Wynonna Judd Wipes Away Tears While Performing with Joni Mitchell at Newport Folk Festival

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Joni Mitchell made a surprise visit to the Newport Folk Fest last week, bringing crowds, fans, and music critics to their feet with applause.

But beyond the joy, there was more emotion during the set.

Legendary country artist Wynonna Judd was on hand for the performance. She even participated with Mitchell, Brandi Carlile, and others. The moment had an impact on Judd, who could be seen wiping away tears during the performance

Wynonna, of course, recently lost her mother, Naomi Judd, to suicide, and that likely contributed to her swelling of emotions at the festival.

Mitchell’s performance on Sunday (July 24) marked her first set at the famous festival in over 20 years, performing her 1969 classic “Both Sides Now.”

In a fan-captured video, which you can see below, the 78-year-old Mitchell can be seen singing on stage with Carlile, as Wynonna is seated behind them. The 58-year-old Judd is singing along in the clip and wiping away tears from her eyes.

Wynonna was one of several artists who joined Mitchell on the festival stage in a recreation of her private and notorious “Joni Jams”—which Mitchell has been hosting in her living room for years with artists like Carlile, Elton John, and Harry Styles.

Following the performance, Mitchell told CBS news that after an aneurysm several years ago, she had to teach herself how to play guitar again, among other efforts.

“I’m learning. I’m looking at videos that are on the net to see where I put my fingers,” she said. “It’s amazing what an aneurysm knocks out—how to get out of a chair, you don’t know how to get out of a bed. You have to learn all these things by rote again. I was into water ballet as a kid, and I forgot how to do the breaststroke. Every time I tried it, I just about drowned. So, a lot of going back to infancy almost. You have to relearn everything.”

In addition, following the passing Naomi, it was announced that the previously scheduled The Judds tour will still go on. The show is set to commence in September and conclude in October.

“I’ve made a decision, and I thought I’d share it on national television that, after a lot of thought, I’m gonna have to honor her and do this tour,” Wynonna told CMT. “The show must go on, as hard as it may be, and we will show up together, and you will carry me as you’ve carried me for 38 years … So we will continue this spectacle. That’s what she would want, right?”

Wynonna Judd (Photo: CMT)

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