50th anniversary of Joni Mitchell's "Blue"

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
one month ago
1,216 posts

@dusty-turtle I'm glad to see Joellen getting notice, too!  In my view, her Pelican Ballet cd is one of the best recordings in my mountain dulcimer collection-- and I have lots of cd's in the collection.  And her mountain dulcimers are works of art.    

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
one month ago
1,472 posts

Thanks for sharing that, @robin-thompson.  I certainly believe the match between the personal expressiveness of Joni's songs on Blue and the minimalist approach of her dulcimer is what defines the album.

It's nice to see Joellen getting some publicity.  I wish she still sold her dulcimers for $200!




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Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
one month ago
1,216 posts

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 months ago
1,472 posts

Thanks for that link, Strumelia. I read that article this morning. I have to admit I never thought to connect Joni's Blue with Miles's Kind of Blue , though I've loved both albums for years.

There's also a piece in the NY Times today: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/06/20/arts/music/joni-mitchell-blue.html?searchResultPosition=1 .

Both articles are worth exploring on a screen bigger than a phone since there's lots of pictures and interactive content.

Unfortunately, after a comment by Roseanne Cash about the "weird sound" of James Taylor's guitar, the editors inserted an audio excerpt of Joni's dulcimer.  D'oh!

There's also an NPR "listening party" on YouTube on June 22 .  Not sure what that will be like. Thousands of people listening to the album and chatting about it?




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 months ago
2,001 posts

Here's a wonderful NPR article about Joni's Blue and her music- it includes some interesting references to dulcimer and guitars in Joni's music. https://www.npr.org/2021/06/20/1008271419/joni-mitchell-masterpiece-at-50-her-kind-of-blue




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Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,216 posts

Yes, @dusty-turtle, that's the collection.  After all these years, I'll get to listen to Blue straight through. 

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 months ago
1,472 posts

@robin-thompson, is that the collection that has Joni's first four Reprise albums?  It looks interesting, but since I already have all of those CDs, I'm not sure what I'd gain from "newly remastered" versions.

Every time I listen to Blue carefully, I notice something new.  For example, I had long thought that "A Case of You" was just a love song, but now I rethink the lines "I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet" to mean that she can't be swept off her feet by anyone. I hear it now more as a statement of her own independence. And that website I link to below explains that "Little Green" is about her giving up a baby for adoption.  Now I understand the words and just find it heartbreaking.




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Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,216 posts

I've wanted Blue yet don't have it.  Yet.  I've pre-ordered a new collection coming out from JM in a few weeks and it includes Blue.  

Ballad Gal
Ballad Gal
@ballad-gal
2 months ago
26 posts

I've had Blue since it first came out. Love it! And love the other album's of Joni's that I have, too.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 months ago
1,472 posts

Joni Mitchell's Blue album, which introduced the dulcimer to millions of pop music fans, is 50 years old.  Check out CBC Radio's celebration of the album , which includes commentary and artwork inspired by the music.  The importance of the dulcimer is highlighted clearly:

The album’s distinctive sound comes from the dulcimer, which is the main instrument on four of Blue‘s songs. “I took off to Europe carrying a flute and this dulcimer because it was very light for backpacking around Europe,” [Joni] said. “I wrote most of Blue  on it.”

I don't have to tell you what a phenomenal combination of vulnerability and strength Joni's songs embody. And no one has ever matched the melodic playfulness of her soprano vocals.




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Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/18/21 11:26:32AM