Joni Mitchell Releases Album of Surprise 2022 Newport Concert

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Joni Mitchell at the Newport Folk Festival, July 24, 2022 (Photo: Nina Westervelt; used with permission)

Joni Mitchell stunned the Newport Folk Festival audience in July 2022 when she gave a surprise performance—her first in 20 years—delivering a heartfelt set filled with some of her greatest songs. The singer-songwriting legend’s triumphant return to the stage on that July 24 afternoon is featured on a new live album, At Newport, available on July 28, 2023, from Rhino on CD and 2-LPs. Watch Mitchell’s Newport performances of her classic songs, “Both Sides Now,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” and “A Case of You,” as well as Gershwin classic, “Summertime,” below.

Mitchell was joined on stage at the Newport Folk Festival by a star-studded band led by Brandi Carlile, the 9x GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter, who has produced the album, along with Mitchell. Other performers included Carlile’s bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth, Wynonna Judd, Marcus Mumford, Celisse, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, and more.

From the May 11 announcement: Mitchell delighted the audience, blending her voice with the other singers on stage on classics like “Both Sides Now,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” and “A Case Of You.” For good measure, she even flashed her guitar prowess, playing a solo instrumental version of “Just Like This Train.”

In his liner notes for At Newport, Cameron Crowe writes about Mitchell’s arduous and miraculous recovery from a life-threatening brain aneurysm in 2015, that led to her emotional return at Newport.

Related: Our review of this album

Mitchell and Carlile at Newport Folk Festival (Photo: Nina Westervelt; used with permission)

“Mitchell emerged from the side of the stage, swaying smoothly, in fine summer-style with beret and sunglasses. Her good-natured mood instantly set the tone. This performance would be an intimate gathering of friends, not unlike the Joni Jams she’d been hosting in her own living room over the last few years of recovery. Smiling broadly, Mitchell made her surprise appearance, taking her on-stage seat alongside Carlile. Within minutes, the news had rocketed around the globe. Mitchell was back, sparkling with enthusiasm, delivering a tender and passionate set of 13 songs, ending with a joyful sing-along of ‘The Circle Game.’” (Listen to it below.)

On June 10, 2023, Mitchell headlined a “Joni Jam” at the Gorge Amphitheater in Quincy, Wash., with special guest Brandi Carlile. Mitchell’s first ticketed show in 20 years, the concert sold-out immediately when it was announced last fall.

Mitchell’s ongoing return to the public eye continued in March when she was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at an all-star tribute concert in Washington, D.C. The show featured performances by James Taylor, Graham Nash, Annie Lennox, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Angelique Kidjo, Ledisi, and Diana Krall, along with several artists from the Newport concert, including Carlile. The concert – “Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song” – was broadcast on PBS stations.

The track listing appears below the Amazon links.

Joni Mitchell At Newport CD Track Listing

Introduction by Brandi Carlile
“Big Yellow Taxi”
“A Case Of You”
“Both Sides Now”
“Just Like This Train”
“Help Me” – Celisse
“Come In From The Cold”
“The Circle Game”

Related: Our Album Rewind of Mitchell’s 1974 best-seller, Court and Spark

Best Classic Bands Staff

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