Premiere: Jillette Johnson Covers Joni Mitchell's Wintery 'River'

I like it when artists look for less-popular holiday tunes, ones that aren't necessarily new (which is a task of its own), but aren't one of the two dozen or so that have literally been covered hundreds of times. Anyone else not looking for another version of "Jingle Bells"?
11/18/2014 10:34 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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The holidays are approaching--or, depending on what stores you're shopping in, they are upon us--and that means another round of cover versions of some of the best-known and most beloved tracks, each done in a slightly different way. While some people think the Christmas music game is over and done with, I personally love the annual refreshment of classics, and every year search out and try to find which ones will stick with me through the season and for the coming years.

I especially like it when artists look for less-popular holiday tunes, ones that aren't necessarily new (which is a task of its own), but aren't one of the two dozen or so that have literally been covered hundreds of times. Anyone else not looking for another version of "Jingle Bells"?

Thankfully one of my recent favorites, Jillette Johnson, has recorded a few wintery tracks, the best of which is a reworking of Joni Mitchell's "River." While Joni's original will always be the best option out there, Jillette is so phenomenally talented, this simply can't be missed. She mixes classic Joni and even Stevie Nicks, while still managing to make the song entirely her own.

After listening to "River," you'll really want to listen to more of Johnson's work. She released her debut album last year, and it's one for the books.

I never thought I'd say it, but I'm ready for winter now. Thanks, Jillette.

"River" is available on iTunes now.