Joanne Shaw Taylor
Hot on the heels of her first all Blues album released last year, comes a blistering live album from Joanne Shaw Taylor that includes the majority of ‘The Blues Album’, plus a selection of live favourites from her growing back catalogue. The listener knows they’re in for a treat from the opening notes of Peter Green’s ‘Stop Messin’ Round’. This is a real peach of an album, as not only is each song a gem in itself, but we get to hear extended soloing from an exceptional guitarist right at the top of her game to flesh out these numbers.
As well as being backed by a couple of musicians who have worked with Joe Bonamassa recently, the laconic Steve Mackey on bass and Rob McNelley on second guitar (whose slide playing on ‘Dyin’ to Know’ really enhances a classic guitar number), the man himself joins for the three closing numbers: ‘Don’t Go Away Mad’, replicating their duet from the ‘Blues Album’, a bluesy ‘Summertime’ from the ‘Wild’ album and finally a fresh, powerful version of Delaney and Bonnie’s ‘Only You Know and I Know’. These two make a great pairing and while this is definitely JST’s showcase, I can’t help but think that on this evidence these two friends would make a cracking album together.
Further guitar treats are served up by a guest appearance by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who burns it up on Albert King’s ‘Can’t You See What You’re Doing To Me’. The addition of a single sax player and two backing vocalists as well as Jimmy Wallace on keyboards help to recreate the soulful groove of the recent studio recordings and with the lady’s vocals reaching new heights, this is both an essential listen for existing fans and a good place to start for newcomers. An accompanying DVD shot with the typically strong production values associated with KTBA releases, beautifully captures the action from the Franklin Theatre in Tennessee and helps make this a very tasty package.