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Thread: 19 y.o. Joni Mitchell and baritone uke tapes

  1. #1

    Default 19 y.o. Joni Mitchell and baritone uke tapes

    cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/joni-mitchell-found-recordings-1.5723722

    jonimitchell.com


    As a teenager Jodi Anderson played baritone uke and guitar.

    Barry Bowman, a teenage budding DJ, recorded a demo tape at the radio station studio of Joni singing folk songs and playing the baritone.

    His copy of the tape was misplaced until recently and he returned it to her.

    Joni Mitchell will release on Sept a multi DVD set of archive recordings Songs from her first recording are included.

    Will be cool to hear the DVDs.

  2. #2
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    Agreed, this should be very cool. I just about this on article on my phone. Can’t wait to hear it. She became such a big success.

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    I first saw Joni in 1964 at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Maple Leaf Stadium. At that time she was Joni Anderson and her accompanist was the late David Rea, who was living in Toronto at the time. I'm pretty sure that David also backed Gord Lightfoot and Ian & Sylvia at this festival. Joni would have been 21 and David was 19 at the time and the baritone uke didn't make an appearance.
    early-Joni-w-David-Rea-300.jpg

    Joni later wrote the song Play Little David for David Rea.

    Last edited by Jim Yates; 09-16-2020 at 06:39 AM.

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    To quote from another source -

    John Uren agreed with Nick about the instrument Joni played. In an interview with JoniMitchell.com, John stated that in September of 1963 "she auditioned for us right there and then, playing a ukulele - not a guitar."

    One night in the Fall of 1963 Joni came up to Nick at the Depression after he had performed. Nick remembers that "she asked me what the difference was between my guitar and her uke. I told her there were two more strings - a low E and A. The uke was tuned just the same as a guitar (D-G-B-E, low to high) but without the two bottom strings." That night Nick was playing his "Red Label" Nippon Gakki Yamaha "Dynamic Guitar No. 80", made in Japan. Yamaha began making this model sometime in the 1950s.

    Nick continued his story, "She asked me if she could use my guitar for her set that night and that she had never played a guitar in front of anyone ever before. I told her that of course she could and that she would have no problem learning it! She used my Yamaha and she did very well. I was not surprised at all as she was an excellent musician as well as singer."

    So, Joni made her public guitar debut that night at the Depression - never having performed on one before. This is not inconceivable especially for a notorious risk-taker and boundary pusher such as she. Perhaps there were a few clunky notes on those bottom two strings, but more likely she spent some time back stage prior to her set getting familiar with what she could do with them.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kanile'a Custom Tenor - KoAloha KTM-S00 - Pono MGTP5-PC - Pono MBD-CR

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    She played a Harmony bari.
    I always thought that she didn't play guitar in a conventional way because she didn't start as "A Guitarist"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strumdaddy View Post
    She played a Harmony bari.
    I always thought that she didn't play guitar in a conventional way because she didn't start as "A Guitarist"
    Many of us started on uke and moved to guitar. I think this is quite common. I know I started playing on a uke and got my first guitar in 1960. I gave up the uke, but regained interest about 2 decades ago when I had a chance to play a uke that was a better quality instrument and not just a toy like the one I started on.

    Joni on uke.jpg
    Here's 19 year old Joni with her Harmony Baritone.

    Jimi Hendrix, Tommy James, Chet Atkins, George Benson, Dick Dale and Pete Rowan also started their stringed instrument playing on a ukulele. (This info came from a Ukulele magazine article.)
    Last edited by Jim Yates; 09-17-2020 at 04:34 AM.

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    I started on guitar because it was the sixties and the Beatles, Rock and Roll, etc. It was cool . Only Uke I ever saw was a toy wall hanger. It wasn’t until six or seven years ago, when I was in Hawaii that I discovered that the Ukulele is a real serious instrument. About that time, I heard Jake, loved Iz and found my first Pono tenor......yes Uke is serious.

    Given the time Joni started, the progression from Bari to guitar would have been very natural. From what I understand Joni pushed the alternate tunings in her playing on guitar which is very cool. I’d like to know if she ever picked up the Uke again or currently has any.

    Fender just made a artist model concert ukulele for a singer song writer who’s nMe escapes me right now. She said, Uke was her first writing instrument Nd it made her write differently in a very good way.

    The ukulele was also, very portable. Thatr was important to me. Gone are the 2 x 12 stack, 100 watt amps and a crap load of guitars. I’m getting older. I do still have a few guitars but find much joy out of finding my little corner, playing ukulele for myself.

    I hope to see the Joni documentary DVD when it comes out!

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    I was surprised to see that Joni also played a tiple when she was with Chuck. Apparently this tiple still hangs on the wall of her house.
    Joni with tiple and tiple.jpg

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    Thank you for the stories. I think that baritone ukes were still a fairly new development at that time so it's good to hear that one made its way to Saskatchestan into the hands of young Joni.

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