'Judy Collins & Jonas Fjeld - Winter Stories'
(Judy Collins, Jonas Fjeld, et al / DVD+CD / NR / 2020 / Wildflower Records - Cleopatra Records)
Overview: Judy Collins - along with critically acclaimed Norwegian folk artist Jonas Fjeld and masterful Americana band Chatham County Line - invite you to a hootenanny at the Oslo Opera House.
Filmed in February 2020 off the tails of the newly formed groups' critically-acclaimed studio release Winter Stories, the resulting live DVD and CD is a collection of classics, new tunes, and a few surprises.
DVD Verdict: Iconic singer, songwriter, author and activist Judy Collins’ new seasonal album Winter Stories (Cleopatra) was recently released and featured an intimate and rootsy excursion of new holiday songs that capture the ice, frigid winds and sought warmth of the season.
The tour promoting that aforementioned album ended in February 2020 at the stunning 1,364 seat Oslo Opera House in Fjeld’s native country.
Calling on North Carolina newgrass quartet Chatham County Line and Norwegian artist Jonas Fjeld, the collaborative record is a swirling mix of new originals and classic covers, including Joni Mitchell’s 'The River,' and a re-recording of Collins’ evergreen classic 'The Blizzard.'
Watching this magnificent live Wintery performance play out before my eyes, even here in early September, the ethereal soprano, who just turned 80 in May, is at the top of her game and showcases a still, and incredibly prolific Collins at her vocal finest.
The 80-minute concert was recorded in HD sound and video and now comes in this brand new DVD+CD package, entitled Judy Collins & Jonas Fjeld - Winter Stories.
So not only do you get the luscious live experience, but a bonus CD with the 15 songs performed that night, making this both a sonic and visual treat.
At the time of the concert Collins was approaching her 80th Birthday and yet you’d never tell that from her voice here, especially the closing a capella 'Amazing Grace'.
Featuring songs such 'Northwest Passage,' 'Mountain Girl,' 'Angels In the Snow' and 'Frozen North,' along with classics such as 'Both Sides Now' and oh-so many more Collins originals, she plays guitar, but there is no piano work from her here this time.
Fjeld is more of a song writer – at least three of his compositions appear here – but his rough voice works perfectly on the tribute to Canadian Stan Rogers ('Northwest Passage') and does perfectly counter Collins' soprano.
In the past four years, Collins has released three albums and a each have received a tremendous amount of accolades. 2016’s Silver Skies Blue, a duets record with Ari Hest, was nominated for a GRAMMY Award, and led to a performance at the GRAMMY Premiere Ceremony.
In 2017, she released Everybody Knows, her first album with Stephen Stills celebrating an important decades-long friendship that led to a year of touring, a profile on CBS Sunday Morning and more.
Their 2019 album was acclaimed as one of the best of the year, and their live performances have been hailed across America and watching this beautifully, and indeed stunningly videoed live show now, you can clearly see why.
1. 'Mountain Girl'
2. 'City Of New Orleans'
3. 'Winter Stories'
4. 'Sweet Refrain'
5. 'Northwest Package'
7. 'When Morning Comes To America'
8. 'Hun Kom Som En Engel'
10. 'Angels In The Snow'
12. 'Frozen North'
13. 'Bury Me With My Guitar On'
14. 'Both Sides Now'
15. 'Amazing Grace'
Amazon DVD+CD Purchase Link