Listen to rare 1968 Joni Mitchell performance of “The Dawntreader” recorded by Jimi Hendrix


The upcoming archival Joni Mitchell compilation Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) includes a full unreleased live performance Mitchell gave in March 1968 at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa, Canada, that — amazingly — was recorded by Jimi Hendrix.

Now, Mitchell’s rendition of her early song “The Dawntreader” from the concert has debuted as an advance track from the compilation, which is due out October 29.

Hendrix had been performing at another Ottawa venue at the same time that Mitchell was playing a residency at the coffee house and he decided to catch her show there on March 19, 1968, and record it on a reel-to-reel tape machine he owned.  The guitar legend documented his plan in a diary entry that reads, “talked with Joni Mitchell on the phone. I think I’ll record her tonight with my excellent tape recorder.”

After Joni’s two-set show, Jimi wrote about her, describing her as a “fantastic girl with heaven words.”

In a new interview featured in the Archives Vol. 2 liner notes, Mitchell recalls giving Hendrix permission to record the concert.  “He beautifully recorded this tape,” Joni remembers. “Of course I played part of the show to him. He was right below me.”

Unfortunately, Hendrix’s tape was stolen a few days later, but the recording recently was rediscovered in a private collection that was donated to the Library and Archives Canada. The recording was then given to Mitchell, and it now will be released on Archives Vol. 2.

The five-CD collection features numerous previously unreleased live, studio and demo recordings from Joni’s early career, leading up to the release of 1971’s Blue.

The studio version of “The Dawntreader” appeared on Mitchell’s 1968 debut album, Song to a Seagull.

Visit for full details about Archives Vol. 2.

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