Joanne Shaw Taylor: Diamonds in the Dirt (Ruf)

 |   |  1 min read

Joanne Shaw Taylor: Jump That Train
Joanne Shaw Taylor: Diamonds in the Dirt (Ruf)

It would be easy to describe -- and acclaim -- this fiery British singer-guitarist as a blues artist, and she is. But there's more to her than that.

Certainly she can peel off blazing solos like Stevie Ray Vaughan (whose producer Jim Gaines is again on hand here) and can also conjure up the more gentle blues-soul of Hendrix (World on Fire). And there is an earthiness here, even when she puts her foot to the floor and starts whipping out an incendiary guitar wail (Let It Burn takes a slice of pure SRV).

But at other times, notably on the slow burning numbers (Same As It Never Was), she reveals a more soulful voice which has her edging towards Etta James -- or Janis Joplin in her more reflective moments.

This is her second album and even beforehand she was picking up awards and acknowledgement in Britain, which hasn't really been a home for this kind of tough urban blues -- which may explain why on the cover she's seated before a sign which reads "Detroit" and the album was recorded in Tennessee. She now lives in Detroit and the States seems her natural home.

She definitely satisfies the demands of the blues festival stage circuit (the Seventies-rock sound of Who Do You Love), but here the more reflective material like the title track (which Bonnie Raitt could comfortably cover) and The World And Its Way shows there is much more to her than what that "blues" description might mean to some.

This is impressive and the fact she does this with just a bassist and drummer means she must be of great appeal to promoters. Let's hope we see her live some time soon, she sounds unmissable.

Like the sound of this? Then try this woman.

Share It

Your Comments

Richard V - Feb 1, 2011

This is a lovely album, as was her previous one - take some time out and give both a careful listen - if you love contemporary blues. She's the real deal.

post a comment

More from this section   Blues at Elsewhere articles index

Shemekia Copeland: Uncivil War (Alligator/digital outlets)

Shemekia Copeland: Uncivil War (Alligator/digital outlets)

Although this daughter of the great Johnny Copeland had 20 years and more than half a dozen albums behind her, we didn't hear her until her impressive, socio-political America's Child two years... > Read more

Bo Diddley (Dec 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008)

Bo Diddley (Dec 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008)

Tributes will come fast for this legend of rock'n'roll and all will -- or at least they should -- note that for the past four decades the man barely sold an album despite his position as a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL-STARR BAND, REVIEWED (2013): All together now . . .

RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL-STARR BAND, REVIEWED (2013): All together now . . .

Given that previous incarnations of Ringo's All Starr Band included members of The Band, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren (a one-time solo act, now of Springsteen and Neil Young groups), Ian Hunter (Mott... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . UTOPIA'S DEFACE THE MUSIC: So, ummm, that happened

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . UTOPIA'S DEFACE THE MUSIC: So, ummm, that happened

It's a very odd thing to observe, but Utopia – the prog-rock band lead by Todd Rundgren from the mid Seventies – kind of did the Beatles' career in reverse gear. They went from... > Read more