Judy Collins at The Apex...
Judy Collins at The Apex
As singer of ‘Send in the Clowns’, ‘Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)’ and ‘Both Sides Now’, Judy Collins has exhibited impeccable taste in songcraft throughout her 50-plus years in music.
On her landmark 1967 album, ‘Wildflowers’, she curated a stunning collection of original work and songs by not-yet household names such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen.
Her discerning palette and her literary gifts have enabled her to evolve into a poetic, storytelling songwriter, experiencing a profound level of growth and prolific creativity.
Judy’s 29th studio album, ‘Spellbound’, out earlier this year, is an introspective and impressionistic album. It was the first time that she has written all of the songs on an album and features 12 new folk songs, and a bonus track of her evergreen, ‘The Blizzard’.
“They say after the plague came the Renaissance,” Judy says with a good-natured laugh, loosely referencing the pandemic. “The truth is, I didn’t do an album like this sooner because I had other projects on my mind. This album was necessary for me to keep creative—it was the next piece of the puzzle.”
She continues: “Now felt like the perfect time to make this record because, after all that’s happened in the world, we need something beautiful and inspirational to lift us up.”
In Judy’s eloquently written liner notes, Judy relates the origins of her songwriting. Story goes that in 1966 Leonard Cohen made a special trip to Judy’s apartment to play her his song, ‘Suzanne’, and, while there, asked her why she wasn’t writing her own songs. Her response was to sit down at her Steinway that very day and write ‘Since You’ve Asked’. Judy has been writing ever since then.
The album revisits the thrilling 1960s Greenwich Village years; snapshots her hellraising years; and frames quiet moments of nature. Lyrically, the songs are impressionistic and evocatively emotional. “I strove to capture what I see with lyrics, and bring particular times to life,” she says of the album’s painterly and personal songwriting.
Judy’s vocals ease from warm low-register vocals to soaring high tones, undimmed by time. “That’s a combination of good fortune, extreme luck, and hard work and discipline,” she reveals. “I do a lot to protect and take care of my voice, and I practice every day—you have to or you lose it.”
In a life and a career brimming with milestone moments, Spellbound is a high watermark of artistry and personal evolution. Though Judy has been writing for half a century, her new album ushers in an era of unbridled creativity. “I always knew I was going to be a late bloomer,” she says, cracking up with laughter.
Judy Collins is at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 16 November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from www.theapex.co.uk or 01284 758000.