Chicago-based slide guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter, Joanna Connor, who is best known as one of the reigning Queens of blue rock guitar, releases her 14th album 4801 South Indiana Avenue on Joe Bonamassa’s new independent blues record label Keeping The Blues Alive on February 26, 2021. The album is available to pre-order here.
Today she also shares the upbeat first single “I Feel So Good” along with the companion music video.
The new album, the follow up to her critically acclaimed studio album Rise, was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith at Ocean Way Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
Joanna has played guitar with the who’s who of blues including the likes of James Cotton, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Page, and Junior Wells. Debuting at Chicago’s premiere blues club Kingston Mines in the 1980s, she played there three nights a week ever since, in between gigs at larger clubs and festivals, before the spread of the pandemic earlier this year.
An aggressively edgy and highly innovative blues rock guitarist with a tight groove that encompasses jazz and funk, Joanna’s hailed by many as one of the most powerful and influential female guitarists on the planet.
When Joanna was asked how Joe came to produce her album, she remembers it like it was yesterday.
“We recorded the album in Nashville. Joe retweeted one of my videos last May and it went viral on his site. I thanked him in a message, gave him my contact info, and he immediately responded.”
“He opened for me years ago at the House of Blues Backporch Stage in Chicago, where I played weekly for years! Joe was totally aware of me for years. He wanted to make an album for me that he felt I needed to make and had never really made.”
But why did Joe Bonamassa want to produce Joanna’s new album? “I remember asking Joe point-blank, ‘Out of all the guitar players in the world why me?’ He said, “Because you have an intensity about your playing that most people don’t have. As a matter of fact, I wish I had some of that in myself where you just let it go, and you don’t even think about it.”
The new album features the crème de le crème of musicians. Joanna cites working with them as an unforgettable experience.
“Playing with Reese Wynans was an honour and a privilege and brought me to tears. Having Josh Smith and Joe playing guitar on every cut and arranging everything was a gift to me. Bassist Calvin Turner was incredibly groovy and solid and was responsible for the horn arrangements. Lemar Carter is one of the hottest drummers on the music scene and plays with Frank Ocean and so many others. He’s a master of time and taste and groove. We recorded every song in a max of three takes. We were all in the same room together, except for Joe who was in the control room playing and producing. Making this album felt like a sweet gig.”