She is an elegantly talented lady, and even though Joni Mitchell's appearance at the Temple University Music Festival this Wednesday and Thursday promises to be a repeat of her concert at the Academy of Music last winter, there should be few complaints from her fans. The music she writes and sings - the old songs and the newer material - defies "interpretation" by other singers. No one sings a Joni Mitchell song better than Joni Mitchell, and few artists since the palmy days of Peter, Paul and Mary have found greater cross-section of appeal. She has become a genuine pop star without sacrificing the integrity of her music. Never mind the fact that she has discarded the basic folkie attire of another era for slinky gowns and that she has learned something about showmanship.
She is a stunning talent and her music is always honest. Sometimes painfully so. Her frequently brooding, sometimes slashing lyrics reflect the life and times of Joni Mitchell. Her music is of such a highly personal nature that there is often the sensation that Joni Mitchell is telling us more about Joni Mitchell than we have any right to know. Yet the spell she casts on stage continues to bring us back for more.
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