‘At Newport’ Spotlights Joni Mitchell’s Surprise Return to the Stage

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(Photo: Rhino)

Joni Mitchell’s triumphant return to the stage on July 24, 2022, at the Newport Folk Festival will be featured on a new live album from Rhino, At Newport, available July 28 on CD and two-LP black vinyl. Produced by collaborator Brandi Carlile, along with Mitchell, the music will also be released the same day on digital and streaming services and Dolby Atmos. A clear-vinyl version of the two-LP set will be available exclusively from Indie Retail and Barnes & Noble. Mitchell’s Newport performance of her classic song “Both Sides Now” is now available digitally. Click here to listen.

Mitchell was joined on stage at the Newport Folk Festival by a star-studded band led by Carlile, the nine-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter. Other performers included Carlile’s bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth, Wynonna Judd, Marcus Mumford, Celisse, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes.

Mitchell delighted the audience, blending her voice with the other singers on stage on classics like “Big Yellow Taxi,” “A Case Of You” and “Both Sides Now.” She even flashed her guitar prowess, playing a solo instrumental version of “Just Like This Train.”

In his liner notes for At Newport, Cameron Crowe writes about Mitchell’s arduous and miraculous recovery from a life-threatening brain aneurysm in 2015, which led to her emotional return at Newport.

“Mitchell emerged from the side of the stage, swaying smoothly, in fine summer-style with beret and sunglasses. Her good-natured mood instantly set the tone. This performance would be an intimate gathering of friends, not unlike the Joni Jams she’d been hosting in her own living room over the last few years of recovery. Smiling broadly, Mitchell made her surprise appearance, taking her on-stage seat alongside Carlile. Within minutes, the news had rocketed around the globe. Mitchell was back, sparkling with enthusiasm, delivering a tender and passionate set of 13 songs, ending with a joyful sing-along of ‘The Circle Game.’”

Mitchell headlined a “Joni Jam” at the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Washington, on June 10, with Carlile as special guest. It was her first ticketed show in 20 years, and it sold out immediately when it was announced last fall.

In March, Mitchell was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at an all-star tribute concert in Washington, D.C. The show featured performances by James Taylor, Graham Nash, Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Angelique Kidjo, Ledisi and Diana Krall, along with several artists from the Newport concert, including Carlile. “Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song” was broadcast on PBS stations on March 31. Click here to view. DB



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