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Joni Mitchell|Joni Mitchell at Newport  (Live)

Joni Mitchell at Newport (Live)

Joni Mitchell

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If you care about Joni Mitchell at all, this record is such a big deal. Recorded at the Newport Folk Festival in 2022, it captures the surprise performance—and first full set in 20 years—by the towering singer-songwriter. It's a study in humanity, love, fandom and the passage of time. Ringmaster Brandi Carlile opens the concert by describing what a real Joni Jam is like—the storied hootenannies at Mitchell's Laurel Canyon home, where musicians sing to honor, entertain and impress her. (Those onstage include Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Shooter Jennings, Allison Russell, Wynonna Judd and more.) "Grab any old Martin guitar and tune it up ... the pets are here ... watch out for the orchids, they're everywhere," Carlile paints the scene.  "How are we going to have a Joni Jam without our queen? We're not!" And the crowd roars as Mitchell returns to the Newport stage for the first time since 1969. Then the iconic jangle of "Big Yellow Taxi" kicks in, performed as a group singalong with Mitchell's late-life velvet voice standing out here and there. The harmonies melt, with Lucius's Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig steering the ship, but it's Mitchell who gets the last word in, growling "put up a parking lot" and gleefully laughing as the song fades. 

It's a bit of a shock, even after she switched to a contralto in the mid-'70s, to not hear the mezzo-soprano that made the song famous, but incredibly moving, too. Mitchell suffered an aneurysm in 2015 that meant she had to learn to walk and sing and play guitar again. Which makes her spry, cool guitar on an instrumental version of "Just Like This Train'' all the more remarkable. And Mitchell's voice only gets stronger as the set goes on. Carlile and her wild-honey croon take the lead on "A Case of You," but Mitchell picks it up at the chorus to chill-inducing effect and keeps going, with Carlile and Mumford twisting around her like gentle but supportive vines. Carlile sounds fabulous taking the high notes on a groovy "Carey," and Mitchell is like silver when she hollers: "Oh, you're a mean old daddy, but you're out of sight!" She tells a fun story about driving a Mercedes across the country and how Hejira was written on the way. "I didn't have a driver's license so I had to tailgate on truckers, you know, they always signal when there's cops ahead," Mitchell cackles. Goldsmith then takes the lead on "Amelia," with Mitchell slightly behind him like an austere shadow; the same happens as he leads the gang through "Come in from the Cold"—and when Mitchell implores the title, she sounds more heartfelt than ever. "Both Sides Now" is so mortal and beautiful; when, at 79, Mitchell sings that final chorus—written when she was 23—it's almost unbearable: "I've looked at life from both sides now/ From win and lose and still somehow/ It's life's illusions I recall/ I really don't know life at all." But closer "The Circle Game" (written for Neil Young after he lamented leaving his teens and turning 20) is joyous. "We're captive on the carousel of time," Mitchell sings, so happy to be here. It ends with her laughing heartily. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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Joni Mitchell at Newport (Live)

Joni Mitchell

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1
Introduction by Brandi Carlile
00:02:41

Brandi Carlile, Writer, Intro Vocals - Joni Mitchell, MainArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, A Warner Music Group Company

2
Big Yellow Taxi (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:02:40

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Lucius, Vocals - Josh Neumann, Cello - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

3
A Case of You (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:04:51

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

4
Amelia (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:07:59

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar, Vocals - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

5
Both Sides Now (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:05:40

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

6
Just Like This Train (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:03:31

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

7
Summertime (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:05:52

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - George Gershwin, Writer - Dubose Heyward, Writer - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

8
Carey (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:03:37

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

9
Help Me (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:05:20

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - Celisse, Guitar, Vocals - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

10
Come in From the Cold (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:07:34

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar, Vocals - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

11
Shine (feat. The Joni Jam) (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:05:44

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Composer, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar - The Joni Jam, Ensemble, FeaturedArtist

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

12
The Circle Game (Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, 7/24/2022)
00:05:55

Brandi Carlile, Producer, Vocals - Tim Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Phil Hanseroth, Guitar, Bass - Joni Mitchell, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Blake Mills, Guitar - Taylor Goldsmith, Guitar - Marcus Mumford, Percussion, Vocals - Shooter Jennings, Guitar - Wynonna Judd, Backing Vocals - Allison Russell, Clarinet - Josh Neumann, Cello - Jess Wolfe, Backing Vocals - Holly Laessig, Backing Vocals - Celisse Henderson, Guitar, Vocals - Ben Lusher, Keyboards - Kyleen King, Backing Vocals - Rick Whitfield, Guitar

Marketed by Rhino Entertainment Company., © 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. ℗ 2023 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company.

Album review

If you care about Joni Mitchell at all, this record is such a big deal. Recorded at the Newport Folk Festival in 2022, it captures the surprise performance—and first full set in 20 years—by the towering singer-songwriter. It's a study in humanity, love, fandom and the passage of time. Ringmaster Brandi Carlile opens the concert by describing what a real Joni Jam is like—the storied hootenannies at Mitchell's Laurel Canyon home, where musicians sing to honor, entertain and impress her. (Those onstage include Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Shooter Jennings, Allison Russell, Wynonna Judd and more.) "Grab any old Martin guitar and tune it up ... the pets are here ... watch out for the orchids, they're everywhere," Carlile paints the scene.  "How are we going to have a Joni Jam without our queen? We're not!" And the crowd roars as Mitchell returns to the Newport stage for the first time since 1969. Then the iconic jangle of "Big Yellow Taxi" kicks in, performed as a group singalong with Mitchell's late-life velvet voice standing out here and there. The harmonies melt, with Lucius's Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig steering the ship, but it's Mitchell who gets the last word in, growling "put up a parking lot" and gleefully laughing as the song fades. 

It's a bit of a shock, even after she switched to a contralto in the mid-'70s, to not hear the mezzo-soprano that made the song famous, but incredibly moving, too. Mitchell suffered an aneurysm in 2015 that meant she had to learn to walk and sing and play guitar again. Which makes her spry, cool guitar on an instrumental version of "Just Like This Train'' all the more remarkable. And Mitchell's voice only gets stronger as the set goes on. Carlile and her wild-honey croon take the lead on "A Case of You," but Mitchell picks it up at the chorus to chill-inducing effect and keeps going, with Carlile and Mumford twisting around her like gentle but supportive vines. Carlile sounds fabulous taking the high notes on a groovy "Carey," and Mitchell is like silver when she hollers: "Oh, you're a mean old daddy, but you're out of sight!" She tells a fun story about driving a Mercedes across the country and how Hejira was written on the way. "I didn't have a driver's license so I had to tailgate on truckers, you know, they always signal when there's cops ahead," Mitchell cackles. Goldsmith then takes the lead on "Amelia," with Mitchell slightly behind him like an austere shadow; the same happens as he leads the gang through "Come in from the Cold"—and when Mitchell implores the title, she sounds more heartfelt than ever. "Both Sides Now" is so mortal and beautiful; when, at 79, Mitchell sings that final chorus—written when she was 23—it's almost unbearable: "I've looked at life from both sides now/ From win and lose and still somehow/ It's life's illusions I recall/ I really don't know life at all." But closer "The Circle Game" (written for Neil Young after he lamented leaving his teens and turning 20) is joyous. "We're captive on the carousel of time," Mitchell sings, so happy to be here. It ends with her laughing heartily. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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