Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
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FINALLY, a great female guitarist (excellent voice also)
(5 out of 5 stars)
"4 1/2 StarsOur population is 51% female, yet the ratio of really innovative, powerful, emotional guitar-oriented musicians who play with an edge to their music, by my personal estimation, runs something like 50 to 1 in favor of male musicians. Sure there have been a few groups out there that have attracted attention - Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Hole, Sleater Kinney - but by and large, the critics and public lavished praise upon these artists not because they are superior songwriters and performers, but because they are superior to the meager pickings from other comparable female artists. Until recent years, women have been represented in blues basically as singers (e.g. Etta James, Koko Taylor and Katie Webster - all great by the way) but not as instrument players. A few years ago, when I first became interested in blues, I started to suspect that there might be a great blues guitarist out there named Lucinda Williams. Based on her two excellent slide guitar songs that were getting airplay on the radio, I bought the Car Wheels cd, and boy was I disappointed - the rest of the album was filled with slow, grating, fingernails-on-the-chalkboard, country-folk-pop slop that was just godawfully intolerable to hear. Then Susan Tedeschi came along and I finally thought that some progress was being made on behalf of female musicians. I thought that her debut album and some concert footage I have seen showed a very decent singer and guitarist and I was satisfied with the purchase.However, I just recently purchased Slidetime and realized that I had been missing out on a fantastic blues singer and guitarist who has been burning up the frets since the days when Ms. Tedeschi was still doing college musicals and exploring a career as a big-haired pop singer. If Susan Tedeschi has taken a few strong steps on the road toward making great, powerful, guitar-oriented music, then Joanna Connor is cruising at 75mph in the fastlane. Connor is a truly gifted guitarist, particularly with the slide guitar, and if she was onstage with George Thoroughgood (heck, let's even dig up Hound Dog Taylor and place him in this little gig) I suspect that she would not fare the worst by comparison. She plays a good mix of blues and rock, from the hard driving Nothin' but the Blues and Slide On In, to the much slower, Pea Vine Blues (and unlike some slow blues numbers, she still maintains an edge on the music on this one). Connor has an original, non-derivative sound, but to give a bit more a bit better comparison, I would say she sounds a bit like a cross between Thoroughgood and Luther Allison. To give a more recent comparison, if you like Walter Trout and slide guitars, I practically guarantee that you will like this album.As an added bonus, Connor's singing is excellent - she has a strong, slightly deep, but very melodic-sounding voice. Like her guitar playing, her singing is confident, excellent and not the least bit tentative.So why did I take away half a star from my review score? The lyrics on a few of these songs were a bit too simplistic for my tastes. On two of the songs (Nothin' But The Blues and It's Not The Rock), Connor sings praises for blues music. Many, many of the great blues legends have written and performed songs with the word "blues" in the title, but the lyrics in those songs talk about what it was that gave the artist the blues, not just about the blues themselves. It vaguely reminds me of the early 80's, when AC/DC came out with "Rock 'n Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" or some of those other odes to rock/metal by groups like Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister. Pretty minor criticism, though.So, overall, this cd has great tunes, guitars, and singing and I highly recommend it. I only hope that more female musicians listen to Connor and realize that it is not just possible but preferential for women to play really heartfelt guitar-based music that packs a genuine emotional edge.P.S. in case anyone thinks I am chauvinistic, please re-read my comments carefully. The music industry has a very male-dominated history, with most female musicians being relegated to play music that is "nice" or "pleasant." Most female musicians in the popular musical categories, whether from personal preference or industry pressure, play music that really lacks a punch. My intent is not to express any feelings that women are inferior musicians (which I don't believe for a second) but that I wished there were enought female musicians like Joanna Connor around that we could simply discuss them as great musicians, rather than have to add a qualifier that they are great female musicians."
Slidetime proves that she's THE female slide guitar player.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Bonn, Germany | 05/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It was really hard for me to imagine a respectable and serious female slide guitar player. I then happened to see Joanna Connor on stage a couple of years ago, just out of curiosity. This was the day I changed my mind. She was intense, dynamic, and powerfull, just to mention a few attributes of her playing. I liked Big Girl Blues, but Slidetime is my favorite. Just listen to "You don't love me" and "Slide on in" and you will appreciate her talent as guitarist. I also like the lyrics of "It's not the Rock". I was even more impressed when I knew that Joanna Connor was pregnant when she did the studio work for this album."
Forging a New Style
HilfyChanur | Elkhart, IN United States | 04/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Connor's musical style mixes old and new, blues and rock quite adroitly. If you're familiar with both, you'll hear references to Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Ritchie Blackmore mixed into the Chicago-style electric blues. If you're a blues purist, this might offend, but in my opinion this is the kind of experimentation that should be encouraged. Connor's lyrics are somewhat less inspired, but this doesn't necessarily detract. Recommended."