Joanne Shaw Taylor has been a part of the music scene for around twenty years, discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics when she was only 16. Her first album was released in 2009 on Ruf records and her last album, ‘The Blues Album’, was a worldwide No 1 in the Blues charts. She has also received awards in just about every arena of the Blues.

In many respects, this new release sees Taylor reaching back to her roots with a collection of songs that show off her many talents – songwriter, guitarist, singer either Blues, soul or rock. Her voice is just about the best I ever remember hearing it – still that husky and dark side to her voice, but much clearer and with better emphasis on the emotion of the songs.
The songs feel very personal, very much the experienced but still not jaundiced performer. She is back making the music that suits her best, but that has moved on from the more basic offerings of yore.

From the opening number, ‘Sweet Li’l Lies’, with its strident riff and funky beat, against a piano that really drive the song along, she is singing with passion and meaning. The song builds drama and threat, one of her best.

The same passion is found on ‘Wild Love’ with her Telecaster creating another fine riff. Her vocal has the faintest tremble to it but there is rawness and soul there too.

‘Black Magic’ is a swamp rock belter. Her voice is growling and her guitar lines are spare and the whole song is a funky blast.

My favourite track is her version of Joe Simon’s ‘Drowning In A Sea Of Love’. A classic Blues/soul number, really danceable and she brings out a fine solo from a well worn Telecaster. Her vocal reminds me in some ways of Dusty Springfield and the classic soul backing vocals give it that touch of real class.

This feel like an artist who has found her proper niche and is creating music that she loves and is, more importantly, getting satisfaction from.