When it comes to her albums, Joanne Shaw Taylor has always enjoyed taking the scenic route, if only to confound those who tout her as the next big blues thing.
This time she’s gone with Joe Bonamassa’s producer Kevin Shirley, who has beefed up her sound with his stable of session musicians and sprinkled some hard-rock fairy dust on top. It’s given her tried and trusted songwriting a hefty kick that she’s had to respond to; she’s got more expression in her voice and guitar playing, evident from opener Dyin’ To Know. And on the atmospheric I Wish I Could Wish You Back she’s also developed more control over setting and maintaining a mood.
Teaming up with Leon Russell for My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own has opened up new songwriting avenues to explore, as has her unexpected cover of Gershwin’s Summertime. And she’s enjoying the learning curve.