Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Singer Judy Collins keeps as busy as ever

Judy Collins is multitasking.

She excuses herself from our phone interview and leaves me on the line for a minute to take care of a quick work session. It just popped up and she didn’t want to bother with rescheduling.

Besides, she’s used to handling multiple things at once.

“I’m always balancing five or six things,” says Collins, in advance of her show Saturday night at the Tower Theatre.

At 75 years old, the singer/songwriter/author/actress is a workaholic.

The list of things on her current to-do list includes putting the final touches on a new book (she’s just turned it over to her agent), recording a PBS show for late summer (a follow up to her show at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art in 2009 and last year’s concert at Dromoland Castle in Ireland), starting promotions for the re-release of “Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman” (the documentary she produced in 1974. It earned an Oscar nomination) and finishing a series of recording projects.

That’s ignoring the 100-plus live shows she does each year.

“I’m busy, busy, busy,” she says.

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TONIGHT: David Dondero

donderoDuring the late 2000s, Austin, TX, songwriter David Dondero could often be seen in Fresno’s indie-rock circles, playing support for local favorites like Niilo Smeds, Rademacher and Nik Freitas. Dondero also had a Valley tie with Future Farmer Records, where he released three albums. The label’s founders are both Valley natives.

Point being, Dondero has stopped through Fresno so many times and for so many year, we should start claiming him as our own. Or at least supporting him that way. He plays a free, all-ages show 9 p.m. tonight at Peeve’s Public House. Local musician Swimming in Paint opens the show.

Watch Dondero on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert on the jump. Oh, yeah, NPR loves him.

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TONIGHT: Fauxchella w/ ZZ Ward

zzwardThere are moments when it’s hard for ZZ Ward to fathom her own success — like say, the three days this summer she’ll be opening for guitar god Eric Clapton, or playing Red Rocks Amphitheater with Amos Lee this August. Or, this weekend’s slot at the Coachella Festival.

“There are days when everything feels like such a big deal,” says Ward, the 27-year old blues R&B hip-hop singer, who has worked with guys like Asher Roth, Kendrick Lamar and Pete Rock. Her debut “Til the Casket Drops,” was released in 2012 on Hollywood Records. Her free “Eleven Roses,” mix-tape feature interpretations tracks by Lamar along with Childish Gambino and Tyler, the Creator.

Most days though, there’s just not time for that kind of thinking, Ward says.
“I still feel like I’m trying to do it,” she says. “I’m always too busy trying to do a good job with things.”

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