Joss Stone

Friday, Sept. 14, Zilker park

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

Joss Stone

What do we do with the conundrum that is Joss Stone? On the one hand, she's got a powerful, whiskey-deep voice that's far womanlier than one might expect. On the other hand, she's a very young, white Briton who hardly has the life experience to validate her soulful ethos. Her Friday afternoon set started off with a sultry line of backup singers who did an old-school R&B warm-up for the 20-year-old soul singer, but has she really earned it? Such entrances are for classic acts, not a former Gap spokeswoman, but there was Stone emerging on "Girl, They Won't Believe It," a sassy little number from her third release, Introducing Joss Stone. Clad in a short, geometric-patterned, blue sundress, the former hippie-chick was obviously enjoying herself. She's clearly now a wo-man. Dedicating "Baby Baby Baby" to the ladies, Stone worked the crowd with a Beyoncé-style armpit presentation. Still, it's hard to get past the authenticity problem. Perhaps it's best to take Stone's lead and just enjoy the music.

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