I first started listening avidly to Joni Mitchell’s music as a teenager in the 1970s, after being introduced to her albums by a college roomate, who adored Ladies of the Canyon and Blue. We were attending conservatory in Baltimore, both studying piano performance. Officially, we were there to discover our callings as musicians, to be initiated into music’s secrets and gain some control over its brute power. Just as importantly, thought not listed on the curriculum, we were learning to sort through our own raw and confusing emotions as we formed our adult selves, and for both of us, the two programs of study were inseparably linked.
Lloyd Whitesell, The music of Joni Mitchell