BLUE SKY HOUR – On The Coast of Lake Michigan – Shepherd Express- Milwaukee WI, April 2013
“The packaging of the sophomore release by Milwaukee acoustic rock trio Blue Sky Hour infers purposeful fun with maps of Wisconsin on the sleeve and lyrics in a miniature newspaper format. JoAnn Riedl (also from The Barrettes) and David Salentine sing about relationships in various states of transition to the tune of folk guitar and electric bass. The light hearted restlessness and introspective melancholy proffered over the eight tracks don’t often deliver the weight of intention for which they seem to be aiming. But their affable fervor for making stripped-down pop bodes well for the band’s future output.”
- Jaimie Lee Rake
“JoAnn Riedl takes a break from The Barrettes, Milwaukee’s all-female punk band, for an alt folk-rock direction with the trio Blue Sky Hour. If that suggests the early Violent Femmes, subtract the lossey-goosey feel of the Femmes’ milestone first album, replace it with a more earnestly wistful viewpoint, tunes unafraid to turn into mini-suites and a bit of hometown cheerleading, and the Blue Sky Hour equation is nearly complete. Add what’s probably the most poignant use of kazoo in Milwaukee rock history and Hot Sun and Short Shorts is a seven-song debut bubbling over with potential. Protean and sometimes boisterous as they get, however, one might wish for a both more oomph and fun. Maybe Riedl’s voice is naturally better fit for “Simply Folk” than 102.1 FM, but if her other gig is any indication, she is versatile”.
- Jamie Lee Rake
Stumpjack Cafe, Two Rivers, WI. Oct. 2009
“It’s been a while since JoAnn Riedl has been back to the Stump. And I think the last time she was here was one of the very few times I was not, so it’s been an extra long time for me. This dame is just so dang good. JoAnn’s band, The Barrettes, are a take-no-prisoners kick-ass punk/rock outfit that practice a scorched earth policy of loud and proud sonic crunchiness.
Listen to them at their myspace site here. www.myspace.com/themilwaukeebarrettes
Then, forget about hearing that audio knuckle sandwich because tonight it’s just JoAnn with an acoustic guitar, and maybe her banjo, for a sound quite different but just as passionate. She’s good, folks, whether plugged in and clad in dominatrix garb or strapping on an acoustic guitar over a parka.
Come on over, warm up with something hot to drink or a beer, and liven up your Friday night with JoAnn Riedl at Stumpjack tonight”.
-David, owner of Stumpjack Cafe
Paradigm Coffeehouse, Sheboygan WI, Jan. 2007
“To tell you the truth, I had no idea what to expect when it came to your accoustic set… I was awesomely pleasantly surprised. I, well, the whole shop really, appreciates a real guitarist.”
-Kate, owner of Paradigm Coffeehouse
Onmilwaukee.com, Milwaukee WI, November 2004
” Buffalo, N.Y might have Ani Difranco, but Milwaukee has JoAnn Riedl. Both women channel their political frustration through music — and both play a mean guitar– but whereas Difranco blows through town once a year, Riedl regularly rips it up at local open mics.”
- Molly Snyder Edler
Slug and Lettuce, Richmond VA, Summer 2005
“This is catchy slow to midpaced rock. The vocals on this recording are what stands out and they even sound as though they were recorded above the rest of the music. JoAnn does have a killer voice that reminds me of the Tilt vocalilst with an added dash of hoarse angst. The lyrics are political and personal. The music is pretty simple at most times but there is also some penny whistle which adds depth and a melancholic tone. The packaging and artwork on the cd are super nice and compliment the music a lot”
-Europian, Slug and Lettuce