Jackie Evancho Remakes Joni Mitchell Classic, “River”

Jackie Evancho has accomplished quite a lot in the ten years or so since she formally launched her career. With a dozen recordings to her credit, including a platinum-selling EP and several top ten chart debuts, she’s achieved a wealth of recognition courtesy of her series of PBS concert performances, her second place win — at the age of ten, no less — on the popular television competition “American’s Got Talent,” her work with celebrated producer David Foster, her role in the Robert Redford film “The Company You Keep,” and the fact that she became the youngest person to ever perform a solo concert at Lincoln Center. Ask her how to get to Carnegie Hall and she’ll give exact directions. She’s performed there as well.


All of these achievements are quite remarkable, but the fact that she’s accumulated this success prior to the age of 20 is more astounding still. Nevertheless, Evancho is clearly not content to simply sit still. Primarily known as a classical performer and for her best-selling holiday albums, she now appears eager to change her tack following her recent signing with Nashville’s Melody Place Records. Her new single, scheduled for release tomorrow, October 23, finds her offering a rich and riveting take on the Joni Mitchell’s classic “River,” a song that’s perfect for her lilting soprano vocals and the purity and perfection she finds within her upper register.

‘When I first heard this song, I was immediately struck by the sadness of losing your love during a time of the year when you need them the most,” Evancho remarks. “I was introduced to the world of Joni Mitchel and it led me to many more incredible songs in her repertoire.  The beauty of this song has profoundly touched me.”

American Songwriter is happy to share the exclusive premier of the song, one which finds To her credit, Evancho chose not to indulge in any extra additives or effects, and instead simply to share the song with her typical emotional embrace. Naturally, there’s a striking similarity to Mitchell’soriginal rendition, but given Evancho’s ability to invest her own commitment and creativity in this particular performance, she still manages to claim this “River” as her own. Indeed, if this is indicative of her new direction, suffice it to say she’s off to a promising start.

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