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Joni Mitchell to release live ‘At Newport’ album, recorded at surprise 2022 comeback show Print-ready version

by Mikael Wood
Los Angeles Times
May 11, 2023

Joni Mitchell onstage at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I., on July 24, 2022.(Adam Kissick / Newport Festivals Foundation)

Joni Mitchell is taking her comeback wide.

The 79-year-old singer and songwriter announced Thursday that she'll release a live album of her surprise performance at last year's Newport Folk Festival. "At Newport" will hit record stores and streaming services on July 28 from Rhino Entertainment.

Mitchell's first full public concert since she suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm in 2015, the Newport set grew out of the so-called Joni Jams she's held at her Bel-Air home in recent years and featured accompaniment by an expansive cast of admirers that included Brandi Carlile, Wynonna Judd, Marcus Mumford, Blake Mills, Allison Russell and the L.A.-based vocal duo Lucius. Among the dozen or so classics Mitchell performed were "Carey," "Big Yellow Taxi," "Help Me," "The Circle Game," "A Case of You" and "Both Sides Now," the last of which immediately went viral online thanks to a video shot by a fan that showed Judd weeping behind Mitchell.

"I know I'm ugly-crying most of the time, and I'm not thrilled about that," Judd joked in an interview with The Times a couple of days after the show. The veteran country singer, whose mother, Naomi, had died from suicide just months before the festival, went on to call Mitchell's music "the soundtrack of my childhood" and compared the Newport set to "magic - like death and life at the same time."

"At Newport" was produced by Carlile and Mitchell and will feature liner notes by longtime journalist and filmmaker Cameron Crowe, who spoke with Mitchell for The Times in 2021 about her recovery and about the 50th anniversary of her album "Blue." Mitchell's most recent studio LP, "Shine," came out in 2007; she released a live album in 2021 documenting a concert she gave at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1969.

Mitchell performed in March in Washington, D.C., during an event in which she received the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. And she's set to reteam with Carlile on June 10 for a gig at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Quincy, Wash.

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