Growing up not far from San Francisco, I remember as a child, the hippies of the 1960's; girls in peasant dresses with flowers in their long hair. And accompanying that sight I hear the lyrics, "Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air…" That was written by Joni Mitchell but it was the ethereal voice of Judy Collins that made the song, Both Sides Now, a hit.
As I got older, her haunting version of Sondheim's Send in the Clowns was the first song that made me feel what regret and lost opportunity must be like. And there were millions of kids, like me, who could probably say the same thing. In short, the musical landscape of the 60's and 70's would be incomplete without Judy Collins' voice.
Now, flash way forward and there I was walking into KTTV's lobby to welcome that iconic singer to Studio 11 LA. It was surreal. She was gracious and as easy-going as the Flower Power philosophy of her generation. What astounded me though was that, now in her early 70's, Judy Collins' voice is as strong as ever; she told me it's stronger! And listening to her new album to be released March 18th, that is evident. She recorded it live in Ireland (also the title of the album).
It covers some familiar territory, Chelsea Morning, The Cats in the Cradle. But also has some tunes you may not know; many with an appropriate Irish lilt. If you grew up on Judy Collins' music, you should give it a listen. If you didn't, Youtube some early performances then compare the sound to Judy now. And you'll hear how a true vocalist only gets better with time.