Whistle Down the Wind (album)

Last updated
Whistle Down the Wind
JBaez WhistleDown.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 2, 2018
RecordedFebruary 19–20, May 1–5 and September 25–27, 2017
Genre Folk
Label Proper
Producer Joe Henry
Joan Baez chronology
Day After Tomorrow
Whistle Down the Wind
Singles from Whistle Down the Wind
  1. "Whistle Down the Wind"
    Released: 8 January 2018 [1]

Whistle Down the Wind is the 25th and final studio album by American folk singer and musician Joan Baez, released on March 2, 2018, her first studio album in almost a decade. The album features songs written by such composers as Tom Waits, Josh Ritter and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Joe Henry produced the album. [1] [2] [3]


Whistle Down the Wind was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. [4]

Making the album

On November 8, 2017, Joan Baez announced that, in conjunction with her final tour of Europe in 2018, she would release a new studio album entitled Whistle Down the Wind. [2]

It was produced by Joe Henry. It was recorded at United Recording in Hollywood, California [5] over 10 days. [6] The album was made over a period of three weeks. [7] The album features songs written by such composers as Tom Waits, Josh Ritter and Mary Chapin Carpenter. It was released on March 2, 2018, and was her first studio album in almost a decade. [1] [2] [3]

The album was released on vinyl as well as digital. [8] Her final international September 2018 tour to promote Whistle Down the Wind included a digital copy of the record with each purchased ticket in the United States. [9] [10]


On January 8, 2018, Joan Baez made available on her website the first track from the album, "Whistle Down the Wind". [1]


The album features Baez singing covers of various contemporary songwriters, with NPR saying her choices "amplifies Baez ever-present gift for interpretation." [11] PopMatters said the album was "a beguilingly modest, humble work that wears with disarming lightness Baez's legendary status, instead placing the focus squarely on the songs." [12]

The Herald Standard says that album included a focus on "topical issues that are emotional and thought-provoking." [13] The San Francisco Chronicle said that the "music is reassuringly spare, highlighting Baez’s rich, world-weary voice and the slowly unfolding melodies of politically minded tunes like 'Another World' and 'I Wish the Wars Were All Over' over a blanket of acoustic guitars, stately pianos and prudent rhythms." [14] The Financial Times said it featured "pointedly chosen songs and starkly contemporary lyrics." [15] Marin Independent Journal said it was a "a tasteful and carefully curated collection of new songs by some of her favorite writers". [16]

It received a score of 77/100 on Metacritic. [17] The Guardian called it a "graceful farewell" and gave it 4 of 5 stars. [18] Pitchfork gave it a score of 7.4/10, [19] Rolling Stone gave it 4/5, [20] AllMusic gave it 4/5, [5] and Glide Magazine gave it 9/10. [21]

Track listings

1."Whistle Down the Wind" Tom Waits 4:49
2."Be of Good Heart" Josh Ritter 4:05
3."Another World" Anohni 2:57
4."Civil War" Joe Henry 4:22
5."The Things That We Are Made Of" Mary Chapin Carpenter 5:10
6."The President Sang Amazing Grace"Zoe Mulford3:20
7."Last Leaf"Waits, Kathleen Brennan 3:05
8."Silver Blade" Josh Ritter 3:55
9."The Great Correction" Eliza Gilkyson 3:43
10."I Wish the Wars Were All Over" Tim Eriksen 3:35



Chart (2018)Peak
Germany Albums (Offizielle Top 100)8
UK Americana (Official Charts Company)2

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Latest news". joanbaez.com. January 8, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Joan Baez Announces New Album 'Whistle Down The Wind' and UK & Ireland Tour Dates (by Alex Gallacher)". folkradio.co.uk. November 8, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Whistle Down The Wind". amazon.co.uk. January 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  4. https://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/2019-grammy-awards-complete-nominations-list#13
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  12. Ramon, Alex (March 7, 2018). "Modesty, Melody and Quiet, Reflective Words: Joan Baez's 'Whistle Down the Wind'". PopMatters .
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  14. Vaziri, Aidin (March 7, 2018). "Facing retirement, Joan Baez remains defiant on 'Whistle Down the Wind'". an Francisco Chronicle.
  15. Honigmann, David (March 9, 2018). "Joan Baez: Whistle Down The Wind — 'an admirable farewell'". The Financial Times .
  16. Liberatore, Paul (July 23, 2018). "Joan Baez's farewell tour 'graced' by acclaimed new album, 'Whistle Down the Wind'". Marin Independent Journal.
  17. "Whistle Down the Wind". Metacritic . March 2, 2018.
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