Songs of a Prairie Girl

Songs of a Prairie Girl

by Joni Mitchell



The third in Joni Mitchell's ongoing series of thematic compilations drawn from her stellar back catalog, Songs of a Prairie Girl is described by Mitchell in her liner notes as "my contribution to Saskatchewan's Centennial celebrations," an appropriate gesture since she spent most of her childhood in Saskatoon, a city in that Canadian province. Most of the songs on Songs of a Prairie Girl deal in one way or another with childhood or adolescence, often with a bittersweet edge; there's little in the way of unbridled nostalgia, with "Let the Wind Carry Me" and "Urge for Going" expressing the desire to escape the boundaries of small-town life, and "Ray's Dad's Cadillac" and "Song for Sharon" recalling equal measures of joy and remorse in the misadventures of her teen years. Mitchell's music also splendidly conjures up the wintry space of the Canadian plains, especially on the epic "Paprika Plains" from Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (appearing here in a new mix that reduces the emphasis on the orchestra in favor of Joni's piano) and the symphonic version of "Cherokee Louise." And while there are moments of remembered joy (particularly on "Harlem in Havana"), for the most part Songs of a Prairie Girl is, by design, a meditation on the broad and snowy spaces of Saskatchewan, and Mitchell herself advises with tongue in cheek that the listeners should "get yourself a hot beverage and stand by the heater as you listen." As a collection of lesser-known material ("Raised on Robbery" is the only "hit" here), Songs of a Prairie Girl once again casts a well-considered glance on a less-explored aspect of Mitchell's work, and these songs convey the mingled pleasure and sadness of growing up with the careful eye of a true artist, as well as the crisp if faded memories of the home she left so many years ago. Beautiful stuff, and richly rewarding.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/26/2005
Label: Elektra / Wea
UPC: 0081227463427
catalogNumber: 74634

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joni Mitchell   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Billatron
Billy Preston   Hammond Organ
Robbie Robertson   Electric Guitar
Brenda Russell   Background Vocals
Herbie Hancock   Piano
Plas Johnson   Tenor Saxophone
Vince Mendoza   Conductor
Jaco Pastorius   Bass
Tom Scott   Horn,Woodwind
Wayne Shorter   Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Derek Watkins   Trumpet
Kenny Wheeler   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Richard Berry   Horn
Tony Lewis   Celli
Don Alias   Shaker
Alex Acuña   Percussion,Bells
Paul Archibald   Trumpet
John Barclay   Trumpet
Pete Beachill   Trombone
Max Bennett   Bass
Chuck Berghofer   Acoustic Bass
Mark Berrow   Violin
Brian Blade   Drums
Leon Bosch   Bass
Stuart Brooks   Trumpet
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Lisa Coleman   Background Vocals
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Ben Cruft   Violin
Liz Edwards   Violin
Richard Edwards   Trombone
David Emanuel   Violin
Andy Findon   Flute
Robin Firman   Celli
Simon Gardner   Trumpet
Mike Gibbs   Conductor
John Guerin   Percussion,Drums
Steve Henderson   Percussion
Garfield Jackson   Viola
Skaila Kanga   Harp
Manu Katché   Percussion,Drums
Paul Kegg   Celli
Larry Klein   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Electric Bass,Keyboards
Michael Landau   Guitar
Chris Laurence   Bass
Helen Liebmann   Celli
John Lenehan   Piano
Martin Loveday   Celli
Steve Lukather   Electric Guitar
Rita Manning   Violin
Jim McLeod   Violin
Wendy Melvoin   Background Vocals
Anthony Pleeth   Celli
Simon Rayner   Horn
Johnathan Rees   Violin
Frank Ricotti   Percussion
Jonathan Strange   Violin
Cathy Thompson   Violin
Philip Todd   Soprano Saxophone
Justin Ward   Viola
Hugh Webb   Harp
Dave Woodcock   Violin
Philip Eastop   Horn
Dermot Crehan   Violin
Femi Jiya   Barking
Steven Orton   Celli
Mary Scully   Bass
Katherine Shave   Violin
Helen Tunstall   Harp
Peter Lale   Viola
Paul Willey   Violin
Richard Bissell   Horn
Patrick Kiernan   Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki   Violin
Frank Schaefer   Celli
Jackie Shave   Violin
Bruce White   Viola
Peter Hansen   Violin
David Fuest   Clarinet
Andrew Crowley   Trumpet
John Anderson   Oboe
Peter Davies   Trombone
Susan Bohling   Cornet,Oboe
Jacob Heringman   Lute
Mike Hext   Trombone
Helen Keen   Flute
Julian Leaper   Violin
Gavin McNaughton   Bassoon
Donald McVay   Viola
John Pigneguy   Horn
Robert Smissen   Viola
Michael McMenemy   Violin
Richard Skinner   Contrabassoon
Richard Watkins   Horn
Tim Grant   Viola
Everton Nelson   Violin
Perry Mason   Violin
Rebecca Hirsch   Violin
Mike Thompson   Horn
Simon Benson   Bass
Rachel Bolt   Viola
Jonathan Tunnell   Celli
Anna Noakes   Flute
Dave Stewart   Bass Trombone
David Bucknall   Celli
Warren Zielinski   Violin
David Pyatt   Horn
Jonathan Evans Jones   Violin
David Ayre   Bass
Nick Bucknall   Clarinet
Chris Cowie   Oboe
Antonia Fuchs   Violin
Paddy Lannigan   Bass
Christopher Baron   Percussion
Simon Fischer   Violin
Robin O' Neill   Bassoon
Roger Harvey   Trombone
Helen Hathorn   Violin
Catherine Bradshaw   Viola
Gustav Clarkson   Viola
Owen Slade   Tuba
Larry E. Williams   Prophet Synthesizer
Zoe Lake   Viola
Julie Andrews   Bassoon
Bill Lockhart   Percussion
Douglas Mackie   Violin
Glyn Matthews   Percussion
Heather Nicholl   Clarinet
Ohil Dukes   Viola
Dave Tombling   Violin
David Daniels [cello]   Cello

Technical Credits

Joni Mitchell   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes,Art Direction
Vince Mendoza   Arranger
Mike Gibbs   Orchestration
Larry Klein   Producer
Schmitt   Remixing
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader
Reggie Collins   Discographical Annotation
Mike Engstrom   Executive Producer
Robin Hurley   Executive Producer
Masaki Koike   Art Direction

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