Joslyn Fillman: My hometown hero |

Joslyn Fillman: My hometown hero

Joslyn Fillman
Features Editor

There are a fair number of big names to come from Nevada County. I’ve been working at The Union long enough to see a few of the same heroes crop up in these pages. We’re proud of our people — often proud of what they accomplish out in the world. The sports pages play testament to the greatness of many of our alumni. Drivers like Alexander Rossi and Brad Sweet grab headlines on the track; Tanner Vallejo and Spencer Havner on the gridiron. Plenty of others too, from martial artists to equestrians.

But beyond sports, there’s music and writing and art and all the many ways in which Nevada County shines.

And for me, there’s one undisputed hometown hero — always has been — and that’s Joanna Newsom. The pianist, harpists, singer and songwriter extraordinaire announced her first tour in three years in April. To call me a super fan might be an understatement. I bought up San Francisco tickets the moment they went on sale, sitting in a cafe in downtown Nevada City and praying their wifi would hold out for the transaction. It did.

Newsom’s tour started last week, with the first two shows in Philadelphia. Now she spends a week with audiences in New York before making her way through Chicago and Milwaukee. And then, finally, two months of shows in California.

We may be only four shows in as of press time, but I’ve seen the pictures and the videos, compared the setlist from each night, made playlists and started my fall of studying up. I had the internal debate with myself: do I wait, look at nothing, and go into the concert with no expectations?

Impossible. I don’t have the will power.

There’s a whole string of dates in big cities elsewhere before Newsom makes her way to our general neck of the woods. But I already know I have the opportunity to be a part of something special. A night (or two) to remember.

I’m more than a little proud to belong to this same little community as Joanna Newsom. Her music has traveled with me far from home — and brought me back. I find her talent and heart extraordinary. And inspiring. I’m thankful for every piece of talent and self she’s shared with us over the years.

No doubt, I’ll have more to say come Nov. 25. Until then, I’ll be following along from home, and wishing the best of luck to our hometown hero.

Joslyn Fillman is the features editor at The Union. You can reach her at 530-477-4256 or

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