Now this is the real deal as Chicago based slide guitar virtuoso and singer/songwriter Joanna Connor releases her upcoming studio album “4801 South Indiana Avenue” on February 26th 2021 via Joe Bonamassa’s new independant blues record label Keeping The Blues Alive.
Even more thrilling is that Joe plays on every track and produced the album along with Josh Smith at Ocean Way recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The album is entirely devoid of effects, just relying on vintage amps and every song being laid down in a maximum of three takes.
Album opener is a cover version of ‘Destination’ by The Assassins sees the prowess of Joanna immediately as she unleashes some fingernail snapping opening notes that flew around my headphones like angry hornets as the party gets started with a ballistic hoedown. Her backing band lock in tight to create some ballsy barroom boogie and a shared vocal with Jimmy Hall is fiesty. A lengthy piano piece midway will get your fingers clicking as her lead outro guitar solo is incendiary!
Fleet fingered piano makes for a scintillating intro to ‘Come Back Home’ and it comes back home on seismic grooves and a lung shredding vocal as Joanna pours her heart out and lets rip on her fretboard with verve for two trailblazing solos.
Another cover sees ‘Bad News’ from Luther Allison given a shakedown as this six minute opus eerily opens and closes on a tolling bell. It’s a bluesy howled ballad with vocals that pick you up and don’t let you go until Joanna has broken your heart from their sheer intensity and her guitar lines are like bolts of lightning!
‘I Feel So Good’, first single lifted from the album brings the party vibes back and biting down hard with slide guitar overload packing a knockout punch. It flies down the railway track on a snare driven snarl and the pace eases off midway for some fancy picking until all hell breaks loose for a full band finish.
A brass section adds a forceful edge to the raunchy rhythm and blues of ‘For The Love Of A Man’.
A tortured vocal tugs at the heart strings as Joanna delivers her most caustic plea in ‘Trouble Trouble’. Musically it’s a boisterous stomp but the spotlight is stolen by over the top guitar work.
‘Please Help’ is a bass heavy blustre that adds verve to this toe tapper as Joanna tests the metal mettle of her slide.
‘Cut You Loose’ is a jazzy jig that bounds along tight but also loose. The pace is brought down by a meandering guitar solo and canters to a close.
‘Part Time Love’ is so laid back it could be horizontal. A sexy saxophone gives it a sultry soothe and it’s finger picking good when Joe trades solos with Joanna.
‘It’s My Time’, written by Josh Smith closes this glorious album hauntingly. A minimal musical backing leaves plenty of room for Joanna to muse over her musical aspirations with a spoken word vocal. It’s an inspired idea from Joe and she proves her doubters wrong by saying “Let me show you why” that sees her slide guitar playing head up to the stratosphere!
Band links below include a pre-order link for the album. https://www.facebook.com/joannaconnorband https://shop.jbonamassa.com/collections/ktba-records
Album track listing :-
Come Back Home.
I Feel So Good.
For The Love Of A Man.
Cut You Loose.
Part Time Love.
It’s My Time.
Joanna Connor – Lead Vocals/Guitar on all tracks.
Joe Bonamassa – Guitar on all tracks and solos on tracks nine and ten.
Josh Smith – Guitar on all tracks.
Reese Wynan – Keyboards.
Calvin Turner – Bass Guitar and horn arrangemaents.
Lemar Carter – Drums/Percussion.
Steve Patrick – Trumpet.
Mark Douthit – Saxophone.
Barry Greene – Trombone.
Jimmy Hall – Vocals on track one.