Joanne Shaw Taylor Live
Joanne Shaw Taylor & Bernie Marsden Live
RMCM Manchester, 4 November 2014
British blues rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor returned to UK shores with a Nationwide UK Tour, which follows hot on the heels of her fourth new studio album, The Dirty Truth. The new album, was released in the UK on Monday 22nd September on Joanne’s boutique label Axehouse Records. Joanne was reunited with Jim Gaines who produced her 2008 debut album White Sugar.
“I wanted to go back into the studio in Memphis with Jim to retain the same vibe that we captured on the first album,” says Joanne. “The new album is a combination of rock and blues, and I think it’s going to be an exciting collaboration, and hopefully, my fans will love the rockier edge.”
The album and UK tour follows 2013’s critically acclaimed Songs From The Road; a live album. In May 2013, when Joanne originally performed an intimate concert at London’s Borderline, The Blues magazine wrote, “Joanne slips from bursts of muscular rhythm to searing riffs rooted in the blues but not dominated by it… JST bristles with self-confidence, energy and excitement.” In 2013 during an in-depth interview, The Blues magazine asked Joanne if she was having fun playing live. “How can you not enjoy that job?” she responded. “I get on stage, turn my guitar up really loud and I shout in the microphone for two hours. It’s like the best therapy in the world.”
First up was ex-Whitesnake guitarist and song-writer Bernie Marsden accompanied by a sole guitarist/backing vocalist. I’ve not heard or seen Marsden before but I concluded that Shaw Taylor could not have picked a more appropriate and skilled UK performer to support. Performing several covers including a lovely interpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dragonfly’, Marsden revealed a smooth, effortless and natural voice that for me outshone his famed guitar-playing. Performing several songs from his new Shine album, Marsden also proved to be a formidable communicator who quickly had the audience in his firm grip. I was both surprised and impressed by this charismatic artist whose album I will now acquire. As they say, ‘job done Bernie!’
1. Linin’ Track
Taylor wandered onto the stage (in front of a sellout crowd) in the most unassuming way - she looked more like a modest support instrumentalist rather than the night’s main feature! Alongside were just a drummer and bass guitarist which was all this young blues artist needed to make this an enjoyable blues rock night.
It didn’t take long to undertsand why this young blues lady has garnered such strong support from fans and the media. Technically, her guitar playing is wonderful and highly descriptive. Vocally she’s also very good albeit not as good as her instrumental skills. Her voice has bite sufficient to gives her blues rock compositions credence. Opener ‘Mud Honey’ from her latest album was a great opening gambit while follow-up ‘Watch ‘Em Burn’ sustained the momentum. At this point all the theatre’s lights came on to signal an immediate evacuation. Some 20 minutes later the show recommenced when Taylor seemed to step up a couple of gears.
The audience and I loved the moment when Bernie Marsden joined Taylor on stage for what seemed to be a improvised guitar battle that had everyone cheering.
Taylor’s setlist comprised 3 songs from her latest album and a string of songs from each of her previous releases. It was exactly what her fans wanted and she delivered in spades. For me the show looked a little too rehearsed but make no mistake, Joanne Shaw Taylor is on a journey and despite the success she has experienced so far still has possesses the potential to match some of the genre’s true greats - old and new.
Mud Honey (from The Dirty Truth), Watch ‘Em Burn (from White Sugar), Jealousy (from Almost Always Never), Jump That Train (from Diamonds In The Dirt), Diamonds In The Dirt (from Diamonds In The Dirt), Wrecking Ball (from The Dirty Truth); Tried, Tested and True (from The Dirty Truth); Walking In The Shadow, Let It Burn (from Diamonds In The Dirt), Time Has Come (from Songs From The Road), Tied and Bound (from Almost Always Never), The Dirty Truth (from The Dirty Truth)
Remaining UK Tour
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