Brandi Carlile will channel Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’ at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Brandi Carlile will pay her respects to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” in October.
(Jason Kempin / Getty Images)

Brandi Carlile has worn her love and respect for Joni Mitchell like a flower on her blazer’s lapel.

No wonder: Mitchell’s deeply ruminative songs about the vagaries of relationships have been a blueprint for Carlile’s own songwriting, which has sparked a banner year for the Americana musician, including a trio of wins at this year’s Grammy Awards.

It makes sense then that Carlile will interpret one of Mitchell’s most celebrated albums, 1971’s “Blue.” Carlile announced Tuesday that she’ll bring “Songs Are Like Tattoos” to Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall on Oct. 14. (The program’s title references a lyric from the album’s titular song.)


“‘Blue’ might very well be the best album ever made,” Carlile wrote in an Instagram post announcing the performance. “I feel the need to play this masterpiece in its entirety so that I can honor ‪Joni Mitchell‬ and the way this album brought me into myself, but also so that I can hear it live too!”

Carlile was a highlight of “Joni 75,” the Music Center’s birthday celebration of the icon at L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in November. With Kris Kristofferson at her side, she burrowed into the devotion of “A Case of You” (from “Blue”) with a pastoral soprano reminiscent of Mitchell’s early voice.

And Mitchell seems to share a mutual appreciation. After Carlile won Grammys in February for Americana album (“By the Way, I Forgive You”), American roots performance and American roots song (both for “The Joke”), the younger singer racked up some serious bragging rights.

The 37-year-old posted a selfie with Mitchell, saying her hero had invited her to dinner to celebrate her big night. (Carlile also was up for album, song and record in the top categories, making her the most nominated female artist at this year’s ceremony.)

Whose life is this? Carlile asked of her time with Mitchell, who has kept a low profile in recent years as she has recovered from health scares. “I’m not giving it back.”


Tickets for “Songs Are Like Tattoos” go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

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