The story of this project begins with two lifelong obsessions with the songs of Joni Mitchell – on the part of keyboard player Aidan Goldstraw and singer Sarah Miller.
Aidan recalls: “During my teenage years, a friend gave me a taped copy of Court and Spark – the music was unlike anything I’d heard before in my life, and the words were not just lyrics; they were stunning poetry.
“Joni’s music was the soundtrack to the days studying for my music degree, and since that time, I’d thought about putting together a band which would exclusively play these fantastic songs.”
He had to wait a little while – but the catalyst finally came in 2014 when Aidan walked into a jazz gig and heard the voice of Sarah Miller. “The moment I heard that voice, I knew it was the perfect fit for the project I had in mind.”
The deal was well and truly sealed when, speaking to Sarah after her gig, Aidan discovered that she too was a lifelong Joni obsessive.
Sarah added: “Joni has always been my absolute favourite of all the singer-songwriters of that period. Every song in her catalogue is wonderful, and the biggest challenge of putting this band together is that we have to choose just a few for each show!”
Right from the start, Aidan and Sarah decided that this would not be your usual tribute act.
Aidan added: “These songs are so wonderful that great as the original recordings are, they have a life outside of that. We want to honour Joni’s creative spirit by infusing this material with our own musical imagination that, while remaining true to the song, isn’t necessarily a straight note-for-note copy.”