After singing in church most of her life, Joyann Parker embraced the blues. A classically trained pianist with a degree in music from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, Parker loves the music’s heartfelt honesty. “I didn’t know anything about blues until about four years ago,” the Minneapolis-based singer, songwriter, band leader and multi-instrumentalist says. “But then it just clicked. I said, ‘This is what I am supposed to do.’ ” Before Parker became a blues singer, she knew only such obvious examples as Eric Clapton’s and Zed Zeppelin’s blues interpretations. The door to authentic blues and soul music opened almost accidentally. After Parker sang Aretha Franklin’s soul classic, “Chain of Fools,” at a singing contest, she received an invitation to join a blues band.