Listen To 21 Year-Old Bonnie Raitt Cover “Woodstock” By Joni Mitchell
Bonnie Raitt live in 1974 - Bonnie's Pride and Joy / Youtube
Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”, which was humbly written inside a New York City hotel room, has seen wide acclaim among her peers and contemporaries. The counterculture giant became a favorite of many artists, with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young having one of the most popular renditions of the song via Deja Vu.
But just recently, a folk-tinged version has been unearthed which features Bonnie Raitt and was recorded on March 27, 1971, at a performance at Syracuse University’s Jabberwocky Club. Raitt was just 21 years old then, and was gearing for the release of her self-titled debut which came out eight months later.
Raitt’s version is distinctly unique from other renditions, channeling her and the song’s intent using her bare voice, recreating everything with sonic and mental imagery. She matches Mitchell’s vocal quality as she runs through each line with the same intensity and energy.
In an interview for Rolling Stone’s Musicians on Musicians with Brandi Carlie last year, Raitt talked about Mitchell’s return to the public. “I don’t get to see her very much. We had some classic hangs at my house in the Seventies, one time with Jackson [Browne] and Graham [Nash]. It’s just a thrill for me to be back in a musical setting with her,” she shared.