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Dark Chords on a Big Guitar
Studio album by Joan Baez
Released September 23, 2003
Recorded Allaire Studios, Shokan, New York, January - April 2003
Genre Folk
Length 44:38
Label Guardian
Producer Mark Spector
Professional reviews
Joan Baez chronology
Gone From Danger
Dark Chords on a Big Guitar
Bowery Songs

Dark Chords on a Big Guitar was a 2003 album by Joan Baez. The sound was more "rockish" than her prior releases, and it was composed of work by mostly Generation X songwriters, including Natalie Merchant, Ryan Adams and Steve Earle. The title was taken from a line in Greg Brown's song "Rexroth's Daughter". Critics and listeners were surprised that Baez's voice had lost little of its original power and beauty, given that she was sixty-two when she made the album.

The album was recorded at Allaire Studios, Shokan, New York, January - April 2003.

Album was produced by Mark Spector. Backing musicians included: George Javori and Duke McVinnie.

Baez dedicated the album to Michael Moore.

Track listing

  1. "Sleeper" (Greg Brown) – 4:35
  2. "In My Time of Need" (Ryan Adams) – 4:33
  3. "Rosemary Moore" (Caitlin Cary) – 5:15
  4. "Caleb Meyer" (Gillian Welch) – 2:31
  5. "Motherland" (Natalie Merchant) – 4:44
  6. "Wings" (Josh Ritter) – 4:01
  7. "Rexroth's Daughter" (Greg Brown) – 5:19
  8. "Elvis Presley Blues" (Welch) – 4:40
  9. "King's Highway" (Joe Henry) – 3:28
  10. "Christmas in Washington" (Steve Earle) – 5:13


  • Rani Arbo – Background Vocals
  • Greg Calbi – Mastering
  • Steve Chadie – Assistant Engineer
  • Matthew Cullen – Assistant Engineer
  • Gail Ann Dorsey – Background Vocals
  • James Harley – Assistant Engineer
  • Byron Isaacs – Electric & Acoustic Bass
  • George Javori – Drums
  • Brandon Mason – Engineer, Mixing
  • Duke McVinnie – Guitar, Bass
  • Norman Moore – Art Direction, Design, Photography
  • Doug Pettibone – Acoustic Guitar
  • Bo Ramsey – Producer
  • Mark Spector – Producer
  • Greg Tobler – Assistant Engineer
  • Tom Tucker – Engineer
  • Dana Tynan – Photography


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