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Joni Gets Hers

Posted by Joan Anderman  February 1, 2007 11:16 AM

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In a world that's produced a reggae tribute to Dylan, a hillbilly celebration of AC/DC, Spanish-language covers of the Cure, and a song-by-song recreation of Moby Grape guitarist Skip Spence's "Oar," is it possible there's never been a tribute to the music of Joni Mitchell? Go figure. On April 23 Nonesuch Records will rectify the situation with the yawningly-titled "A Tribute to Joni Mitchell." The song list screams mixed bag. Truly, nobody needs to hear Sarah McLachlan sing "Blue." James Taylor's version of "River" is already out. And odds are k.d. lang -- bless her, she's a Canuck with plains-wide pipes -- is going to turn "Help Me" into a torch song. But we'll happily set aside three minutes to hear what Prince does with "A Case of You." Likewise, Brad Mehldau's take on "Don't Interrupt the Sorrow" and Bjork's vision of "Boho Dance." As for Sufjan Stevens, who covers "Free Man in Paris"? Sounds Effects' scribe Matt Shaer dutifully points out that "Sufjan is a strumpet." For tribute albums, that is. We don't know what he does in his free time. Tim and Jeff Buckley, the Beatles, Daniel Johnston...But we digress. Elvis Costello, Cassandra Wilson, Caetano Veloso, Annie Lennox, and Emmylou Harris round out the line-up.

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