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Joanna Newsom

Although Joanna Newsom's Appalachian-meets-avant-garde take on folk music is her most celebrated work, her range is even more inclusive than her solo career suggests: the classically trained harpist adds a decidedly different, textural sound to Nervous Cop, the noise rock trio that also features Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Hella's Zach Hill, and she also plays keyboards for the Pleased, another San Francisco-area band more akin to Blondie or Television than her other projects. Like her resume, Newsom's family and hometown of Nevada City, CA, were musically rich: her mother trained to be a concert pianist, her father was a guitarist, and her brother and sister played the drums and cello, respectively. Meanwhile, the Newsoms also counted composer/pianist Terry Riley as a neighbor, along with Howard Hersh and W. Jay Sydeman. --allmusic.com

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