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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

A Conversation With Liz Thomson, Author of Joan Baez:The Last Leaf

Artie Martello chats with Liz Thomson for his latest Sound Cafe Podcast, they chat about Liz's book, Joan Baez: The Lat Leaf.

You can listen to the entire interview and music HERE

Mostly Folk is a podcast from the Catskill Mountains, New York, playing newly released albums, classic folk, indie folk and bluegrass music as well as some traditional music that may or may not be true to the genre. Mostly Folk has interviewed and will continue to interview both upcoming and established singers and songwriters from around the world and offers special programs featuring local writers and actors.

Liz Thomson: A London-based journalist, author and broadcaster, and the co-founder of Square Roots Productions CIO and, in New York, of The Village Trip, a non-profit arts festival. She was a founding trustee of the Desmond Elliott Prize for first novels.

A contributing editor to, Liz’s work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, among them The Times, Guardian, Independent, New Statesman & Society, Mojo, the Big Issue and the Washington Post.

Since she appeared unannounced at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, Joan Baez has occupied a singular place in popular music. Within three years, she had recorded three best-selling albums and her voice had been described “as lustrous and rich as old gold”. She has mentored generations of singer-songwriters, including Dar Williams, Josh Ritter, Grace Stumberg and, most famously, Bob Dylan.

But Joan Baez has always been much more than simply a singer. Even before she joined Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. on the podium at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, she had used her gift to bring solace and hope to people who had little of either. In words and deeds, Baez has consistently championed social justice, nonviolence the guiding principle of her life, and the causes for which she has campaigned are legion. Whether playing to integrated audiences in the American south during the years of segregation, in Latin America during the years of brutal dictatorships, or Sarajevo under siege, Baez offered “an act of love, sharing, witness and music”. Approaching 80, she has stepped down from the stage following a worldwide farewell tour and a final, Grammy-nominated album. She is now embarked on a new chapter of life—painting.

Drawing on interviews with long-time friends and musical associates, and on conversations across four decades with Baez herself, Joan Baez: The Last Leaf is a celebration of a timeless figure whose music and influence will endure long after her voice is silenced.

You can listen to the entire interview and music HERE


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