Category Archives: Artists

Joni Mitchell Recovering from Aneurysm

Although there are conflicting reports about Joni Mitchell’s recovery from an illness that started when she was found unconscious in her home on March 31st, Leslie Morris, Joni’s conservator, issued the following statement on June 28th: “Joni did in fact suffer an aneurysm. However, details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative. The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she’s speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she’s getting better each day. A full recovery is expected.”

David Crosby, Joni’s long-time friend, reports: “She took a terrible hit. She had an aneurysm, and nobody found her for a while. And she’s going to have to struggle back from it the way you struggle back from a traumatic brain injury. She’s a tough girl and very smart. So, how much she’s going to come back and when, I don’t know and I’m not going to guess. I love her. She’s probably the best of us – probably the greatest living singer-songwriter.”

You can leave well wishes for Joni at

Singer and Dulcimist Jean Ritchie Dies

Jean Ritchie, a folk singer and mountain dulcimer players who revived American folk music in the 1960’s and brought hundreds of traditional songs from Appalachia to a wide audience , died on June 1st at her home in Berea, Ky, at the age of 92.

Ms. Ritchie performed with some of the best-known names in folk music, including Pete Seeger and Doc Watson. She was part of the Newport Folk Festival, and performed at there in 1959 and many times thereafter. She was a fixture on the Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene, and became known as the “Mother of Folk.”

Ms. Ritchie’s work was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress’ Archive of Folk Song.  Her first solo album, “Jean Ritchie Singing the Traditional Songs of Her Kentucky Mountain Family,” was released in 1952.

She was the subject of a documentary film, “Mountain Born: The Jean Ritchie Story,” which was made in 1996 for Kentucky Educational Television.

She published “The Swapping Song Book” (1952), “The Dulcimer Book” (1963) and “Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians.”

Wanderers Heading West

The Way Down Wanderers, a hot young 5-piece modern Americana group out of Chicago, will be appearing at the Mendon Mountain Music Festival and the Stokes Nature Center in the Logan, Utah area on June 20th and June 21st.

The Way Down Wanderers
The Way Down Wanderers

The Way-Down Wanderers are known for audience-engaging sing-alongs, lively stage shows, and the free unplugged concerts they call “restSTOMPS” they often play randomly at rest stops along their travel routes. They are professionally-trained musicians (and you can hear it!) and were named Chicago’s “Emerging artists of the year, 2014” in a people’s choice poll.

Here’s an audio sample of their music, a lively little song called Dead Birds:

The group has an extensive tour planned this summer. According to Staley Krause, the band’s manager, “We still can’t really believe that we’re playing The Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. But we love the little small town shows. They’re very authentic and you get to know the people you’re playing for. We’re excited about Mendon Mountain in northern Utah. Jason Christensen, Mendon Mountain Music Festival organizer, contacted us about playing the festival, and honestly, he is the whole reason we are touring out West. He’s such a great guy and has helped us set up so many of the stops along the way.”

You can preview their “Wandering West” tour by watching a performance of Path to Follow:

Joni Mitchell Hospitalized

Joni Mitchell, the legendary singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist who rose to stardom in the 1960’s, was taken to the hospital on March 31, 2015. Rumor has it that she is alert, but is in intensive care. Joni, now 71, started as a folk musician, experimented with many styles including jazz, pop, and rock, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

John Renborn Passes Away

John Renborn, a legendary guitarist and founder of the band Pentangle, died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Scotland on March 26, at the age of 70. His brilliant solo guitar playing breathed new life into early English songs and traditional folk music and inspired guitar players from Peter Townsend to Bert Jansch to Stefan Grossman. He leaves behind a rich musical legacy for the enjoyment of those of us still here.