Background: Joan Baez is retiring from the road at age 77 for a very practical reason: she's losing her voice. "Nobody can really imagine the effort it takes to keep up with these vocal cords," she told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "They don't do what I want them to do anymore. When I stay in the low range, they do, pretty much. And I like the sound. But I can't do shit in the upper range anymore." Her Fare Thee Well tour wraps will keep her on the road through next March. She has yet to announce an end date.
Odds It's Real: 90 percent. Baez has been a touring machine for decades, but her frank comments about the limitations of her voice are very credible. The strain of this long tour will likely only exacerbate the problem, and she'll be pushing 80 by the time it's over. She'll probably become a figure like latter-day Peter Seeger for the rest of her life and pop up at numerous benefit shows and other special events, but her Fare Thee Well run seems like the real deal.