Music » Feature

Stewart Legere, Cliff Le Jeune and friends are tangled up in Blue.

A star-studded tribute night to Joni Mitchell’s landmark album helps beat the bleakest day of the year.

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Blue Monday Cabaret
Mon Jan 20, 7:30-9:30pm
The Carleton, 1685 Argyle Street
$15/$20


On the iconic cover of Blue, Joni Mitchell's eyes are closed and she appears to be either mid-song or mid-cry. The cover, like the album itself, evokes such sadness and longing and has been one of the most enduring heartbreak albums since its release in 1971: Millennials are still streaming it while boomers won't let go of their vinyl copy, because one just never knows when Mitchell will come in handy.

As a salve to our gloomy, looming winter (they call the third Monday in January the most depressing day of the year), some of Halifax's finest musicians will gather at The Carleton to cover Mitchell's beloved album, as a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. We asked a few of the artists to talk about their favourite song from Blue.

Cliff Le Jeune
"'A Case Of You' was the song that has always been the closest to me. It was the brilliance of the line, 'I could drink a case of you and still I would be on my feet.' The power of that metaphor. I have always thought no one could frame desire better than that line. Musically, the song still stops me in my tracks. After all these years, I still remember the night I first heard it. Joni was the first artist who made me aware of the depth of words. The pool is bottomless with her."

Margot Sampson
"That's a tough question because my favourites change over time. It used to be 'A Case of You,' which I was fortunate enough to be able to sing as part of

Joni Mitchell: River with Festival Antigonish one summer, many moons ago. A song that wasn't included in that particular show was 'Little Green' which I've performed a number of times since. Once I found out the story behind the song [about Mitchell giving up a child for adoption], I think it became my new favourite."

Kyle Gillis
"I would have to pick 'All I Want,' the first song on the album. I like it because it's hopeful and funny and playful and it's a good sentiment to head into a new year with."

Laura Caswell
"I have always loved 'River' because me and Christmas don't have the best relationship and this is a song that allows you to explore the not-so-great parts of what is usually a joyous holiday. I love the simple melody and the beautiful, sometimes melodic, sometimes painful chord progressions in the accompaniment.

I mostly love that Joni wrote awesome songs in the female voice that were not your traditional love songs."

Stewart Legere
"I just can't possibly choose one song. I've been listening to this album my entire life, and every track has changed meaning for me over and over again. It has only gotten more relevant, a lesson in poetry and music, every time I hear it. My favourite moment of the album is the very first note because I know I'm in for an album's worth of beauty."

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