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| January 17, 2019

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Joni Mitchell Obsession Led To Forming A New Band – Interview with Lucy Pickering

Joni Mitchell Obsession Led To Forming A New Band – Interview with Lucy Pickering
Elin Arnar

Brighton musician and vocal teacher Lucy Pickering is a big Joni Mitchell fan and didn’t quite find listening to her music by her self enough, so she put together a band. This Saturday will be their second concert where Joni Mitchell fans can enjoy their reinterpreting of some of Joni Mitchell’s songs from the 70’s-90’s, from albums such as Hejira, Court & Spark and Taming The Tiger.

Tell us about your event Lucy: I’m collaborating with some superb jazz musicians: Terry Pack, Milo Fell, James Osler and Beccy Rork from across the south east. We are performing songs from Joni Mitchell’s albums Night Ride Home, Hejira, Taming the Tiger and Court & Spark, at The Verdict Jazz club on Edward Street Brighton, on Saturday 29th October from 8pm.

What inspired you to set it up? I’ve always been a Joni Mitchell fan, and was inspired by discovering some transcriptions of her songs online. Playing them obsessively by myself didn’t seem like enough, so I put this band together!

Are you from Brighton? I’ve lived in Brighton for about 15 years. So I’m not from here, no, but it’s definitely my home.

Where are you from? I guess I’m a Midlander really, with northern roots.

What kind of music inspires you the most? Just about all vocal music inspires me. Soul singers like Patti Labelle make my hair stand on end. Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is like a soothing massage. Stevie Wonder fills my heart with joy. The way Joni Mitchell’s voice nowadays has aged like a fine malt whiskey is remarkable.

What do you like to do when not making music? I have a 10 year old daughter who keeps me pretty busy!

Have you always wanted to become a musician? For about 6 months (aged 7) I wanted to be a vet. Other than that, yes I think I’ve always had a compulsion to be a musician.

Are you a full-time musician? If that includes teaching it, then luckily yes. I teach singing technique and voice anatomy as well as performing.

What do you find the most challenging part to being a performing artist? The single-mindedness of being a musician is something I didn’t recognise until I became a mother. It’s very hard to balance the two sides of life sometimes.

What’s next for you? Hopefully more gigs with this project, and maybe recording it too.

Lucy Pickering’s Court And Spark – reinterpreting Joni Mitchell. The Verdict Jazz Club on Saturday 29th October at 8pm. Tickets are available via


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