Tami Neilson – River: 13th Floor New Cover Of The Day

Tami Neilson pays tribute to Joni Mitchell with this gorgeous version of River, originally heard on Joni’s 1971 album, Blue.

Tami NeilsonYes, its been 50 years since Blue, and Joni herself just celebrated birthday #78. Here’s the story behind Tami’s version of River:

As Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” turned 50 in June this year, CBC Radio asked Tami to cover a song from the iconic album. Tami Neilson chose “River”, and will be releasing it digitally on Nov 9th.

“It was a huge honour to be asked by CBC to perform my hero Joni Mitchell’s “River”,  to celebrate her Blue album anniversary. (And, frankly, so daunting I almost said no!) 

This song is one Ive carried in my heart for most of my lifetime, across miles and oceans “

Tami Neilson first heard Joni Mitchell’s song “River” as a teenager.

“I was on tour with my family band all around Canada and the U.S. and for my birthday one year, my dad gave me the “Blue” album on CD. I was immediately obsessed.”  

For Canadian-born Neilson, “River” dives into the pain of homesickness, a sentiment that resonated deeply during her first Christmas living abroad in New Zealand, where she now lives. 

“Being in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are flipped so it’s really hot and summery, and it’s so strange to be decorating your Christmas tree and in sundress. 

I remember putting on the “Blue” album and the song “River” came on and I just immediately started sobbing. I know this song is about regret over a broken relationship…. But for me, 

it just became this song about homesickness and longing, and that hits hard especially this year.”

Tami’s latest album “CHICKABOOM!” was released in February 2020, and although her world tour was cancelled, the album became Tam’s biggest release to date, with nearly 2M streams, placements in Snowpierecer and Family Law, and mass critical acclaim including rave reviews from Rolling Stone, No Depression, Billboard and more. CHICKABOOM! also earned Tami her first Juno Award nomination for Best Contemporary Roots Recording while winning New Zealand’s Best Country Song of the Year for lead single “Hey, Bus Driver” and for Best Country Artist. 

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