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

ERIC BIBB INTERVIEWED (2009): Born into this

ERIC BIBB INTERVIEWED (2009): Born into this

You could say singer-guitarist Eric Bibb had little choice, that he was born to the musical life: his father Leon was a well-known New York folk singer; his uncle was John Lewis, the pianist in... > Read more

GREGG ALLMAN INTERVIEWED (2010): The Road Goes On Forever

GREGG ALLMAN INTERVIEWED (2010): The Road Goes On Forever

Scroll down the Wikipedia entry for Gregg Allman and two things will surprise: first how brief it is for a musician who has lived such a full, creative and often dangerously self-abusive life.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

JAZZQUAKE HITS CAPITAL: Dotting the ts and crossing the iiiis

JAZZQUAKE HITS CAPITAL: Dotting the ts and crossing the iiiis

Sometimes in an interview it is useful to ask the stupid questions, the ones the subject has long since ever had to answer and so is often caught off-guard, has to think, has to define an idea... > Read more

SHANGHAI LOUNGE DIVAS: The old world into the new

SHANGHAI LOUNGE DIVAS: The old world into the new

Shanghai has always been China's hotspot, the most cosmopolitan of cities in that vast and diverse country. In the Twenties and Thirties the place was awash with jazz, blues and international pop... > Read more