Sometimes a career is completely different than you expected. Take that of singer Joyann Parker from Minneapolis. She is a classically trained pianist, but after her ears came into contact with the soul sounds of the famous Stax label and later also added blues, she decided to invest in a career as a soul singer. And I dare to be cheeky to predict that we are dealing with a future big star here. In terms of sound I hear the rawness of a female singer like Elkie Brooks and the soul of female vocalists like Joss Stone and Dusty Springfield in her vocals.
On her new album she is assisted by a number of class musicians such as guitarist Mark Lamoine, bassist Michael Carvale, pianist and organist Tim Wick, drummer Alec Tackmann and Gunhild Carling on various wind instruments. The album is like a house! A very soulful home!
Opener Memphis is a bluesy song in which some country influences can also be heard. The filthy slide work by Mark Lamoine also gives the song a Southern rock sauce. After a bluesy guitar intro Envy continues as a loom grooming soul song in a style that would fit Joss Stone. So with echoes from the past of Ann Peebles or Betty Wright. Mark Lamoine excels again with his Steve Cropper-like game. Home is a soul ballad in the best Otis Redding ( I've Got Dreams To Remember ) style with Joyann's warm bluesy voice as the cornerstone. Dizzy has a cheerful Motown soul rhythm that is sustained by the driving bass. In the intimate ballad Jigsaw Heartsoul and blues are mixed well.
Who What When Where Why is a light-hearted funky soul song with an angular Stax rhythm. The horns give the song a New Orleans feeling. After the polished soul of Bluer Than You , we march into New Orleans on an angular drum rhythm and continue to frolic around funky. Evil Hearted is a softly floating jazzy soul song in which the organ waves and the bluesy guitar and vocals go well together. Take My Heart And Run draws more towards country blues, partly due to the rusty slide sounds. Chuck Berry influences in the intro of What Happened To Me, a nice frivolous pumping rocker with constantly popping up Chuck Berry licks.
This impressive soul album is very stylishly finished with the jazzy piano ballad Hard To Love.