JONI MITCHELL – ” The Downtreader ” Live

Posted: July 30, 2021 in MUSIC
May be a black-and-white image of one or more people, people playing musical instruments and people standing

Joni Mitchell shared a previously unreleased recording of her performing “The Downtreader” from Cafe Le Hibou, Ottawa, on March 19, 1968. The performance was recorded by Jimi Hendrix.

“talked with Joni Mitchell on the phone. I think I’ll record her tonight with my excellent tape recorder (knock on wood) . . . hmmm . . . can’t find any wood . . . everything’s plastic”
“fantastic girl with heaven words” – Jimi Hendrix
On March 19th, 1968, a 24-year-old Joni Mitchell was in the midst of a two-week residency at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, playing to rave reviews in anticipation of her debut album, “Song To A Seagull”. Not long before Mitchell was scheduled to take the stage, Jimi Hendrix was just finishing his second sold-out show of the night at the Capitol Theater a few blocks away. Following his performances, Hendrix rolled in to Le Hibou with his reel-to-reel recorder as promised and kneeled in front of the stage, unnoticed by most, and recorded Mitchell’s two sets that evening. Hendrix’s tape from that night was stolen a few days later, with the recording thought to be lost forever. The recording was recently discovered in a private collection that was donated to the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and returned to Mitchell. Now, over 50 years later, the “heaven words” spoken of by Hendrix will be released on October 29th as part of Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: THE REPRISE YEARS (1968-1971) and you can listen to one of those tracks, “The Dawntreader” right here, right now.

Joni Mitchell recounted the day on her Instagram, “They came and told me, ‘Jimi Hendrix is here, and he’s at the front door.’ I went to meet him. He had a large box. He said to me, ‘My name is Jimi Hendrix. I’m on the same label as you. Reprise Records.’ We were both signed about the same time. He said, I’d like to record your show. Do you mind?’ I said, ‘no, not at all.’ There was a large reel-to-reel tape recorder in the box.”

If you look real hard at the photo above you can just see Jimi Hendrix kneeling at the foot of the stage recording Joni’s performance on March 19th, 1968. The original photo taker remains a mystery 

A few days later Hendrix’s tape from that evening was stolen and the recording was thought to be lost forever. It was recently discovered in a private collection that was donated to the Library and Archives Canada and returned to Joni Mitchell.

This recording of “The Dawntreader” will be released as part of Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) which will become available on October. 29th. the 5-CD or 10-LP set from to receive an exclusive, limited edition 7” x 7” art print featuring a never-before-seen illustration by Mitchell

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