Blues Bytes


December 2018

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Silvertone Records

Joanne Shaw Taylor

British singer/guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor recently signed a three-record deal with Sony Music on the company’s recently revived Silvertone label. While waiting for Taylor’s upcoming early 2019 release, Sony has reissued her two most recent albums, including Wild from 2016. Taylor co-wrote nine of the 11 tracks with various contributors and recorded the disc in Nashville with producer Kevin Shirley and musicians Rob McNelly (guitar), Greg Morrow (drums), Steve Nathan (keyboards), Michael Rhodes (bass), Paulie Cerra (sax), Lee Thornburg (trumpet) and backing vocalists Mahalia Barnes, Juanita Tippins, and Jade MacRae.

“Dyin’ To Know,” the opener, starts out as a Hooker-esque boogie, but jumps quickly into a rough and ready blues rocker, and “Ready To Roll” has swagger to spare via the musical arrangement and Taylor’s feisty vocal. “Get You Back” is a hard-hitter, while “No Reason To Stay” is a funky change of pace that really clicks. The ballad “Wild Is The Wind,” an oldie that’s been a hit for a diverse group over the years (including Johnny Mathis, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, David Bowie, George Michael), works very well in Taylor’s capable hands.

“Wanna Be My Lover” is an energetic southern-styled rocker that’s catchy enough to be a hit, and the atmospheric “I’m In Chains” features an intense vocal and guitar from Taylor. On “I Wish I Could Win You Back,” Taylor goes the acoustic route with a tough, but tender vocal and fine guitar accompaniment. The horns make an appearance on the soulful and swinging “My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own,” and “Nothin’ To Lose” is a prototypical classic rocker. The disc closes with George Gershwin’s “Summertime,” and Taylor’s vocal is perfectly done, bringing an excellent disc to an excellent close.

If you missed Wild the first time around, this is a great opportunity to get caught up with Joanne Shaw Taylor’s work. She just gets better with each release, which bodes well for her upcoming release in a few months.

--- Graham Clarke



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