Few musical artists of our day have had a more sustained impact on contemporary culture than Canadian singer-songwriter, Joni Mitchell.
As a composer, Mitchell’s harmonic language and literary sophistication are unparalleled. As a performer, she has riveted audiences for decades from her days as a willowy, guitar-slinging soprano, to her long career as an exacting and imaginative bandleader whose opus runs the gamut from popular idioms to modern jazz.
David Yaffe is Tom's guest today. He’s a professor of humanities at Syracuse University, and an award-winning music critic. He’s the author of an acclaimed biography of Bob Dylan, and for his most recent book, he’s turned his attention to Joni Mitchell, tracing her life from her beginnings in rural Canada to her position in the upper echelon of creative artists. The book is called Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell.
David Yaffe joins us on the line from public radio station WAER in Syracuse, New York.