by David W. Clements
Every now and then the moon and stars align and you see an entertainer that you had no idea existed and you are blown away with what you just witnessed after they walked off the stage. Well that is what happened to me last Saturday night at the Dosey Doe Big Barn when JN came to town. The best I can tell she played at Fitzgerald several years before (2011) and since has been sparce in our part of the world the last half decade.
Maybe I had heard of Concrete Blond but doubt I’d ever seen the band or heard their songs, other than maybe Joey. Turns out, my bad.
This woman came with her opening act from Wyoming, Lorrie Seargust, who was really very entertaining and fit nicely with what JN was going to follow. Before leaving the stage she did the introduction of JN and I think she called her a ‘human hurricane’ …which turned out to be the most accurate words spoken all evening!
The things that touched me the most about this lady included her ‘hippie look’, her ‘ unique sound’, and her ‘stream of consciousness’ style and refreshing honesty, besides her songs of course. All were new to my eyes and ears. The songs that stuck me the most were Highway, Favorite Photograph and Memory Gone Away yet her entire set selection was very entertaining.(Sorry I may not have their titles correct).
All was right for me that night and besides I got to meet her after the show and she was a pretty cool lady, albeit maybe a little spent from working hard on stage and maybe a little bold due to an ‘extra’ glass of wine during the evening.
What I can tell you is, for sure, this woman doesn’t use many ‘filters’ on stage and gives you incredible insight what she is thinking or feeling THAT MOMENT from the raised platform. I’d call it INSTANT FEEDBACK. She actively used the F Bomb which I though was essential in her honesty.
Besides she both looks and sounds like what I think of when I think of what Janice Joplin was on stage. One difference between the two is Janice had jewelry around her neck, Johnette had what appears to be jewelry around her neck but after a closer look it turns out to be tattoos including one of a big cross. Worked for me.
Also what worked for me is when she commented on stage that during a recent interview a reporter asked her a multiple choice question…’Joan Jett or Stevie Nicks?’ Her answer…Linda Rondstat. She went on the say that she was a big admirer of Linda and after Linda came out with her xxxxx LP she, Johnette ,purchased a Cub Scout Uniform and wore it every day for over a month. She had a genuine fondness for Rondstadt that I get since I do as well and I read a report on line, don’t know if it’s ture, that Johnette was talking about Linda and her Parkinson Disease at a show, similar what she was doing this night, and got so emotional she had to leave the stage and didn’t return.
Before closing let me share that Johnette also shared that her musical hero was Leon Russell, something else she and I have in common. Her comment was something to the effect but not for Leon Russell she wouldn’t be working as a singer/songwriter and that it was ashame he wasn’t a doctor as she would have made more money!
I guess that is it on Johnette for this review at this time yet I can tell you for sure the memory that I carried away from that evening looms so much larger. Johnette, thanks to you for for being you!