I am not sure I am all that unique in my love of Joni Mitchell. I think it was pretty typical, if not inevitable, that I discovered Joni and her poetry during epic late nights with friends discussing life and love over cigarettes and wine in the 80s. However, most have probably grown out of it. Me, not so much. I stubbornly stick to my love of Joni.
I have only see Joni twice in concert and both shows were in the same week. I am so grateful that I did get to see her that Tuesday and Friday the week of my 35th birthday. Both shows were epic for a variety of reasons, one being that she was backed by a 70 piece symphony. So, I was very excited, bordering on inappropriate, when my good friend Patty McMahon, told me she was producing “Dear Joni- An Evening Celebrating the Music of Joni Mitchell.”
There are a couple of things you need to know about my friend Patty. One, she has an absolutely awesome voice. Two, I think I am more confident in her awesome voice than she is. And three, her love of Joni rivals mine. I knew that if she was doing this- it would be good and there was no chance it would be a disservice to our gal, Joni. I have always secretly hoped that she was going to do something like this where I could spend a whole evening listening to her sing. And, on an unusually cool night for October, I got my wish and made my way to Fergie’s Pub for a warm night of Joni.
I was enthralled from the first note to the last sing along verse of the Circle Game. I would go as far as to say I was downright giddy throughout the evening. In addition to Patty, she put together this wonderful assortment of people to sing and play. And I was so happy to learn that my friends Karen and Dan were a part of the evening. At our friends’ wedding last year, there was a super group of musician friends who came together, the Love Notes, to perform for the happy couple. Almost as rare as a Joni concert, the Love Notes were reunited (except for one) for this show.
As the evening wore on and different musicians played their interpretations of Joni songs, I realized that I was not alone in my stubborn loyalty to this musician. Love for Joni stretches far and wide and spans years. It was nice to be part of this new Joni community for an evening. As I listened to the music, learned some new Joni anecdotes that Patty turned me onto, I thought of my own “Joni” moments. While some were cringe worthy, some were also hopeful, which seemed like a perfect allegory for Joni’s music.
Thank you, Joni Mitchell, and thank you, Patty McMahon, thank you.
26 shows to go, 240 days left…