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Until a few weeks ago I’d never heard of Joan Wasser, lead singer in the musical project known as Joan As Police Woman. My defence – there’s a lotta music out there kids!

Joan has a pretty interesting life story that includes collaborations with artists such as Lou Reed, Elton John, Sheryl Crowe, Rufus Wainwright and Antony and the Johnsons. She is an accomplished vocalist, songwriter, pianist, guitarist and violinist. She has been involved in several bands including The Dambuilders, Black Beetle and Those Bastard Souls (all of which I’m now going to have to go find out about). Interesting fact – Jeff Buckley wrote ‘Everybody Here Wants You’  about Joan before his death in 1997.

My research tells me that the name ‘Joan As Police Woman’ is a reference to the 1970s show ‘Police Woman’, starring Angie Dickinson. I am a tad too young to know who that is, or what the show was, but from my limited knowledge of TV in the 70s, it probably wasn’t great. (If you’re old enough to remember the show and I’ve just mortally offended you, insert apology here). Anyway, apparently Angie Dickinson’s character Sergeant Leann “Pepper” Anderson was the first show to feature a no-nonsense female lead, and when a friend of Joan’s pointed out the similarities, the name stuck.

With her bandmates Ben Perowsky (drums) and Rainy Orteca (bass), Joan has released an EP (Joan As Police Woman 2004) and one full length album (Real Life 2006). You can read more about Joan here or you can check out the Joan As Police Woman website or myspace.

The following song ‘The Ride’ is what lead me to check out Joan As Police Woman in the first place. It wasn’t an instant attraction at first and I think I probably listened to it once and forgot about it.

Although I’m not one to go on and on about how fabulous gadgets like Itunes and Ipods are (although I do use my Ipod every day and when I left my old one on a bus by accident, I had a new one by the next day – sad, I know), I do love the wonder that is the shuffle function, because every now and then it throws up an awesome song that I’ve either forgotten about, or not given a real chance. Such was the case with ‘The Ride’, and it’s grown on me to become one of my favourite songs. Quiet, late night vibe, nice strings and sultry vocals. Beautiful.

The Ride – Joan As Police Woman