Everybody knows Joni Mitchell. The Canadian artist’s sensitive, complex songs are classics. They provided the soundtrack for pivotal moments in many of our lives. Poignant, inventive, real and raw, Mitchell is a true legend. As such, it takes a remarkable talent to bring her music alive on stage.
Stacey Joy, a singer and multi-instrumentalist from Northern California, has that talent. She also has a lifestyle that epitomizes the freedom, awareness and devotion to art that Mitchell has always championed.
For the past half-decade, Joy has lived “on the road” full-time. Traveling overland throughout the Americas, she has performed her music in concert halls, clubs and festivals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Along the way, she has also played free shows on town squares in some of the poorest countries in Latin America. What is even more remarkable, is that she has done it all while being a mother and home-school teacher to her three young sons, Rafael (5), Gabriel (3) and Django (1).
“The boys love this life,” she says with a disarming smile. “Living in our big silver bus they have all the security and coziness of home, but with the addition of a magic door that opens onto different places all the time. One day the beach, the next mountains, or a forest, and today Ajijic and Lake Chapala. They appreciate and value all the people and cultures they encounter. From playing new games with local kids to learning history sitting atop ancient ruins, a life of travel has been the best gift my husband and I could have given them. That, and the wealth of time this lifestyle affords us to spend together as a family.”
An award-winning musician and songwriter in her own right, Joy has performed alongside Daniel Ward (El Ukelele), Rick Shlosser (Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, George Benson) and Grammy winners Mary Youngblood, Jesse Harris (Norah Jones) and Alfred Thompson (Buena Vista Social Club). She has also shared the stage with the likes of Michael Franti, Rising Appalachia, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Jackie Greene, The Wailers and many others.
This one-night-only “tribute to Joni” show plays at The Spotlight Club Friday, January 18, 7 p.m. As well as performing many of Joni Mitchell’s best-loved songs, Stacey Joy also promises to play a couple of her own from “The Journey Unfolds” (Best Americana winner at the 2017 New Mexico Music Awards) and her brand-new record, “There’s Magic Here.”