What, today, would most delight a serious Joni Mitchell fan? (Other than a new album?)

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/24/christina-friis.html

How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording…sung by an excellent singer…with expert tasteful backup…including the first song she ever wrote, “Hunter,” which until now had appeared on a handful of early unreleased test-pressings of BLUE? Songs so good, they all sound like just-discovered outtakes from SONG TO A SEAGULL—which is basically what they are? How ‘bout, all this for only a sawbuck, US? (or $13 for a physical CD)


Where did she get the sheet music for this?

Probably from the music publisher, if she wrote the songs she probably had a publishing deal, to make certain she got writer’s royalties. Joni did have a pretty unique way of playing, due to a weakness in her left hand, and made up tunings to make it easier to fret the strings, most are open tunings, IIRC.
I’ve heard a live recording of ‘Day By Day’, and it’s beautiful, so this looks to be the only way to hear these songs performed, ever.
Not quite the same, but the late Sandy Denny, one of Britain’s finest singer-songwriters, who died far too early, left a number of unfinished and unrecorded songs, so her estate approached Thea Gilmore and her husband Nigel with a view to putting the words to music and recording new arrangements. The result is beautiful, Thea manages to bring Sandy’s songs to life, and it’s a lovely album ‘Keep On Singing -The Songs Of Sandy Denny’


Yeah, I’m a fan and I thought this was a nice album.


So no regrets, Coyote?

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Hi! Thanks for your interest. The songs are all available to listen to on jonimitchell.com. Dave Blackburn, who produced my album, transcribed all the music by carefully listening to what it was Joni was playing. Day After Day was simply the creativity of the keyboardist, Barnaby Finch, without any sheet music written for it.


No regrets…

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Joni Mitchell had her own publishing entity with Chuck Mitchell, called Gandalf Publishing, and the two of them would record demos, either in their living room onto a tape machine, or in a small studio. Some demos had them singing together and some separately. The songs on Christina’s album, which I arranged and recorded, were derived from these demos. When their marriage dissolved Joni formed her own publishing entity and they went their separate ways. These demos can be heard at http://jonimitchell.com/music/album.cfm?id=1

Thanks for your interest.

There was none, although a handful of early songs did appear in published songbooks. For Christina Friis’ album, I transcribed the demos that exist and then formulated new arrangements based on those.

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