on the night Righteous Love was released. "It's difficult to come off a wait like that. For most people, that would have been like 'Career over, thank you very much. Next.' Which may happen to me still. So yeah, that was one of the things that long wait did for me, one of the positive things. So far, I haven't had to get a real job again so I'm thankful about that. I've had all kinds of real jobs and I'm not anxious to go back to that," she freely admits.
Righteous Love did only fairly well, compared to her debut. No matter that, Joan set her sights ahead of her, rather than behind, and planned her next venture - an album of soul covers which would eventually evolve into How Sweet It Is.
But something happened on the way to the studio: the immense leveling day of September 11.
Those events affected Joan just as they did the rest of the world. To offer what she could, Joan volunteered with the Red Cross and at a Tribeca center for those who were displaced. "I just got this real sense of the fact that myself, or any individual is just not in control of what happens. And you can certainly try to control things. And you can certainly try to make your life be exactly what you want it to be. But there's always going to be something that comes along and wrecks your plans. That's just the way life is and that's not necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, when you come to the notion of power, each of us does have power. Whether it's just to impact people in our immediate circle—even if it's just that—then there's definitely amazing power that we have. The more I'm around in the world, the more I realize you can have pairs of opposites with both things true at the same time."
So where did that leave Joan as an artist? Despite performing at a slew of benefits, she felt she could still contribute something more. She thought perhaps, in the grand scheme of life music isn't all that. But, then again, maybe it is. "To be someone who makes music that does affect other people in a positive way is just a privilege. I think I renewed my sense of that. And I renewed my determination to do it