Joanne Shaw Taylor - 'Songs From The Road' Hot

Added by James Gaden     October 18, 2013    
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Raw and powerful CD and DVD set from the blues rocker.

I became a convert to blues guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor when I was assigned to review her third (and most current) studio album ‘Almost Always Never’. It was a terrific record featuring Joanne’s guitar prowess and distinctive, soulful vocals to the fore. I quickly snapped up her previous two records and enjoyed them both a great deal.

The latest release from her is a live album/DVD package, presented in a double disk set. Recorded at The Borderline in May, the recording was a one shot deal, not a live album stitched together from performances from several nights. I’ve always preferred that method and the set list promised great things.

Joanne kicks the show off with ‘Soul Station’ from her last album and what is immediately apparent is it sounds like a live recording should. It does not come across as something that has been tinkered with or overdubbed, it’s rough and it’s real. Both ‘Soul Station’ and ‘Tied And Bound’ see the guitarist stretch out much more than she did on the original album cuts.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The excellent ‘Beautifully Broken’ makes great use of keyboard player Jools Grudgings, a relatively new addition as Joanne frequently played as part of a trio. ‘Watch ‘Em Burn’ is every bit as fiery as the title suggests, while covers of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Manic Depression’ and Frankie Miller’s ‘Jealousy’ are performed with vigour.

Managing to include material from all three of her albums in the set, as well as the covers, results in a well balanced show which gives a great overview of Joanne’s career to date. The only criticism I can level is some of her vocals are a little bit staccato, probably as a result of the live energy and her doing double duty as lead singer and lead guitarist. However, this is counterbalanced by extended guitar parts and a genuine live feel to the album. I appreciate the fact that Joanne has left it as a document of the night in question, rather than a polished to death “live” release. The DVD that comes with the live album gives you the chance to watch the show and enjoy three extra tracks that aren't featured on the CD. Raw and powerful!

James Gaden

“Songs From The Road” on CD/DVD on November 25th via Ruf Records. Joanne embarks on a UK tour on  November 28th with special guests King King.  Dates include:
London o2 Shepherd’s Bush (Nov 28)
Birmingham Town Hall (Nov 29)
Holmfirth Picturedrome (Nov 30)
Sage Gateshead (Dec 1)
Tickets:, 0844 478 0898.


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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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