Love for Joni Mitchell is still in the air in the wake of Brandi Carlile’s tribute concert at Disney Hall, where Carlile recently played the entirety of Mitchell’s seminal 1971 album, “Blue.”
So much so that Carlile assembled a new tribute video in Mitchell’s honor, featuring a host of musicians and Hollywood A-listers sharing their favorite Mitchell lyrics. Some even sing their selections.
The video kicks off with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson reciting back and forth and closes with — wait for it — Marilyn Manson, “speaking” the lyrics to the song “Blue” in a disembodied voiceover.
In between are the likes of former Mitchell beau Graham Nash, Reese Witherspoon, Elton John, Mavis Staples, Rosanne Cash, Carole King, Dave Grohl, Linda Perry, Rufus Wainwright, Courtney Barnett and Clive Davis, to name a few.
Sheryl Crow sings a few lines from “Amelia,” with Emmylou Harris picking up the song at a different point in her recitation of lyrics including, “I’ve spent my whole life in the clouds at icy altitudes.”
“Joni Mitchell has a way of writing a song that is so wise and so childlike at the same time and you know that she’s telling the truth,” says singer Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes). “Because truth is that simple to understand.”
Bonnie Raitt says she was just getting into the L.A. scene and starting in the music business when she heard the song “Blue,” with its lyrics, “Everybody’s saying that hell’s the hippest way to go well / I don’t think so, but I’m gonna take a look around it, though.”
“That album ‘Blue’ was the one that cut me the deepest,” Raitt says. “I was just entering into adulthood and the world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and broken hearts.”
The video, and critic Ann Powers’ meditation on how Carlile is honoring Mitchell’s legacy, can be seen at NPR.