Joni Mitchell dishes on upcoming live album in rare interview with Elton John

Joni Mitchell has revealed plans to release a live album in a rare interview with fellow music legend, Elton John. 

Appearing on an episode of Apple Music’s Rocket Hour, Joni Mitchell said the album will be lifted from her live, surprise performance at Newport Folk Festival in July, which marked her first onstage appearance since 2002. The singer revealed that she and her team are “trying to” to release the 20-years-in-the-making set, which saw her perform alongside the likes of Brandi Carlile, Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons, and Wynonna Judd, among others. 

Referencing the Newport Festival appearance, Mitchell told Elton John that her rendition of her 1974 song Just Like This Train — lifted from her sixth studio album Court and Spark — wasn’t without its technical issues. “I couldn’t sing the key, I’ve become an alto, I’m not a soprano anymore, so I couldn’t sing [it],” Mitchell admitted. “Anyway, it was very well received, much to my delight.” 

Elton John and Joni Mitchell in 2000. Credit: Matt Campbell/ AFP via Getty

Elsewhere in the interview, John urged Mitchell to release a wholly new album, deeming her at-home studio as the perfect site to record new material. “One day, I want you to sit in this room like we’re doing now, but with some recording equipment,” John suggested. “I want you to make an album in this room because it’s so magical… I really want you to consider making a record, maybe new songs, the way you are going, you are tearing up the world at the moment.” 

While Mitchell didn’t announce any plans to release a new album, she did reveal that she’d once used her balcony space to record “some background vocals” for a mystery project. The live album announcement comes in the lead-up to Mitchell’s return to the stage next year, during what will be her first headline concert in decades. The acclaimed singer is set to headline Brandi Carlile’s ‘Joni Jam’ event in Washington, which will take place in June, 2023.  

Watch Joni Mitchell’s full interview with Elton John for Apple 1’s Rocket Hour below.