Kiki Ebsen performed Joni Mitchell at Festival of Arts

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

The crowd was in a Joni state of mind on Tuesday. Festival of Arts set the stage for Kiki Ebsen as she performed from the Joni Mitchell songbook, and the show did not disappoint. 

I was wary, as I’m a huge Joni Mitchell fan, and feared that it would be a watered down version of the real thing. Happily, Kiki Ebsen was a delight for one and all. She asked the crowd who among us was a Joni Mitchell fan – and there were about 30 hands that shot up in the air. Turns out I’m not the only one who was raised on that soundtrack, rich with lyrical poetry. 

Kiki Ebsen

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Photo by Maggi

Kiki Ebsen and band performing the songs of Joni Mitchell

Kiki Ebsen is a singer-songwriter in her own right (and, by the way, the daughter of Buddy Ebsen), and her band was spot-on. Though the evening was devoted to Joni, Ebsen imparted her own style while she managed the high notes of Joni’s early songs and the jazzy riffs of her later works. The playlist included some of the best: A Case of You, Blonde in the Bleachers, Chelsea Morning, and Free Man in Paris, to name a few.

Ebsen engaged the audience with background stories of Joni’s life, as well as her own admiration and respect for the talented artist. 

I left with favorite songs playing in my head, and rushed home to fish my Joni Mitchell albums back out of storage.