Wynonna Judd Moved To Tears By Joni Mitchell’s Emotional First Performance in Years

by Blake Ells

Joni Mitchell performed her first full set in 20 years this weekend at Newport Folk Festival, and Wynonna Judd was there. Mitchell’s last public performance was in 2013, while her last full show was in 2002. The performance was billed as “Brandi Carlile & Friends,” and Carlile definitely delivered the “Friends.” Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Wynonna Judd were among the cast joining the night’s friend of honor, Joni Mitchell.

In a performance of Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” Judd can be seen crying throughout. Check out the fan shot video below.

It was Joni Mitchell’s first visit to Newport Folk Festival since 1969. WUN reports that the set began with versions of “Carey,” “A Case of You” and “Help Me.” There were cover versions of “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” and “Love Potion #9.” Joni Mitchell took the lead on several songs, and according to folks that were on the ground, she nailed it. She felt like she did a pretty good job, too. She told CBS News that “she’s never been nervous about being in front of an audience,” but that she “didn’t sound too bad tonight!”

Joni Mitchell had an aneurysm in 2015, and she’s had a tough time getting back to music since.

“I’m looking at videos that are on the net to see where I put my fingers, you know,” she said of relearning how to play guitar. “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. You have to learn all these things by rote again. I was into water ballet as a kid. And I forgot how to do the breaststroke. Every time I tried it, I just about drowned, you know?”

A Moving Moment for Wynonna Judd

Joni Mitchell’s return to Newport Folk Festival was another memorable moment in what has been quite a year for Wynonna Judd. Her mother and musical partner, Naomi, died earlier this year. The tragedy happened before The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The duo was also set to embark on one final tour. The tour will continue, and that’s in part due to her friendship with Brandi Carlile.

Brandi Carlile headlined Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater recently, and she asked Wynonna Judd to open. The pair collaborated on a version of the hit “Love is Alive” during the performance.

Carlile is one of several female artists that will join The Judds’ tour in Naomi’s absence. Wynonna Judd is also joined by Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride and Ashley McBryde, among others. Check out all of the tour dates and get ticket information at The Judds’ website.