Concert Review – Four Voices at Massey Hall Toronto

June 15, 2017 | By

Last night, at Massey Hall, I got to sit front and centre for one of the very best concerts I’ve ever had the joy to witness.

Joan Baez, a lifelong hero of mine for her willingness to always speak truth to power, and to act on her beliefs.

Mary Chapin Carpenter, a brilliant, if understated, singer songwriter, who has written some of my very favourite songs, and who has a voice which actually deserves the descriptor “unique”.

The Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, great singers, terrific songwriters and activists as well, through their writing and performance.

They performed as a collective, calling themselves “Four Voices“.

Four voices indeed. Four part harmonies honed to perfection. Taking turns with the different parts. Joan Baez, actually noted for her gorgeous clear soprano, singing brilliant bass lines on one song. Mary Chapin Carpernter, holding down the bass harmonies much of the night, singing the top line on one song.

All four women, all night long, spilling over with joy in performance and with love and respect for each other and for their audience, who gave it all back in turn..

It was a singular performance to be a part of, and I am so grateful that I got to be there.

They opened with a stunning arrangement in four parts of Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, and near the end sang an equally brilliant arrangement of The Times They Are A Changing.

They sang songs each had written and songs by other writers. They sang songs from the last 50 or so years of folk music, and they even managed to work in new songs from Emily Saliers (her first solo record is out in August), and from Joan Baez, who introduced her Trump inspired tune Nasty Man by saying “I don’t write songs anymore, but I wrote this one.”

My favourite picture from the night is probably the picture of Mary Chapin Carpernter radiating joy as she plays and listens to Emily solo out on one of the songs, but the two shots of Joan dancing are right there as well.

So much music, so much joy.

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Category: Special Features

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