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Joni Mitchell Blends Sincerity With Talent Print-ready version

by Fred Kirby Billboard
June 29, 1968
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NEW YORK — Joni Mitchell's sincerity, simplicity and talent combined for an exceptional performance as she opened a three-week stint at The Bitter End on Wednesday (19). The Canadian folk singer sang several selections from her debut album on Reprise, including Night In The City, a lilting number with a strong melody.

Other fine selections from the album were Marcie, Nathan La Franeer and Michael From The Mountains. The hip Greenwich Village crowd joined in the chorus of Tom Rush's This Circle Game, another of her best numbers as was her encore Clouds.

Doctor Junk, The Dentist Man had a comic flair and was one of the few selections not associated with cities. Tuning difficulties with her freshly strung guitar didn't hamper Miss Mitchell's effectiveness since her easy banter carried her through.

Jerry Jeff Walker, an Atco artist who frequently plays The Bitter End, opened the program with his country-flavored folk material. Ballad Of The Hulk, a protest number, was his best song, although his guitar picking in I Needs Money, and Gypsy Song Man was notable. His banter, often on the put-on variety, served him well.

Comedian Davie Steinberg, who's recorded for UNI, again scored with The Bitter End audience as he touched on such subjects as his early experience with girls and the Bible.

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