Joan Baez: I’m Retiring From Touring Next Year

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Joan Baez

Having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last spring—an honor she admitted she never expected—folk legend Joan Baez says that she’s ready to wind down her career as a touring artist. She will do four tours in 2018, the singer told Variety, following a performance Oct. 11 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles for a benefit concert supporting the JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service).

In an article by Steve Baltin, the 76-year-old Baez said, “Next year is my last year of formal touring. There will be four different tours, one month each, and then that’s it. I can choose if I want to go sing at a protest, or do something like this. The voice is so difficult to deal with now that having a point where I don’t have to do it anymore will be wonderful.”

According to the article, Baez she plans to spend her down time painting, as many of her fellow singer-songwriters have done. She has already exhibited her work in Northern California. She did tell Variety that she will continue to record. Her next Joe Henry-produced album is in the planning stages. “I’ve done something from Antony & the Johnsons, two from Tom Waits—‘Last Leaf’ and ‘Whistle Down The Wind’—Josh Ritter, one from an unknown, Zoe Mulford, brilliant. Twelve songs and they’re done. There’s one I might redo, Steve [Earle’s], because it has too much instrumentation and you need to hear the words,” Baez told Baltin.

She also said that she will continue in her role as activist.

Related: When Joan Baez had a top 5 single

Baez was inducted into the Rock Hall by Jackson Browne at the April event. During her speech she said, “It gives me enormous pleasure to accept this prestigious and very cool award tonight. I was lucky enough to have found my voice when coffee shops were the order of the day.”

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Watch Joan Baez perform at her Rock Hall induction

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