Joni Mitchell: Favorite Color (1965)

July 23, 2006

Here’s a real find: early Joni Mitchell (called Joan Anderson at that time) singing a song from 1965 called “Favorite Color.” In this song, she plays with a capo, a little bar that is able to be placed up or down on the neck of the guitar and a kind of instant transposer. Her guitar accompaniment is high up in register. This affords the marvelous range of her voice, both the notes as well as the timbre, to come through. The guitar is in one of her custom tunings. I love watching her eyes. She seems to offer piercing looks into her listeners eyes, and then they lose their focus, going inward to look at the next line of lyrics. She then looks down at her left hand making a chord change, and then readdresses the audience. Her composure is solid; her skin is beautiful, and that makeup — I didn’t know she wore make up — it disappeared by the time her first album came out.

From the CBC show “Let’s Sing Out”, recorded in Winnipeg, Manitoba October 4th 1965.

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