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

BIG DADDY WILSON INTERVIEWED (2012): Blues sprechen here

BIG DADDY WILSON INTERVIEWED (2012): Blues sprechen here

Wilson Blount – aka Big Daddy Wilson – is certainly a bluesman with a point of difference. He may have been a Southern black kid and born in North Carolina, but he's honest enough to... > Read more

Joe Louis Walker's Blues Conspiracy: Live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise (Stony Plain)

Joe Louis Walker's Blues Conspiracy: Live on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise (Stony Plain)

That this was recorded on a Caribbean cruise might tell you all you need about its crowd-pleasing nature. But Walker's guests (guitarists Johnny Winter, Tab Benoit and Duke Robillard, Watermelon... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE SOLOMON ISLANDS (2002): A portrait of a failing country, and the road to redemption

THE SOLOMON ISLANDS (2002): A portrait of a failing country, and the road to redemption

These first two articles published in the New Zealand Herald on consecutive weekends in December 2002, the first dealing with the background and problems of the Solomon Islands, and the... > Read more

Blind Blake: He's in the Jailhouse Now (1927)

Blind Blake: He's in the Jailhouse Now (1927)

As with many blues artists of his era -- he died in 1934 in his late 30s - not too much is known about the early life of Arthur "Blind" Blake. And at the time of this writing there... > Read more