COL #x0009;QUESTION; AND ANSWER Joanna Connor
Blues singer, songwriter and guitarist
A Chicago-based blues guitarist, Connor is known for wielding a mighty forceful slide guitar and telling it like it is. Connor plays Friday at Pint's Pub, 530 11th Ave. N.W. in Rochester. Cover: $5. For more information, visit www.dmamusic.org/joannaconnor.
Q: What inspired you to play the blues?
A: I heard blues all my life growing up. My mom had a great record collection and took me to a lot of concerts. I listened to a lot of music, but the honesty, emotion and the passion of the blues really grabbed me.
Q: Who are the female musicians that you think rock?
A: That's a tough question. I don't listen to a lot of new music. Janis Joplin was definitely cool. I don't know if rock is the right term, but Joni Mitchell is really talented. There's been a lot of women rockers, but what I like is virtuosity on an instrument and there hasn't been a lot of that. Aretha Franklin is my favorite singer all time, though.
Q: What can a woman with the blues do that a man can't?
A: Probably tap into their emotions a little more deeply when performing.
Q: What can the audience expect when you announce, "It's slidetime."
A: I play a lot of slide guitar. They're going to hear a lot of slide in the vein of Johnny Winter. A lot of people compare me to him because he plays fast and aggressive on the slide.
Q: You're not a strict blues player, how do you tie it all together?
A: That's the thing. A lot of people will go to our shows and say, "You guys sound so original." Every show is different. I go with my feeling for the night. There's no set thing. So what ties it all together is a natural process. And we have some of the best musicians ever seen in the band, no holds barred.
-- Christina Killion Valdez