Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, May 3rd, 7 p.m. Spaceland Ballroom, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden. (203) 288-6400. $15-$20. ctfolk.com
Blue is Joni Mitchell’s fourth record, and it’s the most widely-known and critically acclaimed of her career. It was released in 1971, recorded soon after a breakup with Graham Nash, and its raw, emotional take on various facets of relationships leaves little to the imagination: Mitchell was an open book, and Blue was her diary.
A group of 12 female New York City singer songwriters called Chicks with Dip will be paying tribute to Blue at the Spaceland Ballroom Friday night. It’s being billed as a 40th anniversary celebration, though come June it will actually be 42 years since the album’s release. Seems like the anniversary shows have been going well enough to last a couple of years.
“I think Blue opened the door for songwriters, particularly female songwriters, to talk about subjects that were previously off limits,” says Chicks with Dip member Allison Tartalia. “Anyone who's been considered a ‘confessional’ songwriter probably owes a debt to Blue, either directly or indirectly. Although the writing is complex, the arrangements are fairly simple, and I think that, along with the lyrical content, make it an incredibly timeless record.”
Tartalia will perform “My Old Man,” and will accompany some of her friends on “Carolann and Catherine” and “The Last Time I Saw Richard.” Her friends, who collectively will cover the whole album, include Meg Braun, Anna Dagmar, Honor Finnegan, Sharon Goldman, Victoria Lavington, Catherine Miles, Karyn Oliver, Elisa Peimer, Cheryl Prashker, Allison Scola and Carolann Solebello.
“Being an independent singer-songwriter is a ton of work,” she says.”Much of the time, you are your own agent, booking manger, PR person and roadie in addition to writing and performing. Collaborating on projects like this allows all of us to share the work. Collectively we're able to achieve things that would be much harder to pull off on our own. But the biggest benefit we receive from working together is the commaraderie and emotional support. Over the years we've each had our ups and downs, personally, professionally and creatively, and we've seen one another through a lot of challenges. We're there for one another as friends, and help one another to hand in there when things are tough or discouraging.”