Joni Mitchell Makes Surprise Rare Appearance at Newport Folk Festival

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Legendary songwriter and performer Joni Mitchell made a surprise and rare live showing at the recent Newport Folk Festival over the weekend, performing with friend and collaborator Brandi Carlile.

The duo performed renditions of “A Case of You” and “Just Like The Train” for rapt audiences.

Earlier in the weekend, Paul Simon also made an appearance at the festival, performing four songs with the booming-voiced Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, including “The Boxer” and “Sound of Silence.”

For her part, Mitchell has been mostly retired from music after enduring a brain aneurysm in 2015. But she’s been making more and more public (and even private) musical appearances thanks to the urging of friends like Carlile.

Earlier this year, Mitchell made a public performance at the 2022 Grammy Awards, where she enjoyed the honor of being the 2022 MusiCares Person of the Year. She also received a trophy for Best Historical Album for her retrospective, Joni Mitchell Archives, Vol 1: The Early Years (1963-1967).

Performing while seated, Mitchell was backed by “The Joke” singer, along with other names like Marcus Mumford (who just announced a new solo album that includes Carlile and a solo tour), Lucius, Blake Mills, Taylor Goldsmith and more.

Check out some fan-captured footage from the performances below. Music journalist Aimsel Ponti shared the video clip on Twitter, writing, “What is life? Joni Mitchell singing A Case of You with Brandi Carlile! #NewportFolkFest”

Photo by Marcy Gensic / Reservoir Media

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