Friday, March 10, 2006

Tribute to Joni

Just thought I'd write a little blurb to pay tribute to a pretty awesome woman. Joni Mitchell is truly an awesome talent. Of course being from Saskatoon and all, she can't help but be awesome :). It wasn't until she went off to the rest of the world and became more recognized that we (Canadians) truly started to recognize her work on a more local basis. Funny how that often works. Especially with the "don't know what you've got til it's gone concept.

A few years back I went to an exhibit at the mendel art gallery in Saskatoon. It was an exhibit of Joni's paintings over the years as well as her photography. It was pretty outstanding. I was a fan of her music for many years prior and then seeing her other talents within the realm of the arts heightened my admiration even more. Anywhoo, just thought I'd post a few pictures here of this pretty outstanding woman. I like this one of her playing the dulcimer, I think it was taken in 1970....wonderful instrument. Anywhoo, enjoy the pictures and please feel free to post a comment if you think Joni is awesome too...


Blogger Matthew Francis said...

That is such a beautiful picture of her with the dulcimer!

And "Both sides now," is such a great song, perhaps my favourite of hers. But then again, there are so many! Like EVERYTHING from "Blue."

2:50 PM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

I remember reading in an old Vanity Fair article (a conversation between Joni and Elvis Costello) that she'd given up performing for good! Hmmm... that is also very insightful how "you don't know what you got till it's gone" actually applies to Mitchell's musical talents.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Yes, the whole cd "Blue" does rock.

It's cool too that Joni has used over 50 different tunings on the guitar (probably way more that 50 even, but I know of 50 for sure). I would love to aspire to doing that, or even half of opens up so much more in a singer/songwriter's world. The chords she uses are often quite simple, but with the different tunings and finger picking style (as well as super duper awesome lyrics)'s sooo full and rich!

I have always liked "Chelsea Morning", the energy rules! I have to say that "Big yellow Taxi" is one of my favourites, no matter how many people cover it...she's without a doubt the best! You can tell it's hers, "Carey"...okay, etc., etc.,....Do you know that Joni is in the Canadian encyclopedia?...yup! too cool for school!

3:12 PM  
Blogger kimberley said...

Yep. I'd like an aunt like Joni Mitchell. I saw a documentary on her visiting a music academy of some kind in Saskatoon. She was so real, chain smoking the whole time. Her daughter was with her. Some of the questions were a bit high flautin and she basically kept saying: "Figure out what your story is, and then just keep on singing it"

I like her alot.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

She would be the best aunt, wouldn't she? Yeah! I can't imagine what it must have been like for her daughter (who she gave up for adoption, I'm not sure if she had more that I'm assuming it's the same daughter) when she found out that Joni was her biological mother, that would be incredible....

Oh, I was just doing some reading here and I guess she started out as a painter early on who just dabbled in guitar, piano and ukulele...It's awesome what a little dabbling can turn out to be....a great talent!

3:23 PM  
Blogger matthew christopher davidson said...

My favourite album of hers, strangely, is 'Mingus' - although this may not be so strange for me, because I love the music of Charles Mingus. Her lyrics to 'Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat' are far better than the original (of course) and the musicians are phenomenal. I'm not a big fan of John McLaughlin's solo guitar work, but as a sideman on her album he's peerless.

I've just been inspired for my next post. Thanks!

9:46 AM  
Blogger Gabe said...

10:22 AM  
Blogger Krista said...

yeaaahh! Finding vinyl in your parents bassment rules....

11:06 AM  
Blogger Browler said...



Good call. Great album.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Sasha said...

We recently bought, 'Songs of a Prairie Girl' - couldn't resist since I, too, am a prairie girl from good ol' Saskatoon. Every Wednesday is my thesis day and I was listening to it while I was writing. It was cold outside and the sun was shining brightly, so I was reminded of Canadian prairier winters. And I get really nostaglic when I hear 'Cherokee Louise'. It's a tragic song, but I think it's because of the line about putting pennies on the railroad track. When I was growing up outside Edmonton, my brother and I would someties go to work with my dad (he was a pastor but had a second job selling water softeners for a place called 'Masterwash'). There was a track behind his shop and we would go put pennies out on the track before lunch and find them flattened by the end of the day.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

That's awesome Sandra. At my parents house I have a little box of pennies my brother and I put on the railroad tracks about 20 years ago.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Rainey said...

It's interesting that we only recognised her work after she left Canada. But I think its even more interesting that a lot of Canadian musicians successfully interpreted and developed what was coming out of the USA and the deep south. Think of Niel Young, The Band etc.

Its like there needs to be an outsider's view for it all to work. To get a different perspective to bring it all together.
There's a scene in the Last Waltz where Scorsese is interviewing Robbie Robertson where Roberston is talking about the deep south - where bluegrass, country, blues, and jazz all melt together. But Roberston is Canadian, so he's an outsider taking and developing it all.
Then there's the more cynical lyrics of Niel YOung:

"Im from a new land,
I've come to you and
seen all this ruin,
What are you doin?"

Anyway - maybe Joni Mitchell is one of those Canadians, coming from the outside to develop upon the wealth of American music.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Yay for Joni Mitchell! I'm also a big fan of 'Chelsea Morning'; 'the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses'. Now THAT's poetry! Sadly, however, I only have the one album...will have to get more. Will have to acquire some Neil Young brother has quite the collection, so I always just borrowed his stuff, but that doesn't work so well now that we live in separate provinces. I especially like 'Borrowed Tune' from 'Tonight's the Night', but if I was only going to buy one album, it would probably be 'After the Gold Rush'.

Joni Mitchell actually went to my highschool (hey, good ol' ABCI isn't the arts school for nothing). When I was in Gr. 9 (or was it 10?), she donated one of her self portraits to auction off to raise money for band tour. It was pretty cool.

11:45 AM  
Blogger hendricks said...

Great pictures of Joni. I would have to say my favorite is 'Case of You', Diana Krall also does a pretty good cover of it. But, it isn't the original.

6:44 PM  

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