Monday, November 5, 2012

Judy Collins at Hamilton Place (Nov.3/12)

Had to miss my niece's wedding out in Red Deer, but belated congratulations to Amy and Jason! Hope you had a great party, and wish you all the best! Saturday night we went to the Studio Theatre at Hamilton Place to see Judy Collins! She walked out on stage at precisely 8pm, accompanied by her pianist and musical director Russ Walden. The stage was fairly plain, except for a dozen red roses in front of the grand piano. Russ took the bench and Judy came to centre stage carrying her 12-string Martin. She began with "Chelsea Morning" the first of a number of Canadian composed songs she would sing this evening. She forgot a word or two, but the audience (which seemed to be entirely made up of rabid Judy Collins fans) helped her along. They would do so again.
Between songs Miss Collins told long, rambling stories of the early days of folk music, how she started her career playing Mozart on piano, and switched to guitar when she fell in love with the olde folk songs. Her high soprano voice was rivalled only by Joan Baez at one time. These days it gets a tad shrill in the higher registers. The tales often drifted without a point, but if you knew about her history you could usually fill in the details. It's getting sad going to concerts by these legendary performers any more. When BB King can hardly finish more than one verse and a chorus, or Judy Collins has trouble with lyrics and range you have to wonder if it's worthwhile to go to these shows. Whatever her failings, Judy put on a fine show. She's a trouper! And as I mentioned, she looked great, in her purple tights, high pointy boots and sparkly top, she was the epitome of elegance. At the end she thanked the theatre and Elizabeth Arden. Nothing lined up in the next couple of weeks, although I'm looking forward to seeing Dave Swarbrick at the Pearl Company. Another old folkie!

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