Earlier this year, we had the enormous honor of interviewing country royalty/grand dame Judy Collins (click here) Collins was kind, open and quite funny. A class act all the way. As has been well known by now, her 2022 album ‘Spellbound’ is the first in her long career that’s all hers. Each and every track (there’s 12 in total, and a 13th bonus song) is written, composed and sung by her. On most, she also plays piano and/or string guitar, accompanied by a slew of talented musicians – including Ari Hest, Thad Debrock, Zev Katz and Greg Readling. The booklet is lovely, with a detailed commentary/making of of every song and lyrics. Title track and opener ‘Spellbound’ immediately sets the tone: a lovely tune with a soaring vocal. If miss Collins really is 83 of age, she sure doesn’t sound like it. Her legendary voice is intact and has aged like fine wine. Song like ‘When I Was a Girl in Colorado’, ‘Prairie Dream’ and ‘Arizona’ confirm her American heritage, whereas ‘Thomas Merton’ is an auto-biographical telling of the life and work of the eponymous Merton (a monk who was very anti-war and who inspired miss Collins). ‘Spellbound’ is a lovely collection of soothing folk with lots of rootsy influences. An album to put on during a quiet party, a meeting, a baby shower – perfectly suited for every mood. Never intruding, never annoying, never overstaying its welcome. Here’s hoping Miss Collins lives to be 104 and has plenty more albums up her sleeve.
See her live in Antwerp, Belgium on 5 November. Venue: De Roma.