Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Saturday night, Judy Collins appeared at The Coach House, and we came away feeling that her voice had actually strengthened over the years as she nears her 70th birthday. The purity of sound, the enormous range, her continued control as she put herself through some demanding passages and the effortlessness of it all as if she were just sitting in your living room with her guitar casually sharing a few songs. Well, there were more than just a few songs shared on Saturday, as Judy sang for well over 90 minutes without break to a packed house of baby boomers who were astounded when she kicked off the concert with "Both Sides Now," her oldest & biggest hit. "Suzanne" and "Send in the Clowns" and "Open the Door (Song for Judith) (my personal favorite)--also big hits of hers--were included in the program as well as a trio of Jimmy Webb songs and new material of her own. I'd seen her about 25 years ago in a large concert hall, and she continues to have the draw to fill large halls for solo concerts and appearances with symphony orchestras, but experiencing the sound of her one-of-a-kind voice in the intimacy of The Coach House was an unparalleled treat. We stayed up late talking about the concert and I reminded Alison that the Crosby, Stills & Nash song, "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was written about her, so we Googled it and found a YouTube clip of CSN performing it--an exquisite and complex amalgam of melodies commemorating the relationship (and breakup) of Stephen Stills & Judy Collins. By the way, Judy is as beautiful as ever, and still shows off that marvelous mane of hair like an Irish colleen!

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