Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Burning for Joanna Burns!

Joanna Burns sings "Where You Stand"

This past Friday afternoon, I came across an event announcement for a performance by singer/songwriter Joanna Burns, taking place at Canal Room. I watched the video embedded above, was instantly hooked to her music, and invited a friend to go to her show that evening.

Canal Room was not as packed as I would have expected for this talented singer, but after watching her perform I am sure that she will be playing to sold-out crowds soon.  (I paid $12 for a ticket but for what I got out of it, I would have paid at least twice that!). I am going to make a bold statement right now and say that Joanna could hold her own in a sing-off against top divas like Whitney Houston (no joke, Joanna’s ability to belt out “And I-ee-I will always love you” blew me away…). She is not only a talented composer and singer, but she is funny and spunky on stage. Her witty comments to the crowd and her dimpled smile light up the room before she even begins to sing, and then, when her hands hit the keyboard and her voice hits the microphone, the audience is fully transported into her world of musical bliss. Some songs even involve audience participation...

Although Joanna performs mostly original music, she is also known for a medley or “sampler” of no less than nine songs from some of the most famous female pop and rock vocalists of our time – in addition to Whitney, she can do Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, to name a few. As I listened to her powerful, soulful sound and watched her fingers gracefully tickle the ivory keys, I was reminded of a singer she did not throw into her song medley, Alicia Keys (with a hint of Ben Folds, who the singer does list as an influence), and I knew that I was watching a budding star. 

Be sure to keep your eyes (and your ears) on Joanna Burns. Her album, The Green Year, comes out May 1. You can also buy the single "Us," right now, at, for whatever price you wish!  If you missed Joanna at Canal Room, check her tour schedule here. Unfortunately, she does not have any upcoming NYC shows planned, but she will be at neighboring Orange County Community College this week, will be performing at SXSW in Austin (okay, nowhere near NYC, but I know some readers who will be traveling to the festival), and will be at the Brookdale Performing Arts Center in Lincroft, New Jersey on May 1 for Green Year's release.  

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