Meet Wendy Matthews

June 29, 2018

Image: YouTube

For those in the know, it’s not surprising that Australian contemporary singer Wendy Matthews jumped at the chance to be part of the coming Joni Mitchell Tribute show with four other award winning Australian female singers.

Mitchell, a Canadian-born singer-songwriter, whom AllMusic proclaimed that when the dust settled “Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century”, has been in Matthews’ blood from when she was a girl.

In fact, all her family members back in those days were dedicated fans of Mitchell who dominated the world folk scene from the 60s onwards.

Matthews, who, like Mitchell was born in Canada, said that it was Mitchell who inspired her to writing her own music.

“I think in a general sense absolutely,” said Matthews.

“My parents were young parents of the 60’s in Canada and were right there with Joni Mitchell and had all her albums right from the start so she was a large part of our household.

“I’m sure that on many levels hearing her stories and hearing her sensibilities, has an influence on one’s own sensibilities growing up.”   

Matthews will join with singer, songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke, rock music singer- songwriter Ella Hooper, jazz specialist Kristin Berardi and multi-talented Rachel Gaudry, whom the Los Angeles Times described as possessing “angelic grace and voice”, in recreating Mitchell’s life and career for the Both Sides Now – Celebrating the Songs of Joni Mitchell show at QPAC Concert Hall on Wednesday July 18.

Backed by what has been described as an “exceptional 12 piece band” the five Australians will perform some of the most iconic songs of our generation.

Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell’s songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy. She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards.

Matthews, whom Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett said had a voice that  “is to the vocal chords what the Daintree is to the wilderness”, said she jumped at the chance to be part of the Joni Mitchell tribute because of the team behind the show.

“It’s the same great guys that do the Beatles White Album, Phill Jameson, Josh Pike and Tim Rodgers etc,” she said.

“They put together seven women and a 16 member band and strings eight years ago and it was only for three shows and it was just so exquisite.

“It meant so much to us at the time, but they never did it again so we are all just thrilled that it has been brought up again.

“It’s been scaled down to five fantastic women and each bring something so special.

“When one is doing a lead the others are on stage signing the backing vocals. It’s a fantastic all in for all of us.”

Matthews said Mitchell inspired people because “she is just such a poet and e has an amazing way of explaining a very deep feeling that everybody knows what she’s talking about”.

“She’s an amazing, intelligent person who just speaks to your more intelligent self.”

You can get tickets to Both Sides Now – Celebrating the Songs of Joni Mitchell through the links below:

Brisbane– July 18th- QPAC Concert Hall- 7:30pm

Melbourne– July 17th- Arts Centre Melbourne- 7:30pm

Sydney–  July 15th- Sydney Opera House- 3:00pm & 7:30pm

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