SHE was a guitar prodigy discovered at the tender age of 16 by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart (below).
Now Joanne Shaw Taylor is set to embark on a nine-date UK tour, including a date at the Citadel in St Helens, which she hopes will cement her reputation as one of the Britain’s leading blues exponents.
The singer-guitarist will be performing tracks from her two award-laden albums, White Sugar and Diamond in the Dirt.
Born in Birmingham, Shaw Taylor has since moved to the States, where she now resides in Detroit.
That dramatic change of location is reflected in the shifting nature of her music.
The move also saw her reunited with the Grammy-winning producer Jim Gaines for her second album, Diamonds in the Dirt.
“There’s a lot of incredible bands and musicians in Detroit,” says Taylor. “It’s given me new inspiration and been part of the reason for the slightly heavier sound on the Diamonds album.”
Recorded at Gaines’ Bessie Blue Studios in rural Tennessee, Diamonds in the Dirt begins with the unexpected sound of a lone acoustic guitar but soon shifts into overdrive, becoming a dizzying display of frenetic, full-throttle electric power.
Songs like Can’t Keep Living Like This and Have Mercy are stand out on an album packed with raw energy
“Writing, for me, is very personal,” says Taylor. “All the songs on this album are autobiographical. It’s basically a chance to put thoughts and fears to paper.
“I wanted an album that showed my growth as a musician and person. I think Diamonds in the Dirt is a good snapshot of where I am right now as an artist and a good memoir of the past two years.”
l Joanne Shaw Taylor is at the Citadel on Thursday, November 24. Tickets £15 from 01744 735436.