Hejira (revisited)

Hejira (revisited)

Guy Jackson 

Hejira (revisited) is the fresh and deeply ethereal retelling of Joni original 1976 ‘Hejira’ composition.

Nine multi-genre vocalists sit within arrangements that are, surprisingly, devoid of guitars. Instead, piano, tuned percussion and various instruments of the orchestra tell the nine travel-weary stories.

1) Coyote (revisited)
Gemma Kirk vocals and BVs

2) Amelia (revisited)
Laura James vocals and BVs

3) Furry sings the Blues (revisited)
Shahid Abbas Khan vocals, Robin Christian bansuri flute, Will Jackson drums

4) A Strange Boy (revisited)
Louise Golbey vocals and BVs

5) Hejira (revisited)
Julia Fordham vocals and BVs, BJ Cole pedal steel, Robin Porter sax, Will Jackson drums and percussion

6) Song for Sharon (revisited)
Sally Barker vocals

7) Black Crow (revisited)
Natalie Gelman vocals and BVs, Tom Pickles cello

8) Blue Motel Room (revisited)
Kevin Godley vocals, Louise Golbey BVs, Will Jackson drums and percussion

9) Refuge of the Roads (revisited)
Jon Baker vocals, Davy Spillane low whistle, Steve Pretty flugelhorn

Arranged, recorded and produced by Guy Jackson

Final mix and mastering Will Jackson

Music and lyrics Joni Mitchell


Coyote revisited

Guy Jackson featuring Gemma Kirk

Gemma Kirk • vocals and backing vocals

Guy Jackson • arrangement, keyboards, production

“Coyote revisited” features the stunning voice of Gemma Kirk who elected to take on this vibrant opening track from Joni Mitchell’s Hejira album. The arrangement behind her voice is totally “guitar-less” and features electric pianos, marimbas, xylophones, several synthesisers and various instruments from the string section.

Vocalist Gemma Kirk said:

“I have been a big fan of Joni since I first heard her music in my teens – the quirky storytelling, moods, the stunning instrumentation. Discovering Hejira after Blue and Dog Eat Dog, I fell further in love. The whole album feels like such an escape to me.


Coyote felt like the obvious choice to me – it’s so playful, the rich lyrics come in thick and fast, the character she depicts is so strong. It’s familiar for me and I’m sure many others of our own previous experiences with a certain type of man! The bass line from Jaco Pastorius is insanely good – it underpins and reflects perfectly the nature of this unique track.


It took me a couple of hours to learn the lyrics enough to sing it all in one piece. I really wanted to get the delivery right – there’s so much to convey and to relish! Also to approach a song with such strong American references and spoken word sections in an English accent was interesting.


My reaction to this new version was WOW! It’s so fundamentally different not to have guitar on these Joni tracks and I think it works so well. It allows for Guy’s stunning use of instrumentation and dynamics to come through and bring something new. On this and every “revisited” track I have been blown away by the arrangement, the stunning voices and the emotion of it all.


Thank you for inviting me to be part of this amazingly special project”

Amelia revisited

Guy Jackson with Laura James

Laura James • vocals

Guy Jackson • arrangement, keyboards, production

“Amelia revisited” features the beautiful voice of Laura James who I’ve worked with before on projects. So I played her a very early rough of my guitar-less version of Amelia only to be told that her parents were so into the Hejira album around the time of her birth that they gave her a middle name of Amelia!!! That clinched it. She had to be the vocalist on my new revisited version.

In my fresh interpretation of the music, there are no guitars. Arrangements are all keyboard-based using pianos, tuned percussion, instruments of the orchestra and more…

Arranger and producer Guy Jackson said:

Hejira is my favourite album of all time. I came across it as a student and found it totally mesmerising. Decades later the album still has that compelling quality – is it Joni’s perfect vocal delivery, her relentless guitar work, the lack of a traditional song structure or the musicians she worked with in the 1976 studio?


“The idea for reworking came about a few years ago when I created ‘Hejira’ as a test track for a new singer. That project went no further, but by then I was hooked.


“After exploring the song structures, I decided not to create guitar-based arrangements for fear of the project turning into a series of karaoke tracks. Making the tracks keyboard-based gave a fresh twist to the music, after which the vocalists did the rest! And here you can witness the captivating vocals of Laura James.”

Furry Sings the Blues revisited

Guy Jackson featuring Shahid Abbas Khan

Shahid Abbas Khan • vocals

Robin Christian • Bansuri flute

Guy Jackson • arrangement, keyboards, production

Let me introduce Shahid Abbas Khan the talented vocalist who performs on Furry Sings the Blues (revisited).

He’s a truly gifted treasure and has a Sufi singing style rarely heard in British Asian music.

Alongside Shahid is the exceptional music talent of Robin Christian who plays the North Indian bamboo flute.

Hear their North Indian tradition applied to the Joni Mitchell’s Furry Sings the Blues track

A Strange Boy revisited

Guy Jackson featuring Louise Golbey

Louise Golbey • vocals and backing vocals

Guy Jackson • arrangement, keyboards, production

My guest vocalist for this A Strange Boy is Louise Golbey who is an established artist on the live music scene of London and beyond. As well as a stunning lead vocal performance she sings all her own backing vocals. 

The arrangement is totally keyboard based using pianos, tuned percussion, drums and instruments of the orchestra, especially clarinets!

Vocalist Louise Golbey said:

“I shamefully was unaware of this track even though I have heard a lot of Joni Mitchell music and adore her voice. 

I was very honoured to have been asked to sing this song, and I felt from the album it was one that I could lend my voice to more easily as it has a very soulful feel in the melody.”