Olavsfestdagene – Joan Baez

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Olavsfestdagene continued tonight with a moving and memorable concert by the American folk singer and activist Joan Baez, in the imposing Nidaros Cathedral.

This beautiful voice has been charming crowds and leading protest songs for over 50 years, and the woman behind it has led a colourful and involved life. She is often referred to in her capacity as Bob Dylan’s ex-lover and one time collaborator, but Baez embodies much more of the American folk scene than her relationship with its chief protagonist. Indeed her set tonight was steeped in the tradition of coffee shop musicians sharing (and sometimes stealing) one another’s songs. She covered a whole range of old and new, including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Anthony and the Johnsons, John Lennon…

Many of these songs never really had any owners anyway, a sentiment which suits Baez’s open heartedness and goodness in spirt. She spoke lovingly about the current refugees crisis and wove in some stories about her history in the protest movement. You would not believe she is 75, and when she played House of the Rising Sun, the years rolled back in the audience too.

Opportunities to take photos were pretty limited by the organisers, but here is a selection:

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All photos by Wil Lee-Wright