Friday, April 9, 2010

MUSIC: Folk Friday {Joni Mitchell}

Hello there! I'm sure you have been waiting on pins & needles all day; anxiously anticipating a music post. After spending roughly 17 hours in the air {& many more in the airport} this past week, I have been spending a little more quality time with my iPod than I'm used to. Before I left I stated that I had downloaded some new tunes to cozy up to for my trip & what did I go and do? Listen to my all time favorite on repeat {tip: don't fall asleep with your iPod on because your brain will suck in the songs & it will be permanently engrained in your skull -actual scientific factoid right there}. Which brings me to: Joni Mitchell. OBSESSED.

I have every album, even those weird jazzy ones she released more recently. My two favorite albums of hers without a doubt are: Blue {1971} & Ladies of the Canyon {1970}. Actually, ugh there is a doubt because I can't choose - Song to A Seagull {1968}, For The Roses {1972}, Court & Spark {1974}...I can't choose.

Anyways, the point is I listened to Joni over & over & over & over again on my Netherlands adventure & thought it would be fun to feature a more established artist this week & someone whom I dearly love.

Here's a little biographical information on Joni; for those of you not in the know.
Real name: Roberta Joan Anderson.
Birthday: November 7, 1943.
Country of Origin: Canada
Debut Album: Song to A Seagull {1968}

Joni was an integral part of the folk {& folk rock} music genre sweeping the music world in the 1960s & 1970s. Her cohorts included Tom Rush, Joan Baez {the pair can be seen in the photo below}, Donovan, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, & Fairport Convention, among others.

She was a big part of the Laurel Canyon music scene {that's her in her Laurel Canyon home below}, which including The Byrds, The Mamas & The Papas, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Canned Heat, The Monkees, & Buffalo Springfield...just to name a few. If you're interested in learning more about the Laurel Canyon music scene {or if you just love it already...guilty!} there is a fabulous book entitled: Canyon of Dreams: The Magic & Music of Laurel Canyon that is a simply gorgeous piece of art in its own right.

If you're a big CSNY fan, you might be interested to know that Joni is the inspiration behind the lovely "Our House" song, penned by Graham Nash when these two were an item. {see photo below}

A few years back I saw Tom Rush at the fabulous venue, The Narrows in Fall River, MA. He told a funny story about how, relatively recently, Joni canceled on a tour that would reunite some popular 1970's musicians from the folk persuasion the morning of the first performance because her cat was sick. I just love this story because it's so Joni - sensitive, homebody, cat person...I imagine she knits & sits on a farmers porch & gazes at the mountains & forests, while drinking camomile, waiting for her next source of inspiration.

This inspiration has apparently never dried up. Joni released her latest CD, Shine, in 2007 & she performed "Both Sides Now" at the Winter Olympic Games this January in Vancouver.

Hey, it's folk, what do you want leather & vodka shots? Speaking of leather & rock&roll style, I adore her ensembles....chunky ethnic necklaces, prairie skirts? yes please! Well, this concludes my first Folk Friday post that actually features a classic folk musician. I hope you don't mind the throw back {I'm more of a throw back person myself, so it's bound to happen now & then. Enjoy a little live performance of one of my top 10 Joni songs below:

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