Folk music royalty Judy Collins pleases Pittsburgh audience

PITTSBURGH — In a purposeful step and her usual flair, Judy Collins made a grand appearance on stage at the Byham Theater on Thursday to keep things going with a few tricks.

She introduced herself as American Idol of 1956 and said, “This is a song you must remember… I hope you remember.”

Collins then unleashed her ethereal, yet punchy voice on “Both Sides Now,” a 1967 Joni Mitchell-penned Top 10 smash hit. When Collins plays next to “Diamonds & Lust,” which is far more true to Joan Baez’s original than the metallic remake of Judas Priest, she almost feels a tingle of excitement from the mostly baby boomer audience. I was able to.

Collins, flanked by piano player Russell Walden and pedal steel/electric guitarist Thad DeBrock, took center stage in a shimmery black top that offset her cropped white hairstyle. The trio maintained a classy and elegant sound, with an emphasis on Collins’ full soprano voice and ironic storytelling.

Creative interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk standards see Collins perform Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” Jimmy Webb’s “Highwayman,” and Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” in a 90-minute set. tucked into her 90-minute set and remains her calling card. and “Mr. Tambourine Man”, she took her hands off her acoustic guitar and made a “Come on, come on,” gesture of bending her fingers to convince the crowd to sing along.

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