When it comes to harp players, Andreas Vollenweider quickly comes to mind. But Drag City’s Joanna Newsom goes one up on Vollenweider – apart from playing the harp, she is also a singer-songwriter. Though Newsom’s voice might recall Kate Bush before the latter’s voice broke, Newsom’s eclectic mix of vocals accompanied by the harp is at once ethereal, kooky and somewhat punky.
The April 7, 2005 performance at the Club Ampere was part of the An Evening With Drag City programme. The previous March saw the release of Newsom’s debut album, The Milk-Eyed Mender, and the Munich show had her performing a number of tracks from the album.
Newsom’s second album, Ys, was ranked third in Pitchfork’s Top Albums of 2006. The album features orchestrations and arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, production from Steve Albini, and mixing by Drag City label-mate Jim O’Rourke. For those who still need convincing, Newsom has also toured with indie acts Will Oldham and Devendra Banhart.
Thanks to hanno who shared the lossless FM tracks on the internet.
Joanna Newsom’s performance at Munich’s Club Ampere on 7 April 2005, as recorded for a local FM radio show. The sound quality is excellent, with an intimate, warm atmosphere to these delicate songs sung in her strangulated vocal style.
Recorded live at the Club Ampere, Munich, Germany, April 7, 2005
Arielle Daly (flute)
Joanne Newsome (vocals, harp)
01. Announcement/Bridges and Balloons 2.58
02. Announcement 2.15
03. Sawdust And Diamonds 9.22
04. The Book Of Right-On 4.07
05. Sadie 5.02
06. What We Have Known 5.49
07. This Side Of The Blue 4.12
08. Peach Plum Pear 3.32
09. Swansea 3.59
10. Cosmea 7.08
11. En Gallop 4.41
12. Three Little Babies 3.56
13. Announcement 0.55
14. The Sprout And The Bean (fades out) 1.51
All songs written by Joanne Newsome