Chatting with Chicago blues sensation Joanna Connor

Joanna Connor. Photo by Allison Morgan


By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Editor

Rock At Night loves to celebrate women and we proudly have a category on our website “Women in Rock.”  With our upcoming Spring print edition, it is only fitting that we interview blues guitarist and singer extraordinaire Joanna Connor.

Joanna Connor’s album 4801 South Indiana Avenue will be released on February 26, 2021 via KTBA Records

Slide guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter Joanna Connor has been a staple in the Chicago blues scene for over 30 years.  She spent most of the 1990s touring Europe and has cut over a dozen albums and EPs under labels like Blind Pig Records and Ruf Records. In recent years, Connor became a sensation on YouTube when videos popped up of her jamming at barbecues and festivals.  Many, including us, at the time asked, “Why haven’t I heard of her before this? She is phenomenal!”

Well, our questions and hopes were answered as Joe Bonamassa has taken Ms. Connor under his wing to bring her to world attention. Under the thoughtful guide of Bonamassa, Connor will be releasing an album 4801 South Indiana Avenue through his record label Keeping The Blues Alive on February 26, 2021.  Rock At Night has listened to the full album and it may be the best blues album (sorry, Joe) that we’ve heard in years.  The album is available to pre-order here.

Rock At Night says of her single and video “I Feel So Good”: There’s authenticity felt as one listens and watches Joanna Connor singing on a stage in a Chicago bar, after all, this has been her home, her domain, her throne, for the last 37 years. Connor is the real deal. She’s been living and breathing the blues all these years, honing her skills as a singer and guitarist–and indeed, she is the queen.

Just listen and watch the video for “I Feel So Good”.  Connor has total command as her hands slide up and down the Gibson guitar’s neck, raw sparks flying from her fingertips. Yes, the blues are alive in Chicago!  I can’t wait to hear the rest of this album!

In this podcast, Joanna Connor discusses her moving to Chicago as a young musician; the making of her upcoming album 4801 South Indiana Avenue; working with Joe Bonamassa; touring in Europe; and more!

Look for a feature article on Joanna Connor in Rock At Night’s upcoming Spring print issue (out on March 21st) and our full review of 4801 South Indiana Avenue. You can pre-order the magazine here:

Rock At Night’s Podcast Channel–Listen to the iTunes Audio Interview Here   or   Google Podcast

Joanna Connor by Maryam Wilcher
Rock At Night’s theme song is “Get On Down If You Feel Up To It” by Billy “Bass” Alford
Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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