Joni Mitchell Reveals New Live Album Based On Newport Folk Festival Performance

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Joni Mitchell’s fans will see more of the music legend soon following her 20 years of hiatus from public performance. The change began in July 2022 when she played her guitar at the Newport Folk Festival, a performance she was nervous about but happy it turned out well. 

Following the event, she had a sitdown with Elton John in her house for the Rocket Hour show, where she revealed something exciting for her fans and talked about the reception of her performance at the festival. 

Joni Mitchell invites Elton John into her home


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A post shared by Joni Mitchell (@jonimitchell)

During the interview, Elton mused, “People out there, you haven’t heard things from the Newport Folk Festival yet, but I think there’s going to be an album coming out of that one,” to which Joni responded, “Yeah, we’re trying to put that out.” Exciting news for her fans! 

RELATED: Joni Mitchell Performs At Newport Folk Festival For First Time In Decades

Elton didn’t end there; he broached the topic of the festival as being a major achievement in Joni’s life following her brain aneurysm in 2015. Since that tragic incident, the 79-years-old singer had to basically relearn everything she knew how to do, right down to guitar playing. 

“It’s amazing what an aneurysm knocks out — how to get out of a chair! You don’t know how to get out of a bed. You have to learn all these things by rote again,” Joni revealed. “I was into water ballet as a kid, and I forgot how to do the breaststroke. Every time I tried it, I just about drowned, you know? So, a lot of it going back to infancy almost. You have to relearn everything.”

THE MAMA CASS TELEVISION PROGRAM, Joni Mitchell, (aired June 26, 1969). ph: Gene Stein / TV Guide / courtesy Everett Collection

Thankfully, her recuperation has been going great, which Elton called an “incredible rehabilitation,” and he didn’t forget to state, “Music has helped you so much, and it’s beautiful to watch you evolve.”

Elton then asked her a probing question about why she chose the guitar. “I couldn’t sing the key, I’ve become an alto. I’m not a soprano anymore, so I couldn’t sing the song,” she replied. “And I thought people might feel lighted if I just played the guitar part, but I like the guitar part to that song. So anyway, it was very well received, much to my delight.”

Apart from the album, she’s going to headline a show next year

During the festival, she sang alongside Brandi Carlile, a fellow musician, who revealed the plans for a two-day concert in Washington to The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. 

JONI MITCHELL, c. mid 1990s

“After Newport, Joni said, ‘I want to do another show. I want to play again,’” Carlile revealed. “We got to thinking about it and we decided on a venue, which is the Gorge, out in Washington State. We want to play there. It’s one of the most beautiful venues in the world.”

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