Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue - Review of "Hard To Love"

Joyann Parker 

Hard To Love 

Hopeless Romantics Records HRR1001 

I found this one difficult to review, not because it was lacking in the least, but quite the opposite.  I went back and looked over my previous review and listened again to the last album.  If anything, Joyann Parker has raised the bar.  An incredible "package deal", she is a powerful vocalist, an accomplished musician on both guitar and piano, and the writer of songs that hold up over time.  She is also a very attractive woman...the sort that some would drive around the block to get a second look at if they were to pass her on  the street.  That said, she sings what she knows and is passionate about, giving her words that power and authenticity that comes through personal experience.  Parker blends her stories with those of others she knows to be true, giving a voice to the many who might simply remain silent.  The old-school theme of crying over lost love has been replaced with a sense of power, conviction and determination.  She's still got that sensual, sultry delivery that brings major heat to the mix, a wide vocal range and a diversity of style that keeps things fresh from beginning to end.  While some tend to blend styles in an attempt to come up with a gimmick that will carry them through in this tough as nails world of the blues, Parker does it in a way that is tried and true...opens her heart and lets it all pour forth, the good times as well as the heartaches.  Could it possible get any better or any more real.  Joyann Parker is the real deal...a woman who knows what she wants to accomplish and does just that.  There is nothing pretentious or forced about her work and she has not attempted to reinvent the genre.  Essentially, what you see is what you get.  This is blues and deep southern soul of the highest order.  Joyann Parker is a 21st century blues woman.  - Bill Wilson

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