Photo: Douglas Mason/Getty Images
More than 50 years after 23-year-old Joni Mitchell caused a stir at the Newport Folk Festival in 1967, the iconic singer is back. Dressed in a blue beret, Mitchell appeared on Brandi Carlile’s show on Sunday, billed as “Brandi Carlile and Friends,” and sang a slew of original songs and covers, including “The Circle Game.” , one of the songs she performed at that 1967 festival.
This was Mitchell’s first concert in over 20 years. In 2015, she suffered a brain aneurysm, which required a long recovery, and she rarely appeared in public in the years that followed. However, behind the scenes, Mitchell started performing again. As Carlile and Mitchell recounted in an interview with CBS Matinees, Mitchell has hosted “Joni Jams” in her home for years, inviting other musicians to perform together at her home. Eventually Mitchell started joining us. “She started singing, then she started acting,” Carlile said, adding that when Mitchell first started singing “Summertime” at a Joni Jam, she “dreamed” of bringing the legend on stage in Newport.
In fact, Mitchell performed “Summertime” over the weekend, along with “Carey,” “Big Yellow Taxi” and, of course, “Both Sides Now.” Joined by a host of other musicians, including Wynonna Judd and Marcus Mumford, Mitchell sang “Both Sides Now” as he sat in a chair/throne, as everyone in the band cried beside her .
After the show, the 78-year-old told CBS Matinees that after 20 years she was not afraid to perform in front of an audience. “I wanted to be good, and I wasn’t sure I could be,” she said. “But I don’t look too bad tonight!”