JOAN Baez, New York City singer, songwriter, Dylan muse, activist and 2017 Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame inductee, opens her 12-date British and Irish tour with a sold-out show at York Barbican on Tuesday at 7.30pm.

Her only Yorkshire concert on her Fare Thee Well Tour will be the first chance to hear the 77-year-old Baez perform songs from her new studio album, Whistle Down The Wind, released last Friday on Proper Records after a ten-year hiatus.

"While 2018 will be my last year of formal extended touring, I'm looking forward to being on the road with a beautiful new album about which I am truly proud," said Baez, ahead of her world tour's opening night in Stockholm last week. "I welcome the opportunity to share this new music, as well as long-time favourites, with my audiences around the world."

Produced by three-time Grammy Award winner Joe Henry and recorded over ten days of sessions in Los Angeles, Whistle Down The Wind gathers material by some of Baez's favourite songwriters: Josh Ritter, Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Anohni, Zoe Mulford, Eliza Gilkyson, Tim Eriksen and Joe Henry himself.

The album is her first studio set since 2008's Grammy-nominated Day After Tomorrow, produced by Steve Earle. Not only has Baez made a new record, she also has held her first solo exhibition of paintings at Mill Valley, California, this year.

The collection celebrated Mischief Makers in portraits of risk-taking visionaries who have brought about social change through non-violent action, and subsequently all the works were bought by the Federated Indians of Graton Racheria and donated to Sonoma State University, where eventually they will be displayed in a new social justice learning centre on campus.

Baez will be completing a hattrick of York Barbican shows on Tuesday, having played there in January 2004 and February 2012, as well as at Harrogate International Centre in 2007.