Joanne Broh – Live
Double Y Records
CD: 11 Songs, 43:40 Minutes
Styles: Blues Covers, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, Live Album
What comes to mind when you hear the words “live album?” Shrieking fans? Blistering instrumentation? Vocals reverberating louder than the aftermath of an atom bomb? The newest live release from Oregon’s Joanne Broh offers none of these, which is actually good news. She demonstrates that sheer volume isn’t the most important aspect of music. Not only that, but she presents “blues to lift you up,” as it succinctly states on her website. Her singing is clear and unpretentious, running the gamut of the alto range. Listening to her is like conversing with your favorite next-door neighbor. The warmth in her voice lets you know that you can tell her all your secrets, and she’ll even share a few of her own. Guitarist Garry Meziere, slide/second guitarist Jerry Zybach, bassist Bill Foss, and drummer Ed Pierce provide a rock-solid ensemble, playing real-deal blues without resorting to flashy instrumental tricks or overlong solos. Walter Herleman also guest stars on harmonica.
They please a Live audience with several time-honored blues covers including “Kitchen Man,” “Why Don’t You Do Right,” “Black Cat Bone,” and “I Don’t Care Who Knows.” Even though there’s not a lot of original material, that’s forgivable. Crowds like songs they know. Sing and dance along to your favorites, and enjoy the originals “Wicked Cool” and “Let’s Work on It.”
Joanne Broh has opened for Leon Russell, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, Karen Lovely, Ty Curtis, and Lionel Young. The Rainy Day Blues Society crowned her “Winner: Best Female Vocalist” and also gave her an accolade for “2016 Best Recording.” The Cascade Blues Association made her a Finalist in their “Journey to Memphis (International Blues Challenge.)”
The following original is catchy and full of energy, certain to get concert-goers on their feet.
Track 06: “Let’s Work On It” – No matter what the latest rom-coms say, relationships are hard work. “Let’s work on it baby, figure the whole thing out. Let’s work on it, darling. Let me tell you what it’s all about. You know I’m really going to love you. Don’t make me scream and shout.” Who among us hasn’t heard (or made) such a heartfelt plea? The bouncy beat and fantastic fretwork make number six as refreshing as something out of a six-pack.
“Broh,” give joyful Joanne a listen as she entertains Live!