Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
College Street Music Hall
New Haven, Connecticut
August 17, 2017
The College Street Music Hall in New Haven, Connecticut hosted Judy Collins and Stephen Stills for an intimate night of music and stories. It’s not the largest of venues, holding approximately two thousand patrons, but perfect for the blend of rock and folk that Collins and Stills performed.
The 72-year-old Stephen Stills plays many instruments but this night was strictly on guitar. He’s an instrumentalist and composer and has in the past been a part of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Buffalo Springfield. He followed that with a longstanding solo career.
The 78-year-old folk singer Judy Collins is an iconic and enduring figure in folk music with a career spanning many decades. Stills and Collins met in 1967, during a high point in the young Collins’ career. That was the start of a decades long friendship that has gone full circle culminating with the this tour and their upcoming album release.
They opened the set with “Handle With Care” followed by “So Begins The Task.”
Collins the took the stage solo for her original song “River of Gold.” Collins voice has not lost it’s lilting tone and beautiful quality. Her singing gives no indication of her age. She still has a lovely peacefulness to her music and had no problem with the clear high notes she is know for. That’s how the evening went, Collins would perform a song or two solo then Stills would join her for a couple songs together. He then would sing one or two of his songs solo.
The duo sang a cover of Leonard Cohen’s 1988 song “Everybody Knows.” The song will be featured on their soon to be released LP of the same name. This album combines 50 years of their separate and combined careers works. Some of their more popular songs are revisited. In addition the album features a few covers of songs from various other artists.
Stills and Collins have worked together before on a track for a Collins record in the past but they have not done an album together. “Everybody Knows,” which will be released Sept. 22, has covers of songs by Leonard Cohen.
“Who Knows Where the Time Goes” from Collins’ 1968 album (which Stills played on) and “So Begins the Task” from Stills’ 1972 album with Manassas.
Stills took the stage by himself to perform “Treetop Flyer,” a song he said is still a popular request at USO shows he does on occasion. He said it’s one of his most requested songs in general.
Collins voice still resonated through the theater as she perform the touching “Suzanne”, another Leonard Cohen cover. This was followed by “Judy” a song Stills wrote for Collins.
The evening was also rich with stories told by both Collins and Stills of their history together and with other performers. They gave insight into how it was to tour and perform in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Their stories were both funny and touching. Collins was actually quite funny with her impressions of Leonard Cohen and his wife. They told of their short love affair followed by a longstanding friendship. They now get together once in awhile for dinner though each has gone on with their individual lives, married and are happily living their own lives on separate coasts. Lives they will go back to after November when this tour is over.
They finished out the night with “For What It’s Worth” another of the most requested on Still’s concert list and “Bluebird.”
They came back onstage for an encore with “Houses”, “Someday Soon” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”
Numa Edema was the opening act. He’s a Norwegian soul singer and started the evening performing cuts from his debut album “Hourglass” including his songs “Delta Man” and “Not Long Ago.” His soulful and slightly blues influenced music was well received by the crowd.
Time has passed and Stills will probably never have the range he once has as is the case with many who started their careers in the sixties. But even with that taken into acount the concert was good and an enjoyable evening.
Handle With Care (Traveling Wilburys cover)
So Begins the Task (Manassas cover)
River of Gold
Questions (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Girl From the North Country (Bob Dylan cover)
Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover)
Seen Enough (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover)
Treetop Flyer (Stephen Stills cover)
Both Sides, Now (Joni Mitchell cover)
Suzanne (Leonard Cohen cover)
Judy (Stephen Stills cover)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Sandy Denny cover)
Chelsea Morning (Joni Mitchell cover)
For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Bluebird (Buffalo Springfield cover)
Houses (Judy Collins cover)
Someday Soon (Ian Tyson cover)
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills & Nash cover)
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris