I first came across the music of Jo-Anne Kelly in the 1970s. She was one of the British blues singers, folks from across the pond who – for whatever reason – fell in love with traditional American blues from the 1920s and 1930s, mostly. Acoustic, scratchy, full of power and pain. Beautiful stuff, once you got beyond the scratchy, early-recording technique parts of it.
A lot of folks back then played this music, but only Jo-Anne Kelly left you wondering where the ghost of the singer was, she was that good. I understand she was very small, but the voice that came out was like thunder on an otherwise quiet and overcast day.
This is the only video I’ve seen of a live performance, a year before she died (in 1990). I’d completely forgotten about her until I came across this video. Amazing woman, and so sad that she’s been gone for so long now.