The Newport Folk Festival is providing some quality counter-programming to San Diego Comic-Con. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats headlined with a set containing nothing but Paul Simon songs … featuring Simon himself. Somehow it was his first time appearing at Newport Folk. And Joni Mitchell was a surprise guest on Brandi Carlile’s set. Portland Press Herald reporter Aimsel Ponti caught Carlile and Mitchell singing together to Mitchell’s “A Case of You.” It was unexpected, as Mitchell rarely performs nowadays. The 13-track set included “A Case of You,” “Both Sides Now,” and “Big Yellow Taxi,” as well as the guitar solo from “Just Like This Train.” Until this year, she hadn’t performed since 2013 and her last full live set was in 2002. Now she’s done two gigs with Carlile singing backup. In April, she sang “Big Yellow Taxi” when she was named Person of the Year by Musicares. “I just realised, Joni’s the least nervous person up here,” Carlile said on stage, per The Guardian. Carlile is always one to pay respects to her elders. Despite COVID barring her from attending the Country Music Hall of Fame honors this year, she still managed to tribute Naomi Judd with a remote performance of “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
This post has been updated.