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 articles index

James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator/Southbound)

James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator/Southbound)

It's extraordinary to think that harmonica player Cotton played with Howlin' Wolf back in the early Fifties and then Muddy Waters, and at 77 he's not only still here but blowing up a hurricane on... > Read more

John Mayall: Tough (Eagle)

John Mayall: Tough (Eagle)

Given this seminal blueman's low profile in the marketplace this past decade or two, it can only be his impending New Zealand tour which has seen the Antipodean release of this, his 57th, album.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GAVIN BRYARS: THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC/JESUS' BLOOD NEVER FAILED ME YET, CONSIDERED (1971): Music of ghosts gone by

GAVIN BRYARS: THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC/JESUS' BLOOD NEVER FAILED ME YET, CONSIDERED (1971): Music of ghosts gone by

The problem with Tom Waits singing on the 1993 recording of Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (with the orchestra arranged by Gavin Bryars) is that it is Tom Waits singing. Waits has such a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Leigh Franklin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Leigh Franklin

Leigh Franklin has created quite a ripple with the title-track single from her debut album On a Saturday. And that self-funded album is the end of a long journey -- and the start of another -- for... > Read more