By Will Yannacoulias
Joni Mitchell Archives Vol.1: The Early Years (1963-1967) is a five-disc box set highlighting the very beginning of the celebrated Saskatoon singer-songwriter’s career. The box set, released October 30th, contains many obscure unreleased recordings, both studio and live material, all digitally remastered. Of particular interest are Mitchell’s first studio recordings, sweet sparse arrangements of nine traditional folk songs recorded in Saskatoon in the summer of 1963. 600 CFQC DJ Barry Bowman had befriended the teenaged Mitchell and invited her to record an audition tape in the CFQC studios. The CFQC recordings are a treat for Joni Mitchell fans; despite her youth and inexperience, Mitchell had already perfected her distinctive birdsong vibrato and effortless, bell like falsetto. Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years is essential listening for Joni Mitchell fans, Saskatchewan music completists or anyone interested in hearing the origins of one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the 20th century.