Soul Sisters was graced with a true legend this episode, when prolific folk songstress Judy Collins stopped by the Chord Club to talk about her new album Silver Skies Blue, out June 3, and to share her perspective on a career that has spanned five decades and more hits than we could ever cover in an hour — not that it stopped us from trying.
The voice behind classic versions of “Both Sides Now” and “Send In the Clowns” tells us about growing up the daughter of a blind radio DJ from whom she inherited a love for all genres of music – but also took from him what she calls “the black demon,” alcoholism. Collins is an open book on even the most difficult chapters in her storied history, from alcoholism to depression to the tragic loss of a child. “By the time I was 19 I knew I was an alcoholic,” she shares, “but I didn’t know there was a solution.”
Now many years sober and rarely one to dwell in regrets, she describes how one’s greatest weaknesses can also serve our strengths, especially for an artist.
“The dark is very important,” she insists. “It must challenge everything.” And Collins exudes just the right balance of wisdom and humor to surmount any such challenge.
“This is outer space,” she points out about this place we call Earth, “and whatever is going on here is extremely strange.”
Listen to the full episode below, hosted by Billboard‘s Jessie Katz and Parlour Tricks singer Darah Golub, which includes a live performance by Collins. And be sure to subscribe to our iTunes channel for all future episodes of Soul Sisters.