Joan Baez

Client Details

This is just one of over five hundred clients of Silent Way. Explore the stories and technology behind each project at the client list.

Joan Baez
Roots, Folk and Country

Silent Way has worked with Joan Baez three times, in very different scenarios many years apart.

On October 30th 1993, Tony Brooke recorded Joan Baez as part of a unique benefit concert for the Bread and Roses organization. The night before Halloween 1993, on Alcatraz Island under a full moon, Joan played on a stage in the former mess hall of the infamous prison. Also on the bill that night were the San Quentin Prison To Praise Choir and Morton Sobell.

This 16-track recording was one of the first projects recorded on Silent Way's new Tascam DA-88 system. At the time, 16 bit, 48k audio was the pinnacle, and the DA-88 was the only system that could record seamless live sets of almost two hours without a tape change.

The recording system was set up behind the stage, in the former mess hall kitchen. Back when Alcatraz was a functioning prison, the kitchen workers were kept safely away from the prisoners, and they handed the food trays to the inmates through slots in the wall. This night, the slots served snakes of mic-level audio from an onstage mic splitter.

Fast-forward sixteen years to 7/12/2009, when Tony recorded Joan Baez again at The Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco.

Joan's music was still just as thought-provoking and emotional. But Silent Way's recording system had evolved through multiple generations to a whole new level. This time, the system was a 48-track RADAR V Nyquist system, recording 24 bit, 96k audio. Silent Way's mic preamps were all Millennia Media (plus some of Joan's mic preamps onstage). Every other part of the system had improved as well. A long road of progress between those two dates.

The song "Forever Young" from that show was released on the compilation "Live From Stern Grove Festival: 2009." Opening the show that day was the group Blame Sally. Silent Way was the exclusive multitrack audio recording vendor for Stern Grove Festival from 2004-2009. Over these six seasons, Tony Brooke recorded 77 artists on 39 dates.

Also, Joan was one of the guest stars at another show recorded by Tony Brooke, the Green Apple Earth Day music festival in Golden Gate Park on 4/20/2008.