Ordinarily, we would write off Joanna Connor as just another of the myriad female blues singer/songwriter/guitarists who offer blues lite with a touch of country. But Connor's album The Joanna Connor Band, released independently this year on M.C. Records, shows that she is so much more. Sure, there are several obligatory songs about men, loving them, and what a pain in the ass they can be, but a Sam Cooke cover ("Somebody Have Mercy") lends the album a bit of old-school soul flavor. More points are gained by "Different Kind of War," an anti-war, anti-election-stealing evisceration of our current commander in chief. Add some choice Hammond performances on a few of the tracks and a showboating guitar instrumental ("Guitar Dove") and Connor proves she's at the top of the class.