As with all the best artists new to me, I first heard Joanne on the Paul Jones show on Radio 2, where she was playing three of the tracks on this album in session on Dec 13 2010. There were hints of Janis Joplin and Alison Moyet underlying her stunningly distinctive voice, and her guitar work showed great breadth from subtle and delicate to heavy rocking blues. I was impressed! So I immediately ordered the CD, which was going to take a few weeks to be delivered, and you can imagine my expectations building steadily as Christmas and the New Year passed.
But can you believe my stunned reaction when two of my CD players said 'No Disc' each time I tried to play it? Instead of being the usual shaving mirror silver, it is shiny black on the play side, and neither the Marantz CD nor the Denon DVD (both hooked up to the hi-fi) could see it. In desperation I tried it on a few computers, but no go for either drive in each of the two big XP machines in the house; now I've gone through puzzlement and disappointment and I'm growing angry. At last, on the fifth machine tried, this old W2K laptop, it plays! My anticipation, building for the last three weeks, and scorched by the frustration of the final ten minutes, has been surpassed.
I might be tempted to compare Joanne with Ana Popovic, another superb blues/jazz/rock guitarist and singer, and only a few years older, but they are also so very different. You can hear they have come from different backgrounds, and are approaching the Blues from different directions. There is room for both in the Blues world, and both are most welcome in my CD collection.
She plays all the guitars, except bass, and sings all the vocals on this CD where she also composed all the tracks. This is showcasing her talent; there are no bad tracks, just some are better than others. See Joanne Shaw Taylor's web site for lots more about her.