There’s something special about a performer at the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969 returning to the site. Those hallowed grounds in Bethel – then Max Yasgur’s farm and now the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – will host the legendary Joan Baez in performance with support from the Indigo Girls on Saturday, June 22.
It’s an ideal pairing, with Baez one of the great folk artists of the Woodstock era and the Indigo Girls who arrived in the late ‘80s to continue the spirit. Baez cut her teeth at Boston’s Club 47 more than 50 years ago, attained fame as an unbilled performer at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined with Bob Dylan to inspire a revolution in consciousness-raising music that grew out of coffeehouses and spread across the globe. Baez has continued melding her sociopolitical fervor with her unique musical gift, both on the front lines – as with an acoustic show for Occupy Wall Street protestors in 2011 – and on record, as recently as 2008, on the Grammy-nominated album Day after Tomorrow, produced by Steve Earle.
The Indigo Girls were founded by Amy Ray and Emily Saliers in the fertile musical landscape of 1980s Georgia. They bucked the synth/pop and hair-metal dominating the airwaves by bringing their acoustic-driven “Closer to Fine” to the top of the charts in 1989. And like Baez, once they started, the Indigo Girls never looked back. Their most recent album, 2011’s Beauty Queen Sister, is another splendid heart-on-their-sleeves collection that sits comfortably alongside their back catalogue while still managing to sound of-the-moment.
Joan Baez and the Indigo Girls perform on the Pavilion Stage at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Saturday, June 22, with gates opening at 6:30 p.m., and the Pavilion-only show beginning at 8 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are available for $84, $59, $44.50 and $34.50. For more information, visit www.bethelwoodscenter.org, www.joanbaez.com and www.indigogirls.com.