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Joni Mitchell

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Joni was obviously one of the greatest voices of the last century, as a songwriter, vocalist, and innovator. I usually turn to her mid-70s albums, Hejira being my favorite. Every album of hers I've ever heard has been excellent though, including her most recent.

I know she may be a bit older or too bourgeoisie for most GNR devotees, but surely a few have fell under her spell?

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I think its most important to get over Blue in appreciating Joni. Its a great album but a lot of listeners and especially males can only deal with her being vulnerable and feminine.

Hejira was written and recorded mostly after a period of hanging out with Neil Young. Can you hear it?

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True dat. I like my female singers to be feminine, you know? With the exception of Patti Smith.

I haven't really thought about the Neil Young influence on that album. He plays harmonica on track three, right?

Yes. He plays beautifully on that track. I play blues and am usually pretty ambivalent to folk-neck rack harmonica playing, but Neil sounds really spectacular on "Furry Sings the Blues". Actually I wonder if he used a neck rack or not for that recording, there'd be no need for one since he wasn't playing guitar, but its still in that style.

The album is also recorded all on guitars and not keyboards because it was written entirely on the road.

It'd be a shame not to mention Jaco Pastorius' playing either! He adds quite a bit of color.

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In the '60s and '70s, everything Neil Young touched turned to gold, the man's a genius. I think I'm starting to prefer him to Dylan, actually. He has that unparallelled, raggy folk style which works extremely well on the sound and is quintessesntial if you're a folk artist and if you want to gain credibility among your peers. He's easily one of the artists I've spent the most time listening to this year. I enjoy both neck rack and regular harmonica playing. With the neck rack, the focus on the harmonica usually fades away, but if you manage to balance the sound of your instruments well enough (Neil is a good example of this), neck rack playing can sound just as good as regular playing in my ears.

Jaco Pastorius was great, a real unique musician; such a shame the way he passed. :no: Have you heard anything by Weather Report?

Edited by Lithium
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Random clips -

her cover of Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man"


"California" -


"This Flight Tonight", also covered by Nazareth

"A Case of You"


"The Beat of Black Wings".


"Free Man in Paris" from "Shadows and Light"...Metheny, Pastorius...

Elton singing "Free Man in Paris" from the Joni tribute -


But you want to know who got overlooked because of Joni? Laura Nyro... she performed at Monterey and freaked out because people thought they were booing her, had a couple of albums out, a bunch of people covered her songs, wound up doing a bunch of covers with Patti Labelle. When she was 25, she left entertainment altogether, but wound up recording off and on until she died in the mid 90s.

She really kicked the doors open for Joni and a lot of people, too numerous to mention..

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