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Joanne Shaw Taylor

Idioma disponible: inglés
Joanne Shaw Taylor is a British blues-rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. A professional working musician since age 14, her playing style has been influenced by classic soul and the modern electric blues of Jimi Hendrix, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her extraordinary dexterity won her the role of lead guitarist in Dave Stewart's D.U.P. when she was 16. White Sugar, her 2009 solo debut, and its follow-up, 2010's Diamonds in the Dirt, both placed inside the Top Ten on the American Blues charts and established her reputation globally. In 2012 she was lead guitarist with Annie Lennox for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert. Taylor recorded 2014's Dirty Truth and 2016's Wild for her own Axe House Music label. 2019's Reckless Heart was recorded in her adopted hometown of Detroit with producer Al Sutton for Silvertone. In 2020 she signed with Joe Bonamassa's independent blues label KTBA Records. He and guitarist Josh Smith co-produced her playing and soul-blues covers at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville. Titled The Blues Album, it showcased Taylor leading a star-studded band. She followed it with Blues from the Heart Live in 2022. Taylor was born in the West Midlands in 1986. The daughter and sister of guitar players, her mother was a dancer who loved Northern Soul. Taylor began singing and playing early and caught the blues bug as a young teen. She heard guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, and Jimi Hendrix on records and knew then that was the kind of music she wanted to pursue. By 11, she was playing in bands and by 13 she was leading her own. At 14, she was touring the U.K. headlining clubs such as Ronnie Scott's and the Marquee. At 16 she was playing a festival when Stewart caught her act. A lifelong blues fan and producer of the film Deep Blues, he was so blown away by Taylor's playing that he asked her to accompany his D.U.P. on their European tour. She played lead guitar in a band that also included Jimmy Cliff, Mud Bone Cooper, and Candy Dulfer. Stewart signed her to a record deal but the company went bankrupt. In May 2009, the 23-year-old Taylor signed with Germany's Ruf Records and released her debut album, White Sugar, produced by Jim Gaines. She was accompanied on the session by veteran Memphis session men Steve Potts on drums and Dave Smith on bass. The set won instant acclaim and began climbing the blues albums charts, peaking at number eight in the U.S. She won Best Female Vocalist at the British Blues Awards. For her first extended U.S. tour, she enlisted old friend Paul Lamb and the Detroit Breakdown as her backing ensemble. She moved to Detroit after the tour concluded. Taylor returned to the studio with Gaines for 2010's Diamonds in the Dirt, using the same band and veteran keyboardist Rick Steff. The set placed well inside the Top Ten on the U.S. blues albums chart. She took home another British Blues Award for Best Female Vocalist, as well as Songwriter of the Year award for "Same as It Never Was." Her international support tour included sold-out festival appearances. In 2012, Taylor joined Annie Lennox on-stage to perform for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee in front of Buckingham Palace. She followed the performance with the release of her third album, Almost Always Never, produced by Mike McCarthy (Spoon). In addition to 11 originals that walked a tightrope between modern blues, R&B, and hard rock, it also contained a cover of Frankie Miller's "Jealousy." The album placed just outside the Top Ten on the American blues charts. The live Songs from the Road appeared in 2013 as her final outing for Ruf. She set up her own Axehouse Music label to release The Dirty Truth the following year. Taylor toured for close to eight months before re-entering the studio to record 2016's Wild in Nashville with producer Kevin Shirley and a larger band that included an additional guitarist as well as backing vocalists. It was her first outing to crack the Top 20 on the U.K. Albums chart. She signed a deal with Sony Music's revived Silvertone imprint in 2018 and recorded 2019's Reckless Heart in Detroit with producer Al Sutton and a veteran Motor City rhythm section, string quartet, and backing singers at Rust Belt Studios. Sutton convinced her to cut it live from the studio floor so as to capture her live sound. The set peaked at number four at Blues Albums and number 20 on the mainstream U.K. Albums charts. By the time she concluded touring, however, COVID-19 had hit and she returned to Detroit. She cut and issued the digital Reckless Blues EP from her home studio in 2020. "Human," its soulful lead track, won airplay at rock and Americana radio as well as on blues stations. Taylor signed with guitarist Joe Bonamassa's Keeping the Blues Alive label (KTBA). He assisted in helping her realize her long-held ambition to record a covers album. Producers Bonamassa and guitarist Josh Smith assembled a star-studded cast at Nashville's Ocean Way Studio; it included keyboardist Reese Wynans, drummer Greg Morrow, bassist Steve Mackey, and a horn section. Smith and Bonamassa played guitar and the latter sang a duet with her on the track "Don't Go Away Mad." Released as The Blues Album in September 2021, the 11-track collection offered songs closely associated with Albert King, Aretha Franklin, Peter Green, Little Richard, Magic Sam, and others. Its first charting single was a reading of Maurice Dollison's Little Milton vehicle "Let Me Down Easy." In January, Taylor and her road band played, filmed, and recorded a concert at The Franklin Theatre outside Nashville. Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Mike Farris all made guest appearances. The audio recording, titled Blues from the Heart Live, was packaged together with a video disc and released in October 2022.
© Thom Jurek & Richard Skelly /TiVo
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