Stephen Stills & Judy Collins Premiere 'Judy' From Joint Album 'Everybody Knows': Exclusive
The one-time couple (he wrote 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' about her in 1969) are back together for a musical endeavor.
Between songs like "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" and the newly released "Judy" -- premiering exclusively below -- Judy Collins has been the subject of some heady musical emotions from former paramour Stephen Stills. And she has no problem with that.
"Oh, it's just delicious," Collins tells Billboard with a laugh. "We always were friends. We didn't ever hate each other. We had a kind of, I would say, dramatic love affair, lots of positive and then a lot of upset because it wasn't working out. And then, of course 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" came along and, I mean, how can you resist when you hear that song all over the country?!"
"Judy," originally released in demo form on Stills' Just Roll Tape collection," is part of Everybody Knows, the veteran singer-songwriters' first joint album, due out Sept. 22. The set includes a variety of covers -- of each other's material (Stills' "Questions" and "So Begins The Task," Collins' "Houses" and "Who Knows Where The Time Goes") as well as songs by Bob Dylan ("Girl From The North Country"), Leonard Cohen ("Everybody Knows") and the Traveling Wilburys ("Handle With Care") -- along with a new Collins composition, "River Of Gold."
"It's got the markings of something that was bound to happen, and by some miracle both of us are still on the planet and feeling very healthy and positive," Collins says. The idea for the project dates back nearly a decade, and the recent Crosby, Stills & Nash hiatus provided an opening for Stills to move forward in earnest. "I think a lot of people see this as a reunited romance, which in a way it is because it's certainly a romantic musical romance because we've always liked each other's work, and then we've also had a lot to say with each other," Collins says. "When we started rehearsing for the record (Stills) said, 'Y'know, we should've done this from the first and sort of skipped the romance.' And I said, 'Yeah, but then you wouldn't have written 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,' probably."
The album project led to a concert tour that has dates booked into November. Collins is hoping the duo becomes a going concern, though she has a number of other projects on her plate -- a second album with singer-songwriter Ari Hest as well as a solo album, an album of Stephen Sondheim songs called Love Letter To Stephen Sondheim and a book, Cravings, about eating disorders and diets.
"I think we're up for it," Collins says of doing more with Stills. "I think now that it's established and we both have ideas of things that we want to do musically, it's just a matter of how we get around the world. There's a lot of dates that we won't be able to fit in on this trip; Lots of people want us, so it's possible we might be able to go forward in some way or another. Right now the main thing is to focus on this tour and get it right. It's progress and not perfection, as they say."
July 26 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Pavilion
July 28 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Cain Park
July 30 – Overland Park, KS @ JCCC Carlsen Center
August 1 – Denver, CO @ Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street
August 2 – Arvada, CO @ Arvada Center For The Arts & Humanities
August 3 – Steamboat Springs, CO @ Strings Music Festival
August 5 – Salina, KS @ Stiefel Theatre
August 7 – Meridian, MS @ Riley Center for the Performing Arts
August 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall
August 11 – Alexandria, VA @ Birchmere
August 12 – Alexandria, VA @ Birchmere
August 14 – Ridgefield, CT @ Ridgefield Playhouse
August 16 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Baise Theatre
August 17 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
August 18 – Greensburg, PA @ Palace Theatre
August 20 – Lowell, MA @ Boarding House Park
August 21 – Great Barrington, MA @ Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
August 23 – Morristown, NJ @ Mayo Performing Arts Center
August 25 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre
August 26 – Westbury, NY @ NYCB Theatre at Westbury
August 28 – Vestal, NY @ Anderson Center for the Performing Arts
September 1 – Beverly Hills, CA @ Saban Theatre
September 3 – Indio, CA @ Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino
September 6 – San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
September 8 – Jacksonville, OR @ Britt Pavilion
September 9 – Stateline, NV @ MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa
September 30 - Torrington, CT @ Warner Theater
October 1 - Newport News, VA @ Ferguson Performing Arts Center
October 2 - Huntington, WV @ Keith Albee Performing Arts Center
October 4 - Morgantown, WV @ West Virginia University
October 5 - Charlottesville, VA @ Sprint Pavilion
October 7 - Cranston, RI @ Rhode Island Center for the Performing Arts
October 8 - Albany, NY @ The Egg Center
October 11 - Lancaster, PA @ American Music Theater
October 12 - Tarrytown, NY @ Tarrytown Music Hall
October 13 - Englewood, NJ @ Bergen Performing Arts Center
October 17 - Godfrey, IL @ Olin Theater
October 21 - Las Vegas, NV @ Smith Center
October 22 - Tucson, AZ @ Fox Theater
October 25 - San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
October 26 - San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
October 28 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Arlington Theater
November 2 - Visalia, CA @ Fox Theater
November 4 - Brooks, CA @ Cacher Creek Casino