompaniment provided by Steve Earle (also producer, & harmony
vocals), Tim O'Brien, Darrell Scott, Viktor Krauss, and Kenny Malone,
is one of the many highlights of this album.

The songs' timeless lyrics place it among Joan's most folk /
Americana oriented albums. The album contains a strong spiritual
thread, a topic Joan has touched upon from her earliest recordings.
The songs have been chosen from several different brilliant writers,
including Patty Griffin, Tom Waits / Kathleen Brennan, Thea Gilmore,
Eliza Gilkyson, Elvis Costello / T-Bone Burnett, Diana Jones, and
Steve Earle himself. It is amazing how Joan & company pull the work
of such a diverse group together so beautifully.

There are political themes touched upon in this record, including
anti-war sentiment. The topic is explored quite movingly, less
directly you might say than on Joan's earlier albums, through the
timeless (and timely) masterpiece compositions "Scarlet Tide", and
the album's title song "Day After Tomorrow".
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on September 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Joan Baez' 50 year anniversary recording music and her 24th studio recording. Yes, her voice has aged and mellowed, but I still love her as an alto as much as I did a soprano.

Joan Baez and Steve Earle are an interesting combination indeed. This wasn't the match I'd have picked, but they work beautifully together. Earle adds an earthy touch to Baez that fits her deeper, lower voice.

Baez and Earle have done a splendid job picking a lineup of songs from the best of today's composers.

"Requiem", which was written and sung originally by the amazingly talented Eliza Gilkyson, was originally written for the tsunami, but the words reflect the pain we've recently experienced from the hurricanes as well.

Of course, there would be a song about Iraq. The title song, "Day After Tomorrow" written by Tom Waits, is one of the strongest narratives of what it's like to be a soldier.

You'd think mining songs wouldn't be that topical anymore. "Henry Russell's Lament" which is the story of a trapped miner, will break your heart.

"Jericho Road" is another winner. It's a minimalist Gospel ballad with a lead and responding chorus that will instill the song in your memory for years to come.

My only gripe is at 37 minutes and 10 songs, this CD ends too soon and feels a bit short for me.

Rebecca Kyle, September 2008
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary K. Moen on October 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
What a pleasure it is to sit with Joan Baez as she sings from her heart to mine. The songs are straight-forward and lovely, especially those by musician and producer Steve Earle. This is a poignant recording with Joan's aging but still so beautiful voice and subtle guitar.
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