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Tuesday 12th December, 2006 12:00PM

In 2005 Joanna Newsom and Smog (Bill Callahan) performed two sold out shows in Auckland and Wellington. Those lucky enough to attend those performances witnessed something captivating and otherworldly: a unique voice, a magical harp and an incredible set of songs.

Since the New Zealand/Australia tour and the release of her first full album, The Milk-Eyed Mender, Joanna Newsom has continued to tour the United States and then Europe, Japan and a beautiful trip in Iceland. Along the road, there were lots of festivals: Bonaroo, Sasquatch, Green Man, Rothskilde, ATP, and the Patti Smith-curated Meltdown Festival…maybe even a few others. Joanna played a benefit concert with her hero Neil Young too. She blew everyone away at all these shows.

In 2006 Joanna Newsom released her second full-length album Ys – which is an even more ambitious project. Recorded by Steve Albini, with string arrangements by Van Dyke Parks and mixed by Jim O’Rourke, the album has received outstanding reviews. These include five stars from prestigious magazines such as Uncut (“A new baroque pop masterpiece”), the Observer (“No one is like the gothic harpist”) and the Guardian, (“Within minutes of it starting, you're struck by the rare sensation that you've entering uncharted, original territory”). Those who have seen her on stage know that the live experience is something else again.

Although Joanna Newsom only started singing relatively recently, she has played the harp since she was seven years old. She released her first EP, Walnut Whales, in 2002 and toured with Catpower and Will Oldham. Her second EP, Yarn And Glue, was released in 2003 and following this she signed to US indie Drag City.

For this tour she returns with Bill Callahan (Smog) and Holly Throsby (Auckland Only) Joanna Newsom and Bill Callahan New Zealand Dates:

Christchurch – Saturday 10th February – The Harbourlight, Lyttleton

Wellington –- Sunday 11th February - San Francisco Bath house

Auckland – Monday 12th February – Hopetoun Alpha (with Holly Throsby)

Tickets on sale nationally from Monday 18 December, at and Real Groovy stores

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