Joni Mitchell Shines in 2022 Newport Folk Festival Appearance

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Brandi Carlile offers Joni Mitchell a hug and kiss during their performance at the 2022 Newport Folk Festival (Photo © Amber Soutra; used with permission)

Joni Mitchell made a surprise performance at the 2022 Newport Folk Festival on Sunday (July 24) as a special guest of Brandi Carlile, whose set on the Fort Stage closed this year’s event. The 78-year-old Mitchell, still looking frail seven years after suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015, sang a whopping 13 songs, singing lead on the George Gershwin standard “Summertime” and as part of the ensemble with “Brandi Carlile & Friends,” as the set was billed, on her classics “Both Sides Now,” “Help Me” and “The Circle Game.” The set also included covers of such favorites as “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” and “Love Potion No. 9.” Watch several performances below.

Earlier this year, Mitchell was honored by the Recording Academy as the MusiCares Person of the Year. She joined the event’s assembled lineup of performers, including Carlile, on that April 1 night to sing “The Circle Game” and “Big Yellow Taxi.” That was believed to be the first time she had sung in public since 2013.

At this year’s Folk Festival performance, Mitchell, born Nov. 7, 1943, remained seated for most of her set, which started with her songs “Carey” and “Come In From the Cold.”  At one point, though, she stunned the crowd as she stood to play a guitar solo.

A Best Classic Bands source at the concert noted that she (understandably) started off tentatively, but soon “got her sea legs.”

Watch her sing “Both Sides Now.” (And, yes, that’s Wynonna Judd, another surprise guest)

Our source singled out her terrific performance of “Summertime.”

Other songs in her set included “Just Like This Train” and “Amelia.”

Watch her sing “A Case of You” and “Big Yellow Taxi”

Watch the evening’s finale, “The Circle Game”

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

Related: Mitchell has announced her first scheduled concert in decades, in 2023

One night earlier, Paul Simon, who retired from touring in 2018, joined Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats for four songs during their “American Tunes Revue” at the same venue.

Joni Mitchell at the 2022 Newport Folk Festival (Photo © Bailey Buchanan; used with permission)

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Max
    #1 Max 25 July, 2022, 14:36

    Tears of joy. Thank you, Joni!

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