Joanne Shaw Taylor goes Wild again in the UK

Portrait of Joanne Shaw Taylor wearing a Gibson Les Paul guitar

By her own admission, Joanne Shaw Taylor has registered gradual yet steady progress since being discovered at the age of 16 by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart. Now, having toured in support of Wilko Johnson, Black Country Communion, Robin Trower and Glenn Hughes, among others, the Black Country-born singer/guitarist is enjoying a taste of success with a fifth studio release, Wild.

Congratulations on your latest album, Wild, making the Top 20.

Thanks. I’ve been doing this since I left school and it’s been a slow build, but it feels nice that the hard work is paying off.

After playing at Glastonbury and Isle of Wight festivals this summer did you notice a spike in your profile?

Both were well received. And after Glastonbury there was an upturn on Facebook likes and we climbed in the Amazon chart.

This second run of dates is due to pubic demand, and you’re playing larger venues this time.

I leave worrying about ticket sales to other people. But during that last tour I began to notice that most of those shows were sold out. That was an amazing feeling.

In 2016 you played some gigs with Joe Bonamassa – who described you as “a superstar in waiting” – including a show on the banks of the Thames.

It made me appreciate that there are much worse jobs than standing on a stage for forty minutes and playing obnoxiously loud guitar.

Wild was recorded with Kevin Shirley as producer. Did you find him as hard a taskmaster as some have suggested he is?

I’ve known him for years through Joe [Bonamassa] and I was happy to entrust myself to his way of working. Fighting a producer, you’re likely to end up with an album that neither of you like.

The song My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own is co-credited to Leon Russell?

I’d been writing with Gary Nicholson [US singer-songwriter], who already had the music for that piece [he’d written with Leon]. So I didn’t get to meet the great man, sadly. [This interview took place before Russell’s death in November.]

The album is called Wild. What’s the craziest thing you ever did?

There were a few incidents when I drank much more than I do now, involving fire extinguishers and broken hotel room cameras.

The tour ends on January 28.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.