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Folk singer Judy Collins to sing Irish songs, top 10 hits in Fr

March 18, 2004|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

Judy Collins will bring her blue eyes and clear voice to the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Md., tonight.

In honor of the St. Patrick's season, she will sing some Irish tunes, but a Judy Collins performance would not be complete without some of the songs that have garnered numerous top 10 hits, Grammy nominations and awards and gold and platinum status.

Collins, whose career spans more than 40 years, performs 60 to 80 shows a year. Among them are 20 Christmas concerts and her Wildflower Festival on which she'll be joined by different performers in different locations, this year possibly Livingston Taylor, Richie Havens and "one of the Toms."

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She has performed with all "three of the Toms" - Tom Paxton, Tom Rush and Tom Chapin.

Collins' repertoire is rich. She writes and composes music as well as interpreting a wide variety of songs - from the traditional "Amazing Grace," to work of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Broadway lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim, who penned her hit "Send in the Clowns."

An album of Sondheim songs is "on the five-year plan," Collins said in a recent cell phone interview from the back seat of a moving vehicle in New York City.

The Seattle native, whose first instrument was the concert piano, has lived in Manhattan for 41 years. She's working on some new songs and plans to return to the studio in April. More than 40 albums precede the next one planned.

She writes books as well as music. "Singing Lessons," her 1998 memoir was followed in 2003 by "Sanity and Grace, A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength," Collins' story of the death of her only son and her process of healing.

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