JOANNA NEWSOM: Have One On Me (Drag City)

themilkman on Mar 2nd 2010 12:57 am

Joanna Newsom: Have One On Me

Have One On Me
Drag City 2010
18 Tracks. 124mins01secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP iTunes: DLD

Joanna Newsom could only follow the sheer brilliance of the majestic Ys, released three and a half ago already, by rising up to a challenge of a different kind. Have One On Me is a daunting affair by any standards. Eighteen songs spread over three discs and two hours, this is epic in every possible way, but there is here very little left of the expensive orchestrations devised by Van Dyke Parks. Instead, Ys Street Band leader Ryan Francesconi brings Newsom’s songs to life in much more subtle ways, drafting in banjos, acoustic and electric guitars, Bulgarian tambura, kaval, mandolin, Hammond organ, strings, brass and woodwinds, while Newsom alternates between the harp and the piano, her style as assertive with the latter as it is light and sharp with the former.

The songs, while still often developing over several minutes, are in general more contained, but there is no such a thing as traditional song forms in Miss Newsom’s work. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (4)

Joanna Newsom, Somerset House, London, 20/07/2008

themilkman on Jul 22nd 2008 01:03 am

Joanna Newsom, Sommerset House, London, 20/07/2008

It was a busy day for Joanna Newsom this Sunday 20 July, with no less than two performances, the first at noon at the Latitude Festival in Southwold, Suffolk, and the second in the grand settings of Somerset House in the heart of London. This had left her with very little time to familiarise herself with the evening venue. As she took her place behind her harp, she was visibly incredulous, first at how white the crowd was, then at the venue itself, whispering a shy ‘this is… mad’ as she looked around. Continue Reading »

Filed in Live | Comments (2)


themilkman on Dec 12th 2006 09:15 pm

Joanna Newsom: Ys

Drag City 2006
05 Tracks. 55mins41secs

No word can convey the emotional turmoil that Joanna Newsom’s Ys causes to this reviewer’s soul. Neither can words begin to do any justice to such a complex and tortuous piece of work. For her second album, Ms Newsom has seriously upped the stakes. Already, The Milk-Eyed Mender, released on Drag City over two years ago, demonstrated the extent of her story-telling talent and her musical capability. With Ys, she takes this to a completely new level and dares going where very few have gone before her. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (2)