A study in Orange: Joanna Connor routinely puts her amp and her Delaney signature model through seven- or eight-hour shifts in the heart of Chicago's blues scene. But for now, it's used for jams at a friend's art studio.

Photo by Maleki Raei

How blues firebrand Joanna Connor gets tube-like tone from a durable, solid-state combo.

The best way to get a fix on your priorities for an amp is to play, play, play. Joanna Connor's been tirelessly bending notes and wailing slide since the late '80s: initially touring the U.S. and Europe, and then, since 2005, holding court at clubs in her adopted home of Chicago, letting the world come to her at tourist destinations like the House of Blues and Kingston Mines.

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