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After The Hissing Of Summer Lawns tour, Joni retreated to Neil Young’s beach house to recover. Eager to travel but undecided about a destination, Mitchell was unexpectedly invited on a cross-country road trip with friends. It was one of three road trips she took between 1975 and 1976 and the beginning of a period defined by wanderlust, both in her physical travels and musical exploration. This transformative phase is the focal point of The Asylum Albums (1976-1980), the next release in the Joni Mitchell Archives series.

The new collection showcases Mitchell at her most daring across Hejira (1976), Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977), Mingus (1979), and the live album Shadows and Light (1980). Renowned audio engineer Bernie Grundman remastered all four releases included in this boxed set from the original flat analog master tapes.

The Asylum Albums (1976-1980) will be available on June 21 from Rhino as a 5-CD set, a limited edition (5,000 copies) 6-LP version pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and digitally. Pre-order both collections here. The newly remastered version of “Coyote” from Hejira is available today digitally. Listen here.

Rhino’s acclaimed The Asylum Albums (1972-1975) boxed set from 2022 returns as part of the ongoing Quadio series. The Asylum Albums (1972-1975) [Quadio] features remastered Hi-Res Stereo, Dolby Atmos mixes by Grammy® Award Winning producer Ken Caillat and Claus Trelby, and Quad Mixes of For The Roses (1972), Court And Spark (1974), Miles Of Aisles (1974), and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (1975). A brand new 2023 Quad Mix of For The Roses was done by Bruce Botnick. The collection is available today on 4 Blu-ray discs. More information here

Trina Robbins, who as an artist, writer and editor of comics was a pioneering woman in a male-dominated field, and who as a historian specialized in books about female cartoonists, died on Wednesday in San Francisco. She was 85.

In 1970, Ms. Robbins was one of the creators of It Ain’t Me Babe, the first comic book made exclusively by women. In 1985, she was the first woman to draw a full issue of Wonder Woman, and a full run on a Wonder Woman series, after four decades of male hegemony.
[Gavin Edwards, NYT]

The first verse of Joni’s song “Ladies of the Canyon,” is a portrait of Ms. Robbins:

Trina wears her wampum beads
She fills her drawing book with line
Sewing lace on widow’s weeds
And filigree on leaf and vine.

Trina answered a few questions about the song for the website in 2008.

The first Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame induction ceremony for recipients and their families will take place in April 19-20. Living and deceased artists, songwriters, record executives, managers and concert promoters tied to elevating folk, Americana and roots music were all eligible.

Celebrating the lifeblood of America’s musical and cultural heritage, the inaugural class of 29, including Joni, was selected by a designated nomination committee. This committee includes industry experts, whose collective experience reflects an eclectic mix of genres, geography, gender, race, and roles as well as FARHOF’s Board of Directors which consists of artist and industry advisors. More information here

Artists from across the musical spectrum will join the national library and U.S. leaders to honor the great songwriting duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, March 20, as they are awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during an all-star tribute concert.

The lineup will include performances by 2023 Gershwin Prize honoree Joni Mitchell, 2020 Gershwin Prize honoree Garth Brooks, Brandi Carlile, Annie Lennox, Metallica, Maren Morris, Billy Porter, Charlie Puth and Jacob Lusk of Gabriels, along with appearances by John and Taupin. Porter will host the television event. The concert is by invitation only. The event takes place in Washington DC on 3/20/24. It will air on PBS on 4/8. More information here

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Upcoming local tributes and events

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In what is an unforgettable celebration of her music rather than a typical “tribute” show THIS IS JONI offers something for everyone, and not just for solid fans of Joni Mitchell’s extensive musical history.

Written and performed by Melbourne singer/song writer, Lauren Elizabeth, and her 6-piece band, the audience will be taken through an exploration of memorable songs from the legendary singer/songwriter, who defined a generation through her music. It is impossible to categorize Joni’s sound, as she explored so many genres, and this show pays homage to them all. The show has been performed throughout Australia for the past 7 years to sold-out audiences, and it’s very exciting to be performing again at MEMO Music Hall. More information here

Joni Adno and Friends pay tribute to Joni Mitchell. Joni has been singing since she can remember. Encouraged by her drummer/vocalist father, she began singing duets with her imaginary friend Ricky Nelson on the front porch when she was 4, then graduated to the Presbyterian Choir, junior and senior high chorus. Piano lessons turned into a degree from the University of North Florida in Music Education with a Piano Minor. She sang for friends, weddings, and private affairs until 2005 when her dream of being in a real band came true and she joined up with the Sarasota band Big Night Out, playing keyboards and singing latin, pop, and Motown favorites.

The Joni Project is comprised of saxophone, bass, percussion, keyboards, guitar and vocals, bringing to life the best of Joni Mitchell’s tunes, from her Song to a Seagull album to Hejira, in her most prolific period from 1960’s to 1978. Come out and enjoy some of your favorite Joni tunes. More information here

Celebrating 12 years of "Both Sides Now: The Music of Joni Mitchell," Hannah Reimann's critically acclaimed show has presented over 40 songs from seven albums of the iconic Mitchell's discography since 2012. Her All-Star Band performs authentic versions in their original keys and arrangements from Court and Spark, , Blue, Ladies of the Canyon, Clouds, For the Roses and much more. Reimann is Music Grantee of the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation and will be performing a few songs featured on her new EP, "Take Me To The Sun," at this show, with thanks to the Foundation for help with the recording. Most of the show will be devoted to hits by Joni including "A Case of You," "Court and Spark," full-band versions of "Rainy Night House" and "Woodstock" from the album, Miles of Aisles, River, and, of course, "Both Sides Now." She began her retrospective of Mitchell's music to heal her broken heart while her dad was dying from dementia and while she was directing the related documentary film, "My Father's House, A Journey of Love and Memory" More information here

The Joni Project celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the release of Court and Spark, performing the album in its entirety plus a selection of other Joni favorites. More information here

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