Festival Folk Sing – Joni Mitchell


CD Review by Chris Spencer

This is the first in a series of cds that Marina Hurley has compiled under the auspices of the Troubadour Foundation in 2010. The second was an album of Eric Bogle songs, while this year’s is songs of Bob Dylan.

This compilation sets a high standard, one which has been sustained in subsequent volumes. I love tribute albums there is an opportunity for artists to honour their heroes, idols or mentors and we get to hear our favourite songs of an artist in a different light, a different arrangement which sometimes provides a different slant on a the original subject matter. While most of these songs have similar arrangements to the original recordings, there is plenty of variation in the different vocals to keep the listener interested. Only one of the 18 tracks, features a male voice, and that is by the Spooky Men’s Chorale (who tackle The Fiddle & the Drum) who provide a dozen voices! The only other multiple person artist to be involved is Akasa who cover Big Yellow Taxi.

Hurley has also invited established artists (such as Kristina Olsen, Kavisha Mazzella, Chris While, Liz Frencham and Fay White) and lesser known younger performers (including The Wise Girls, Amanda Connell, Ange Takats and the Egan twins.)

Because of the wealth and extent of Mitchell’s repertoire, the songs selected here are mainly from her early folk period which I think is a good thing, Mitchell lost me shortly after her first jazz inspired album.

Which are the better songs? Well that is going to depend on which of Mitchell’s songs are your favourites, and whether you can bear to hear them done a bit differently. This is like a best of, but performed by different artists.

A couple of more unusual treatments include Kristina Olsen’s stark rendition of Willy accompanied only by her steel guitar and Liz Frencham’s take on River with just the right amount of pathos and expression, underpinned by her double bass playing.

The exquisite harmonies of the Alanna and Alicia Egan lift their version of All I Want, while the percussion arrangement of Big Yellow Taxi by Akasa is interesting.

If you’re a fan of Joni Mitchell you could love this cd. It’s an excellent compilation and sets a high standard for future projects.

15 in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: TN1613-16 Category:

Additional information

Weight .150 kg
Dimensions 21 × 15 × 1 cm