Review by Matt Wong & Song
M.C. Records has released Rise by The Queen of Blues/Rock Guitar, Joanna Connor. It's Connor's 3rd recording for the label and the follow up to her highly successful 2016 comeback recording Six String Stories. Off the album, "Earthshaker" is a great way to introduce yourself to Joanna Connor's undeniable gift of guitar and voice.
“Earthshaker” begins with an instrumental section, with lead and rhythm guitars, piano, bass, and drums. Connor plays all the guitars on the track, a feat within itself, and immediately catches her listeners’ attention with her expressive playing.
Connor’s charismatic vocals join in with the first chorus, and it’s evident that she’s as equally talented with her voice as she is with her amazing playing chops. She supports her vocals with well orchestrated guitar parts that are interesting and full of natural groove. After three choruses, Connor launches into a burning hot solo, further captivating listeners with her instrumental prowess and virtuosity. Connor then sings one more chorus before finishing the song up with more guitar wizardry to knock your socks to Mars.
“Earthshaker” was written as a tribute to Connor’s bassist, Joewaun Jay Red Scott. Connor describes Scott’s playing as having brought her “music to a whole new level.” Lyrics that standout in the song include “If your body aint moving, you better call 911” and “every style he plays, he knows what to say. Soul music in his DNA.”
“Earthshaker” by Joanna Connor is hits it out of the blues ball park. A blues tune through and through, “Earthshaker” demonstrates Connor’s deep knowledge and ultra respect of the blues idiom as well also her unique and captivating sound. Connor is a killer blues guitarist and dynamic vocalist who will leave you in awe.
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For more information on Joanna Connor, please visit her website.
About Joanne Connor
Since 2016, Joanna has been busy touring all over the U.S. and the world, something she hadn’t done since 2000. She has also made some new guitar friends including Joe Bonamassa, Traci Gunns and Vernon Reid of Living Color. In fact, Joanna just played at Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive Cruise in February.
Joanna Connor takes the occasion to stretch herself musically on Rise, a process that began with her M.C second release Six String Stories in 2016. This time she goes even further, touching on jazz, Celtic music and even hip-hop. And the presence of a new backup band-- drummer Tyrone Mitchell and Cameron Lewis, bassist Joewaun Jay Red Scott and keyboardist Delby Littlejohn-- adds some fresh energy.
According to Joanna, “The whole record is me and a bunch of younger men,” she says. “So there was some kind of power coming through them to me.”
It’s no coincidence that Connor did most of the writing herself this time around, coming up with one of her most personal statements. “It’s all about rising in life, rising to know yourself, rising to meet the challenge of exploring yourself deeper. Putting it out there.”