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“MOSTLY JONI” live performance. A sampler of the Joni Mitchell songs as peformed at the Fenix.

“MOSTLY JONI” – A compilation of some of the songs featured in our “Mostly Joni” show.

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Amy Wigton presents “Mostly Joni,” a tribute to the songs of Joni Mitchell. Performing with Amy is bassist Robin Hildebrant, whose virtuosic fretless playing recalls the legendary Jaco Pastorius. Together they capture the timeless beauty, heartfelt passion and musical mastery of one of the most poetic and influential singer/songwriters of her generation.

THE “MOSTLY JONI” BACKSTORY

The year that I began playing guitar was the same year that Joni Mitchell released her hit album “Court & Spark.” and I devoured it word for word. Joni’s confessional style of writing inspired me to write passionately about my own life experiences. At 19 I left my home in Oberlin, Ohio and landed on the west coast where I began performing in coffee houses around the San Francisco Bay Area. I could play virtually every song from her “Blue” or “Court & Spark” album and then set them aside to pursue my own career as a singer-songwriter.

Throughout my life Joni’s lyrics had an uncanny way of describing so perfectly a situation or particular feeling. Like when I was traveling solo in Europe and was at the train station in Paris trying to decide where to go next “maybe I’ll go to Amsterdam or maybe I’ll go to Rome” from “Carey” hummed through my head. “California” was like a theme song when I decided to return home. Her line, “we don’t need no piece paper from the city hall, keeping us tied and true” from the song “My Old Man,” helped me express how I felt about living with my boyfriend. “Little Green” had an even deeper meaning when I learned of Joni’s child and discovered that my mother had also given up her first-born child for adoption.

In the past few years when I performed a Joni song either solo or with my band I began to notice something magical appear in the eyes and the faces of my audience. I sensed this connection and power of how much her songs touched their hearts and lives. I’ve seen tears well up in their eyes. It became important to me to share her music so I created a tribute show I call “Mostly Joni.” I adhere closely to her original instrumentation and perform songs on either the guitar, dulcimer or piano. I perform either solo or with the beautiful fretless bass accompaniment of Robin Hildebrant who’s virtuosic style is reminiscent of the late Jaco Pastorius.

It brings me great joy to perform “Mostly Joni.” Her music is very important to our culture. She inspired a whole generation of “Girls Like Us” who sat cross-legged on their beds with guitars late at night like me. It’s been a wonderful journey and I’m having a great time going back to the garden.

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WEBSITES:
Joni Mitchell Website
Jaco Pastorius Website

ALBUMS:
Court and Spark
Blue

SONGS:
“All I Want”
“California”
“My Old Man”
“Little Green”

BOOK:
I was further inspired by the book “Girls Like Us” by Sheila Weller. This provided me with wonderful insights to Joni’s life and some of the inspiration behind her songs.