Up until this past spring, the legendary singer and songwriter had barely appeared in public since suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015. But at this year’s MusiCares Person Of The Year gala, Mitchell, who was being honoured that night, got up to join in on two songs.
Then, this past summer, Mitchell played a surprise set at the Newport Folk Festival. She had an all-star backup band, but she sang lead and even played guitar; it was her first full set since 2000. Next summer, Joni Mitchell will do it again but this time it won’t be a surprise! Mitchell’s friend and collaborator Brandi Carlile said that Mitchell will play at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington next June.
Carlile said that Joni Mitchell has been holding private “Joni Jams” with other musicians for years as part of her recovery from her aneurysm and went on to say that the other musicians at the aforementioned Newport Folk Festival set didn’t know that Mitchell was planning to sing live: “We thought it was a jam. We didn’t know that she was going to sing all the leads on those songs. She just started singing. We had rehearsed the songs ourselves. And we didn’t know whether we should stop or what we should do, you know, so we just sang with her… She always has a plan. She knows what she wants to do, even if she doesn’t say it.” What a legend. Via Stereogum