Nashville singer-songwriter Lena Stone looks beyond the typical Christmas cover songs with a stunning recording of "River," Joni Mitchell's 1971 wintery heartbreaker. Despite the song's opening lyric, "It's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees/They're putting up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace," and incorporation of "Jingle Bells," the song stands in stark contrast to the holly jolly tunes that prevail throughout the season.
But Stone says, for her, the melancholy song, originally recorded for Mitchell's timeless album Blue, has always been a holiday favorite.
"'River' is the perfect holiday release for me--it's not a song people typically think of this time of year, but it's always been a Christmas song to me," Stone tells Wide Open Country. "Joni Mitchell is one of my biggest inspirations, and to cover one of her songs felt like a challenge, but a challenge that I was up for. My producer Dave Pittenger and I decided to keep the production simple just like Joni's version, with only piano and a lead vocal. And my incredible friend David Dorn played the keys so beautifully and really brought the song to life. Gearing up for the release of my EP in early 2020, I want to show my fans even more of who I am and where I come from, and releasing my version of 'River' felt like a really special way to do that."
Stone released her new song "Hotel" earlier this year.
For more information on Lena Stone, visit her official website.