Film Reviews

Joan Armatrading: Me, Myself, I World Tour Concert

dir. Joan Armatrading (Savoy)

81dk2eji1hl-_sl1500_UK singer/songwriter, Joan Armatrading, has been around for the better part of fifty years. During that time, she hit many career highs: she was the first female UK artist to rocket straight to the top of the Billboard charts with her debut release, Into The Blues, and has received honors in the UK, together with a number of Grammy and Brit Award nominations.

In 2014, she– somewhat surprisingly, perhaps– took off on a world tour that covered four continents, and suggested she was about to retire from the tiring world of live gigs. But the most surprising thing about this “final tour” is that she undertook it, for the first time in her history, as a genuinely unsupported solo artist. Just Joan and her guitar, stripped back, pared down, class in overdrive.

Me, Myself, I is the DVD capturing part of this tour (there’s also a companion CD release available), a miniature feast of her landmark recordings through the years. Captured in October 2015 as pat of her final two-year-long tour, the video was filmed at the Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA before a maximum capacity  crowd of 7,000– a fitting turn out for a musician who still holds the record attendance for the original Wolf Trap Arena from an appearance there many decades earlier.

Tracks covered include her standard classics, “Love and Affection,” “Drop the Pilot,”  “Willow” and the title track itself. Armatrading comes across as a genuinely soulful, involved and warm player throughout, with some mighty fine fretwork on electric, six and twelve-strings, her honeyed voice always firmly to the fore.

Me, Myself, I is a quality production featuring one the UK’s foremost blues-divas, still capable of performing at the very top of her game and clearly capable of holding an audience in the palm of her road-weary hands.

-Iain Patience

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