Down Beat - p.753.5 stars out of 5
-- "[S]he uses her alto voice, guitars, mandolin and other instruments to summon a guileless maverick blues..."
Dirty Linen - p.53
"Armatrading really takes off on 'There Ain't a Girl Alive,' a blistering and catchy song that sounds incredibly raucous when played loud..."
Composer: Joan Armatrading.
Personnel: Joan Armatrading (vocals); Joan Armatrading (unknown instrument); Miles Bould (drums, drum, percussion).
Audio Mixers: Joan Armatrading; Graham Dickson.
Recording information: Bumpkin Studios, England (2006).
Photographer: Andrew Catlin.
Arranger: Joan Armatrading.
Joan Armatrading has always spiced her unique mixture of folk, pop, and rock with elements of the blues, but 2007's INTO THE BLUES marks her first full foray into the genre. With an emphasis on her impressive guitar work, the album grooves and grinds, especially on driving numbers like "Mama Papa" and "My Baby's Gone."
But as usual, Armatrading doesn't play strictly by the rules, and INTO THE BLUES features a host of ghostly tunes that, while using blues as a base, create new templates for expression. The opening plea for tenderness, "A Woman In Love," is a case in point, as is the title track, which jazzes up a stomping start-stop rhythm. Still, Armatrading rocks hard and takes no prisoners for most of the album, making it a fine addition to her excellent discography.