Joyann Parker is a powerhouse vocalist and relative newcomer to the national blues scene, first gaining recognition beyond her Twin Cities base courtesy of a well-received 2018 release, Hard to Love.
Its follow-up features an expanded array of sounds and styles in a pursuit enabled by guitarist/co-writer/co-producer Mark Lamoine, whose ES-335 can be heard on nine of the album’s 11 tracks.
Lamoine’s chops are evident throughout, but this is no jam-band outing. Instead, he opts for strategic fills and sympathetic lines that complement Parker’s voice. The approach is evident on the simmering opener “Gone So Long,” which features gritty, evocative lines from a modern Tricone Style 1; the acoustic-tinged ballad “Either Way” (with Lamoine on a D-28); the Latin vibe of “Predator”; and the slow, soulful title track, with Parker’s yearning, wailing vocal lines paired with Lamoine’s White Falcon.
Parker, a multi-instrumentalist who’s no slouch with a guitar, also gets into the act, cutting loose on the straightforward pop-rock of “Carry On.” It’s a song of positivity and hope that, like the other tunes on this album, is tailor-made for pandemic-era listening.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.