Joni Mitchell 'wasn't sure' she'd still be 'good' performer

·2-min read

Joni Mitchell "wasn't sure" she would still be "good" on stage.
The 78-year-old singer suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015 which left her unable to talk or walk for some time but on Sunday (24.07.22), she returned to the stage for her first full show since 2000 when she joined Brandi Carlile at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island.
Joni was apprehensive about the show but was thankful she didn't "sound too bad".
Speaking to CBS News after the show, she said: "I've never been nervous about being in front of an audience, but I wanted to be good and I wasn't sure that I could be. But I didn't sound too bad tonight.
"I think having a brush with death like that kind of softens people to me."
Joni - who also had to learn to walk again when she was nine after contracting Polio - has retaught herself how to play guitar by watching online tutorials.
She said: "I'm learning.
"I'm looking at videos that are on the net to see where I put my fingers. It's amazing what an aneurysm knocks out-- how to get out of a chair, you don't know how to get out of a bed. ... Going back to infancy, almost. You have to relearn everything. "
The set was originally billed as Brandi Carlile and Friends but was later dubbed the 'Joni Jam'. The pair were joined on stage by the likes of Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Wynonna Judd and Blake Mills for a selection of the folk legend's biggest hits, including 'Big Yellow Taxi', 'Summertime' and 'Love Potion No. 9'.
Joni previously admitted having her aneurysm "took away a lot more" than her childhood battle with polio.
She said: "You know what? I came back from polio, so here I am again, and struggling back.
"Just inching my way along. I’m showing slow improvement but moving forward.
"Once again I couldn’t walk. I had to learn how again. I couldn’t talk. Polio didn’t grab me like that, but the aneurysm took away a lot more, really. Took away my speech and my ability to walk.
"And, you know, I got my speech back quickly, but the walking I’m still struggling with. But I mean, I’m a fighter. I’ve got Irish blood!
" So you know, I knew, 'Here I go again, another battle.' "

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