Soulful music set in stone

IN THE MOMENT: Joss Stone belts out another number during her set at Byron Bay Bluesfest.
IN THE MOMENT: Joss Stone belts out another number during her set at Byron Bay Bluesfest. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

BRITISH soul singer-songwriter and actress Joss Stone, who has sold more than 11 million albums, may be only 26 years old, but at her Bluesfest performance, she gave a masterclass in how to seduce an audience.

The Grammy Award winner's amazing, natural voice - rich, powerful and full of soul - was like a magnet, drawing one of the biggest crowds seen at Bluesfest into the Crossroads tent.

"I can't believe how many people there are out there," even Stone remarked.

And the mums and dads and middle-aged punters and 20 and 30-something soul fans stayed, and stayed, as she belted out some of her biggest hits, from Super Duper Love to Sideways Shuffle.

Stone has the trifecta - that incredible voice, good looks (the strapless black dress she chose was understated yet had the wow factor) and plenty of personality.

At one stage she climbed down next to the crowd to sing, telling them "it's much more fun down here, isn't it?"

Early on in the show, her version of Bob Marley's I Want To Give You Some Good Lovin', set the tone for some seriously funky R&B.

By the time she launched into Stoned Out of My Mind, with a grin a mile wide, the entire crowd was on her side.

Stone, who names her influences as Oleta Adams, Anita Baker and Mahalia Jackson, has collaborated with everyone from James Brown to Mick Jagger.

Currently on a world tour of 204 countries, her last album the Soul Sessions, Volume 2, was released in July 2012.

It brings her total number of studio albums to six and, with the kind of stage presence and easy rapport with her fans she possesses, she's a stone-cold certainty to sell millions more albums.


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