January 28, 2023

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Joni Mitchell shares new live album plans in interview with Elton John

Joni Mitchell has announced that she is working on a new live album. During a rare interview with Elton John on his Apple Music 1 show Rocket Hour, the folk legend opened up about her plans to document her surprise set at the Newport Folk Festival in July. It was Mitchell’s first show in 22 years and she was joined by Brandi Carlile, Blake Mills, Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Wynonna Judd and Lucius’ Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. Her last album of original songs, Shine, was released in 2007.

“[We] had none [rehearsal]’ Mitchell said of the Newport Folk Festival set. Speaking about the performance of “Just Like This Train,” in which she played an electric guitar solo, Mitchell said, “I couldn’t sing the key, I got old, I’m not a soprano anymore, so I could.” don’t sing the song. And I thought people might feel relieved if I just played the guitar part, but I like the guitar part in this song. In any case, it was very well received, much to my delight.”

John used part of his interview to urge Mitchell to record a studio album at her home. “One day I want you to sit in this room, like we’re doing now, but with some recording equipment,” he said. “I want you to make an album in this room because it’s so magical. Every corner of this room is Joni. Everything about it is Joni… and I really want you to think about making a record, maybe new songs, the way you’re going about it you’re tearing the world apart right now.” Mitchell didn’t announce any plans for it, but she did say that she had “once recorded some backing vocals up on the balcony”.

Mitchell and John also spoke about their recent resurgence, their love for Chuck Berry and Brandi Carlile’s 2019 concert, where she covered Blue in full. “She did such a good job,” Mitchell said. “There have been many covers of my songs, but she’s very faithful to the original. So it was like going to my own concert.” Watch selected clips from the interview below.

Next year, Mitchell will return to the stage in June 2023 for her first headlining concert in decades. Carlile said it will be held at Washington’s Gorge Amphitheater next June and follows private “Joni Jams” that Mitchell has been hosting for years with other musicians as part of her recovery from her 2015 brain aneurysm. The aneurysm affected her ability to speak and walk, and she did not reappear until three years later at a tribute concert marking her 75th birthday. Since then, Mitchell has been named MusiCares Person of the Year at the Grammys (where she also accepted an award for Best Historical Album), received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music, and frequented CBS Mornings to talk about her performance at the Newport Folk Festival .