Recorded between 1961 & 1963. Includes original release liner notes by Joan Baez, Sr.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Originally released in 1982, the double-album-length compilation VERY EARLY JOAN collects recordings from the first three years of Joan Baez's career, songs from the era of Cambridge coffeehouses and the Newport Folk Festival. Folk music at this time remained largely unpoliticized, though tunes like Ed McCurdy's "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," the opening track here, foreshadowed the political commitments of the protest era. Most of VERY EARLY JOAN consists of plainly-recorded, live-sounding solo guitar and voice renditions of traditional American and British folk songs, although a handful of recordings made with bluegrass pickers the Greenbriar Boys, including an excellent version of Elizabeth Cotten's "Freight Train," are included. Joan Baez's early albums are rather uneven, and this exhaustive 74-minute compilation is an excellent precis of them.