Johanna Divine live@Odessa Club - Fri 18th May


Making her second appearance in Dublin, she previously supported her friend Sarah Savoy, Johanna Divine proves herself, again, an entertaining performer. She is accompanied on this occasion by electric guitarist Mo O'Connor, a talented player, though the lack of rehearsal time is apparent during the gig as there is a slight out-of-sync feel on occasion. However that doesn't take away from the general feel and the attraction of Ms Divine's voice. She shows her knowledge of roots genre when she mixes some classic cover songs such as Junior Parker's Mystery Train, Elizabeth Cotton's Freight Train, Woody Guthrie's Do Re Mi and the Bob Wills recorded Blues For Dixie.This is a good way to get an understanding audience on your side and shows Divine can handle these disparate songs well as she also does with the varied moods of her own material which again underlines her skill as a vocalist. She accompanied herself on her electrified Gibson, along with O'Connor's electric guitars, on material from her debut Mile-High Rodeo and her forthcoming album Electric Tide. These included Lone Ranger, Lulu Saint Maire - relating to the song she told us that in her home town people dance and drink a lot, but here in the Odessa Club there was a portion of the latter but non of the former. She took a break and was joined then for the show's close by members of Prison Love on full on versions of her song Beelinin' and for a spirited, shared vocal rendition of I Saw The Light. Prison Love who opened the evening have been working as a five piece band for some time and their blend of cajun, bluegrass and old-time music is a crowd pleaser. Although the set consists of covers they are well chosen and include songs recorded by Iry LeJeune, Flatt and Scruggs. Rock Island Line,  popularized by Leadbelly was typical and showed that these boys enjoy what they do, but they may need to add some original songs to progress further. Overall an enjoyable evening that arguers well for future appearances.

Review by Stephen Rapid. Photographs by Ronnie Norton