Monday, 20 October 2008

Joni Mitchell - Live at Club 47, Cambridge MA, 1968

Ah... mo' sweet Joni for you! This time it's that good ol' stuff I was talking about in the previous post. This is actually a gig released not long before her first album came out on Reprise, an impending event she mentions on the gig. The sound's pretty good overall, with a few wobbles and glitches, but pretty amazing considering the age/provenance of the recordings. It's also interesting to realise how old some of these songs are: here she is performing 'Morning Morgantown', in '68, and yet it didn't get onto an album until Ladies Of The Canyon in 1970. Joni is flying solo here, the audience appears to be spellbound, and who can fault them for that? Joni is the embodiment of musical magic, for my money at any rate.

She sings and plays fabulously, but also with a sweet human frailty, of a piece with her whole vibe. Her talk between songs is great too: she seems relaxed and easy, and clearly enjoys giving some background to her compositions. Of special interest to Joni lovers will be the songs not available on mainstream releases, like 'Gift Of The Magi', 'Ballerina Valerie' and 'The Way It Is'. Whilst these less well known numbers are a pleasure to discover, they're not quite mind-blowing lost gems, but neither are they sub-standard. No, really they're just further confirmation that her talent is and was a bountiful and o'erflowing thing.

Tracklisting:  Cactus Tree / Conversation / Morning Morgantown / Gift of the Magi / Chelsea Morning / Song to a Seagull / I Had a King / Night in the City / Ballerina Valerie / Pirates of Penance / The Way It Is / Dawntreader / Both Sides Now


J Thyme...kind said...

Hijira is truly an opus by this great poetess of the North.

cheeba said...

Awesome, FG! I'm from the Canadian prairies so listening to Mitchell as a point of pride was instilled at a young age. Hearing her so fresh and in this setting (thankfully the lo-fi is hi enough to capture the freq range involved) is a treat. Song to a Seagull? Wow. And a nice version of Both Sides Now to wrap it up. Nice review, too. Thanks!

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Sarah said...

Thank you for posting this! The download doesn't work anymore, but I found it somewhere else and it is fantastic. I had never even thought to look for old concerts of hers.