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Songs are like tattoos: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell Print-ready version

Hugh's Room, Toronto

by Catherine McKay
JoniMitchell.com
March 2, 2019

Hugh's Room, Toronto
Hosted by Mia Sheard

Mia Sheard is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter who, together with a group of very talented musicians and Joni-lovers, has been hosting a tribute to Joni Mitchell for several years now. This year's event took place on March 1 and 2 at Hugh's Room Live in Toronto.

The March 1 concert began with Mia Sheard singing "For Free", and ended with a rousing version of "Big Yellow Taxi" with all musicians on the stage, and covered a wide range of material, from the early days of the "Clouds" album to the more recent "Night Ride Home."

The singing and music were all excellent and showed great love and respect for Joni's work. It is difficult to point out favourites when everyone was so good, but there were a few that stood out in particular for me.

Lori Cullen's rendition of "Cherokee Louise" emphasized the sorrow of two young girls entering their teens and facing the harsh realities of racism and child abuse. Her "Two Grey Rooms" evoked the wistful longing of someone watching and longing for a lost love.

When you've heard many versions of "Both Sides Now" and "A Case Of You", it isn't easy to impress, but David Sereda managed to do just this. His versions of both of these songs were heart-felt and captivating.

There were funny moments too. At one point, Mia Sheard said, "There's a lot of people who think this is a Kim Mitchell tribute. You can leave now."

Mia will be back at Hugh's Room on March 25 along with Jill Daley and musicologist and musician Dr Mike Daley, who willl discuss the life and music of Joni Mitchell. Dr Daley also delivered a series of lectures on Joni at the Hot Docs Cinema in the fall of 2018.

The Singers:
Mia Sheard
David Sereda
Lori Cullen
Marla and David Celia
Nicole Rose
Jennifer Foster

The Band:
Chris Gartner - 5-string bass
Tania Gill - piano and keyboard
Ryan Granville-Martin - drums
Ernie Tollar - horns
Joel Schwartz - guitar

The setlist:
For free (Mia Sheard)
The Circle Game (Marla and David Celia
People's parties (Jen Foster)
The Same Situation
Coyote (Mia Sheard)
Two Grey Rooms (Laurie Cullen)
Help me (Nicole Rose)
Both Sides Now (David Sereda)
Raised on Robbery (Mia Sheard)
A Case of You (David Sereda)
In France They Kiss on Main Street (Mia Sheard et al.)
Free man in Paris (Lori Cullen and Mia Sheard)
Cherokee Louise (Lori Cullen)
The Gallery (Nicole Rose)
Song for Sharon (Mia Sheard, Lori Cullen and Jen Foster)
Woodstock (David Celia, Marla and Mia)
Blue (Mia Sheard)
Big Yellow Taxi (all)

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