Joanna Connor "4801 South Indiana Avenue" Album
Chicago-based slide guitar virtuoso and singer-songwriter Joanna Connor releases her 14th album "4801 South Indiana Avenue" on Joe Bonamassa’s new independent blues record label Keeping The Blues Alive on 26th February 2021.
Numerous artists have been influenced by or had love affairs with the iconic African American art form called the Blues. Not many sought after it by diving headfirst into its epicenter - Chicago, and even fewer women have attempted.
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 , the Cuddle Inn on the Southside of the blues capital, absorbing musical and life lessons playing guitar with Buddy Guy, Jr Wells, Otis Rush, Phil Guy, James Cotton, Lefty Dizz, Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Littlejohn, Magic Slim, Eddie Shaw and many other artists.
Years spent in the trenches at the late-night institution the Kingston Mines led to further musical adventures including a late-night set with none other than Jimmy Page.
Joanna was asked by the owner of Kingston Mines to headline her own nights at the club, and this led to the formation of her own wicked Chicago band and subsequently caught the ear of Blind Pig Records and the release of her first album “Believe It” in 1990. The music world was piqued with this brash in your face guitarist in the guise of an unassuming 28-year-old.
Years spent touring Europe , Asia , South America were to follow, 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 as well as 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.
Keeping the Blues Alive Records
The new independent record label is an offshoot of Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation, Joe Bonamassa’s non-profit that aims to conserve the art of music in schools and preserve the rich culture and history of the blues. Bonamassa along with his long-time manager, Roy Weisman, have expanded their business by creating the new label, Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA) Records. The first release on the label was Dion’s album “Blues with Friends” that was released to critical acclaim in June 2020.
KTBA Records’ main objective is to provide a platform for musical talent in blues and blues-rock based music and helping promote the careers of extraordinary musical talent. The label works synergistically with the non-profit’s mission of supporting musicians to continue the legacy of the blues. 10% of all profits from KTBA Records are donated to the non-profit.
KTBA Records is an important step in the co-evolution of the music and the business of making it. It represents another of Bonamassa’s continuing efforts over the last 25 years in support the artistic community. It reflects the philosophy of paying it forward just as so many did for Joe in the hope of paving the way for blues artists in the future.