The Blues has a loud and proud history in the UK and the latest flag bearer is a girl; Joanne Shaw Taylor, who can play a Gibson Les Paul as well as any of the elder statesmen who flock to her gigs, and with SONGS FROM THE ROAD you can hear why.
Joanne recorded this album at the Borderline in London back in May 2013; with the opener only needing a couple of taught bass notes followed by a trademark guitar run for fans to recognise Soul Station and we are off and running.
There are no surprises here, with fan favourites like Tied & Bound, Diamonds in The Dirt and Beautifully Broken coming at you like a machine gun; with each track elongated by intricate and potent guitar solos from the Queen of British Blues.
About half way through the set Joanne slows things down and gets very soulful with a heartfelt version of Frankie Miller’sJealousy that takes the original and adds extra fire and brimstone, proving the young lady is no one-trick pony.
Some of the notes on the ten minute opus Watch ‘em Burn actually explode in your ears and the organ had me remembering the early days of Deep Purple and Joanne’s adaptation of Hendrix’s Manic Depression is virtually unrecognisable as she makes it her very own.
Although not one of her more notable album tracks, Kiss The Ground Goodbye takes on a life of it’s own, even if the raw and raucous Jump That Train runs it a very close race to be my favourite track.
While the guitarist is rightly proud to say the album has no overdubs or re-mixing involved in the release, I have one gripe; as Joanne doesn’t have the strongest singing voice perhaps it could have been turned up a bit higher on the night as it does get a bit drowned out at times; but, that said, the people who buy SONGS FROM THE ROAD only want to hear damn fine guitar playing and they won’t feel short changed in the slightest.
released November 4th