Photo: Kevin Smith
Joanna Connor Band at FitzGerald's, Berwyn
Friday, December 5, 2023
Doors: 6 pm | Show: 7 pm
Tickets: $10– $15
Find ticket info HERE
ABOUT THE ARTIST
“A Masterpiece of Blues Rock.”– Music News
“Joanna Connor is at the top of her game.”– Rock and Blues Muse
“The road has been long, but Joanna Connor has proven that her hard work and talent will always be appreciated, and her name will be on the lips of countless more people from this moment onwards. Simply brilliant.” – Metal Talk
“Music like this makes you realize just how vital Blues is and how it sits at the core of so much great music made in the last 60 years… terrific album.” – Music News
Numerous artists have been influenced by or had love affairs with the iconic art form called the Blues. Not many sought after it by diving headfirst into its epicenter – Chicago, and even fewer women have made the attempt.
Joanna made a pilgrimage at the age of 19 to the Windy City and set her mind to move there three years later. An abridged version of her years spent during the ‘80s prolific blues explosion would include years spent playing with Dion Payton and the 43rd St Blues Band in residencies at Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge, Theresa’s, and the Cuddle Inn on Chicago’s South Side, absorbing musical and life lessons and playing guitar with Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Phil Guy, James Cotton, Lefty Dizz, Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Littlejohn, Magic Slim, Eddie Shaw and even Jimmy Page (at Kingston Mines).
Debuting as a bandleader at Chicago’s premiere blues club Kingston Mines in the 1980s, she has played there three nights a week ever since; in between gigs at larger clubs and festivals, and 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.
Years spent touring Europe, Asia, South America, deals with Gibson Guitars, Victoria Amps, almost a decade spent opening and recording occasionally with the legend Luther Allison in Europe and Albert Collins in the U.S., increased her notoriety. The release of almost a dozen recordings on her own and also numerous guest spots with others, a documentary film made about her by German Television WDR and several national and international television appearances all blazed a trail for future female guitarists and her hybrid blend of blues, rock and funk became a template for dozens of acts to follow.
In 2019, a few viral videos and her relentless work ethic caught the attention of Joe Bonamassa, and within a year Joe’s passionate and articulate vision to bring to the world Joanna’s unique, blazing, gritty and electrifying blues guitar prowess came to life. His expertise as a musician, vocalist and producer cut to the core of Joanna’s tremendous and uncompromising musical life story and brought to fruition her best and most representative work to date. 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, Joe and the rest of the musicians on the album dug deeply and conjured up an authentic, alive and kicking non-derivative set of Chicago Blues.
Says Joanna, “We chose the album title 4801 South Indiana Avenue because it was the actual street address of the hallowed funky blues sanctuary Theresa’s Lounge. We want the listener to open that door, walk in and feel to their core some of the magic that a place like that brought night after night. It was an honor to bring this to you, the listener.”
Not surprisingly 4801 South Indiana Avenue instantly shot up and rose to #1 on the various blues charts. Since its release on Joe Bonamassa’ s new independent blues record label Keeping The Blues Alive on February 26, 2021, Joanna’s career has been on a roll; after the long shut down of the pandemic subsided, she resumed her residency at Kingston Mines and began touring across the U.S. and Europe once again.
And it seems there is just no stopping the force of nature that is Joanna. She recently signed with blues great Mike Zito's record company, Gulf Coast Records, and released the critically acclaimed new disc titled Best of Me in June 2023.