Joan Anita Barbara Armatrading is a Kittitian-English singer-songwriter and guitarist.
A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Armatrading has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards as Best Female Artist. She received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection in 1996.
In a recording career spanning nearly 50 years, Armatrading has released 20 studio albums, as well as several live albums and compilations.
She’s a little long-winded, but that’s mostly because she puts so much thought into her relationships, which in turn is because she puts so much feeling into them; this is one of those rare pop stars who’s invariably serious but never pompous, which is why she isn’t a bigger star. (Christgau’s Record Guide: The ’80s (1990))Armatrading possesses the vocal range of a contralto. Her music draws on a wide range of influences including rock, folk, jazz, blues, soul, and reggae.
Her songs have been described as “some of the most deeply personal and emotionally naked … of our times”. In a 2003 interview, she said: “My songs aren’t about me at all. They’re always about love, the pain and anguish of it. But the way I’ve always written is from observation. They’re about what I see other people going through. If the songs were about me I’d be so embarrassed I don’t think I’d be able to walk out the front door.” She went on to say: “the optimistic songs reveal a bit more of me because that’s how I feel. I’m definitely a ‘glass is half full’ kind of a person.” Many of her lyrics do not specify the gender of their subjects and she frequently uses the word “you” rather than a gender pronoun. (wikipedia)
And here´s a low-budget sampler, but a real nice and good sampler.
Over thirty years after this show was captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, the music of singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading still stands the test of time. This was the dawn of her career when, after becoming a press darling in her native U.K. in 1976, she embarked on a campaign to break out in the states. This recording marks her return to London, after Armatrading had finished her first U.S. tour and done extensive promotion for her current LP on A&M Records.
It is clear from these tracks that she is home and happy to be there. She performs with incredible emotion and zest, especially on the up-tempo tracks “Help Yourself,” “Show Some Emotion,” and “Love and Affection,” which were among the biggest tracks for her outside of the U.K. Other songs in this set, performed with her band of excellent musicians, include “Cool Blue Stole My Heart” and the coy number “Kissin’ and Huggin’.”
Joan Armatrading would never break through to big audiences outside of the U.K., but she built enough of a core audience to allow her to tour worldwide for more than two decades after this show was recorded. Of course, in England Armatrading remained a big star, and still performs regularly today, often playing sold out U.K. tours and large summer music festivals.
Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK; November 5, 1977:
Joan Armatrading (vocals, guitar, piano)
Quitman Dennis (saxophone, flute)
Jerry Donahue (guitar)
Brian Garfalo (bass)
David Kemper (drums)
01. Never Is Too Late 7.37
02. Show Some Emotion 4.28
03. Willow 6.16
04. Opportunity 3.43
05. Won’t You Come On Home 4.06
06. Steppin’ Out 4.12
07. Love And Affection 5.13
08. Cool Blue Stole My Heart 6.23
09. Mama Mercy 4.41
10. Kissin’ And A Huggin’ 4.55
11. Tall In The Saddle 7.22
All songs written by Joan Armatrading
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