Johnny Cash’s Daughter Rosanne Reacts to Joni Mitchell Returning to Stage for Full Set After 20 Years

by Tia Bailey

Iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell surprised the audience at Newport Folk Festival this week, and everyone is talking about it. Roseanne Cash, singer-songwriter and daughter of legend Johnny Cash, reacted to the news on Twitter.

Joni Mitchell sang “Both Sides Now” at the festival alongside Brandi Carlisle. Cash tweeted the link to the performance and captioned it, “Joni at Newport. I’m dead now.”

Fans responded in agreement to the excitement. User @SarahLongshot replied, “The grief, the cost of love, and life. Joni cuts straight to the heart of the matter… still.”

The Newport Folk Festival, located in Newport, Rhode Island, is an annual American folk-oriented music festival. The 2022 lineup included folk/pop-folk artists such as Bleachers, Clairo, Lucy Dacus, Anais Mitchell, and more. Nobody expected Joni Mitchell’s appearance at the festival.

This was the first performance of this scale that Mitchell has performed in over 20 years — and her first appearance at an annual music event in 50. Mitchell was joined by many folk icons on stage for different songs, ranging from covers to her own classic hits.

The first song the legendary performer came out for was her 1996 hit, “Carey.” She only sang a few lines herself in the song, but eventually stole the spotlight as the set went on. Songs performed include hits such as “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Amelia.”

Emotions Ran High During Joni Mitchell’s Surprise Performance

The video of Mitchell and Carlisle performing “Both Sides Now” perfectly displays how emotional the evening was. As the pair sang the song, the audience was completely silent in awe until they erupted in applause for the icon. American country music singer Wynonna Judd was among the guests onstage, and can be seen wiping her teary eyes throughout the performance.

Mitchell’s Twitter account tweeted the link to the song out, captioned with: “What a wonderful night! Thank you @BrandiCarlisle and @NewportFolkFest for hosting Joni’s return to the stage after all these years. Photos: Nina Westervelt.”

This was one of the few times Mitchell has made a public appearance since 2015, when she had a brain aneurysm that left her temporarily unable to walk. Fans of the singer rejoiced after her performance, which was trending on the internet.

For the past few years, Mitchell has hosted “Joni Jams” in her home living room, where she would sing and perform with other artists in the comfort of her home. Carlisle took inspiration from this, wanting to bring Joni Jams to the festival. Carlisle told CBS: “I dreamed it. The first time she opened her mouth and sang ‘Summertime.’ And I saw Herbie Hancock burst into tears, and everybody in the room catch their breath, because she had decided to sing. Really decided to sing.”

The performance is not one that will be forgotten anytime soon.