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Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy Criticized Joni Mitchell for Writing a Less Than Enthusiastic Letter

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Jeff Tweedy, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter whose critically acclaimed albums include Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and “A Ghost Is Born,” has released a documentary album called “River: The Joni Letters,” in which he tears up letters written by Joni Mitchell to a stranger, to participate in a journalism class. His new album is “In Spite of Ourselves,” a 10-song collection that encompasses Tweedy’s feelings of doubt, betrayal and sorrow. Tweedy told Billboard the set was inspired by Mitchell’s jaundiced response to her own well-received covers of works by Carl Orff and Kurt Weill. Listen to the new album:

When Mitchell called him an “exclamation point,” he said, it was “pretty awful.” But he had an answer for it. “I thought: To really walk away from this, you’d have to have ripped Joni’s hands off.” Tweedy began experimenting with the music he was writing, knowing he needed a tune “that would accept Joni for who she was.” “That was, somehow, the project,” he told Billboard.

“In Spite of Ourselves” will be available on Oct. 17.

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