Joanne Shaw Taylor - Wild album review

Still taking the scenic route.

Joanne Shaw Taylor Wild album cover

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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.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.