Joan Baez - vocals, acoustic guitar, piano; Elliott Randall - guitar, musical director; Paul Fleischman - horns; Rick Schlosser - drums; Bob Babbitt - bass; Pat Revalo - keyboards
Joan Baez undertook an ambitious full band tour in 1977, as she was enjoying a surge in her popularity following the release of two successful A&M albums: Diamonds & Rust and Gulf Winds. Baez, who had spent most of her career performing solo with an acoustic guitar, is given a lot of artistic room to stretch out at this show. The band features all-star NY based session players, including Steely Dan guitarist Elliott Randall, Motown bassist Bob Babbitt and drummer Rick Schlosser, who has worked with Andy Pratt and others.
She opens the set with "Sailing" written by Gavin Southerland of the Southerland Brothers. The song had also been covered around the same time by Rod Stewart, and it remains his biggest selling U.K. hit to this day. Never straying too far from her folk/protest roots, she also offers up "Many a Mile to Freedom," which had been a staple of the U.S. Civil Rights movement and the movement in South Africa. Baez uses the rest of the set to showcase new originals (she had just signed with Columbia Records and was about to release her next LP); and quirky covers, such as the '50s pop standard, "Cry Me A River," which was also recorded by Joe Cocker.
She closes the show with a handful of Baez classics: a medley of "George Jackson" and "I Shall Be Released" (written by her close friend and former lover, Bob Dylan), and "Amazing Grace," the hymn which she usually sings a cappella.
Baez remains an icon in the folk music pantheon. She recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy from the National Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences for her contributions to recorded music.