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Joni Mitchell Mainly for Americans Print-ready version

by Gertjan van Ommen
De Tijd
May 16, 1972
Original article: PDF

Translated from Dutch by Hans Post Uiterweer

Late in the past weekend, on Sunday evening, the American singer Joni Mitchell performed in the Concertgebouw (Concert Hall, Amsterdam). Her fame has not yet reached the Netherlands, as the Hall was only partly filled and then mostly with Americans, who came to sniff the Amsterdam vibrations.

The activities of this girl are not astounding, but a little more attention would have been very justified. Her capabilities are mainly in the field of very competent composition. The number of instruments from which she cleverly conjured up some quite complicated songs is not insignificant.

The main body of her work consists of ballads on love and life. She accompanied herself now on piano, then on guitar or dulcimer (a kind of violin, that got a sounding body reaching all along the neck by hanging in the sun too long. One plays it as a steel guitar).

Her airy, heavenly voice, with which she sometimes heftily reaches for highs is not quite my cup of tea and I am not the only one who struggles with that. But she can certainly sing and the fans in the Hall had a great evening. She performed on stage for about two hours and, giggling shyly while introducing her songs with little stories. Certainly, an attractive appearance and definitely worth watching and listening to.

Before Joni, another (unreadable): Jackson Browne. His compositions are easy to pick apart when you find that one thread. For me it was a lot of the same: a cross between James Taylor and Van Morrison in a poetic mood, who follows rather well-trodden paths with his texts. I have to give him credit for two nice compositions: one about a friend who went to India and "These Days" which had been performed earlier by Nico when she performed here. Browne is also a very good comedian. The songs he performed in between his funny stories, I thought, were his weakest point for me.

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