THE TROUBADOUR, HOLLYWOOD - Joni Mitchell, a singer and a composer from Saskatchewan with long golden hair and a voice which can only be compared to those of Joan Baez and Judy Collins, enchanted an opening night audience with her poetry and the purity of her singing.
Although she has been active for several years on the Canadian folk scene, this was Miss Mitchell's local night club debut.
Her repertoire includes songs from her recently released album on Reprise, numbers such as "Nathan La Franeer," "Marcie" and "I Had a King," in addition to later compositions.
Among her songs which have been adopted by other performers are "Michael From Mountains" and "Both Sides Now" (Judy Collins), "The Circle Game" (Ian and Sylvia) and "Chelsea Morning" and "Clouds" (Dave van Ronk).
Miss Mitchell's writing is sensitive and delicate: each song is a short story, miniature novel or philosophical observation set in graceful poetry and beautiful melodies. She fragments words and images into multiple meanings, sneaking in literary word plays such as "Cart wheels turn to car wheels" and "Midway down the Midway."
Her voice surpasses the challenges of her lyrics, soaring through and exploring her fragile words and melodies with incredible ease against the subtle accompaniment of her acoustic guitar. Miss Mitchell is unquestionably a major artist.
Also on the Troubadour bill were Hedge and Donna a folk duo represented by a recent album from Capitol.
Both sing well - original material and songs of singers such as Tim Buckley, and Nina Simone.
Hedge plays acoustic 12-string guitar, an instrument which causes him occasional tuning difficulties. Donna plays tambourine. They are backed by an electric bass guitar and a conga player.
Most of their vocal efforts are offered with tight dual voicings, though both also demonstrated impressive solo ability during their set.
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