Tunes from The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz – best concert film of all time? Certainly right up there. When I stumble upon it on TV, like I did tonight, there’s no way I can turn away.

Thanksgiving 1976. The Band. Bob Dylan. Van Morrison. Neil Young. Dr. John. Joni Mitchell. Muddy Waters. Eric Clapton. Neil Diamond. Ronnie Wood. Ringo Starr. Ronnie Hawkins. Paul Butterfield.

Still such a thrill to watch.  Here’s the last song of the show, as Dylan leads The Band and all the guests in his own tune, “I Shall Be Released”…

Oh hell, let me add a few other tunes…

The Band w/ Neil Diamond
“Dry Your Eyes”

The Band w/ Joni Mitchell


The Band w/ Muddy Waters
“Mannish Boy”

A Few Moments with Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell first came into my consciousness more than 20 years ago when Prince mentioned her as one of his biggest influences in an interview. He’s covered Joni’s “A Case of You” (“U”, naturally, when Prince does it) over the years, and “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” has that Joni influence as well.

Oh, I’ve heard “Big Yellow Taxi”, and I’ve seen her sing with The Band in The Last Waltz. But beyond that, not much Joni in my life.

But I heard her new single, “Shine”, in the car a few weeks ago (on Sirius of course – “terrestrial” radio would never play such a song – at least not in Phoenix: Radio Wasteland America). It’s a beautiful, fascinating song. I can’t quite measure the feeling it gives me. It’s contentment, but guilt. Joy and sadness, if that’s possible. Just read her amazing lyrics to this song. Well, listen first, then go back and read along the second time.

It’s raining steadily outside right now for the first time in ages. Has been all day. It’s dark, quiet, and all I hear are the rain and this beatiful song. They perfectly complement each other.

Joni Mitchell – Shine (mp3)

Buy: Shine

Joni’s Official Site