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Night Beat Print-ready version

by Dave Brown
Ottawa Journal
June 24, 1967
Original article: PDF

Whatever it takes to hold an audience, a gal named Joni Mitchell has.

As she stepped onto the stage at Le Hibou Wednesday night for her first show of the evening, she appeared awkward, almost gangly, in a mini skirt and patterned stockings.

The place was packed and noisy.

Then she sang and she talked and she became the only person in the room. There wasn't another sound in the room until she finished. She didn't look awkward anymore.

What she has is her own music, and a haunting soprano voice with which to sing it. She also has a shy and sometimes sly smile which is working whether she's singing or talking.

Joni writes almost all of her own material, which makes it a little difficult to assess her. Is she poet or singer? Or both? A prairie girl, she has recently moved to New York where a couple of her songs, "Urge for Going" and "The Circle Game" are starting to become more familiar.

But she's still thinking Canadian. One of her newest songs is "Carnival in Kenora" and you just can't get more Canadian than that. And if the title sounds a little off beat - the music isn't. She also sings of "Dr. Junk the Dentist Man."

With her voice she could sing balloons out of comic strips and it would still sound like music. She's held over at Le Hibou at least another week.

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