Songs From The Road (Live) Joanne Shaw Taylor

Cover Songs From The Road (Live)

Album info

Album-Release:
2013

HRA-Release:
12.11.2013

Label: Ruf Records

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Blues-Rock

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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Formats & Prices

FormatPriceIn CartBuy
FLAC 44.1 $ 13.50
  • 1Soul Station05:57
  • 2Tied and Bound06:43
  • 3Beautifully Broken07:32
  • 4Watch' Em Burn10:08
  • 5Diamonds In The Dirt06:07
  • 6Manic Depression07:38
  • 7Jealousy07:10
  • 8Kiss The Ground Goodbye07:27
  • 9Just Another Word04:24
  • 10Band Introductions00:30
  • 11Jump That Train06:37
  • 12Going Home05:38
  • Total Runtime01:15:51

Info for Songs From The Road (Live)

One night. One shot. No safety net. If there was pressure afoot as Joanne Shaw Taylor walked onstage at The Borderline on May 12th, 2013, then the bandleader used it as rocket-fuel, channeling the vibe into the set of her life. Now, six months later, that explosive performance is captured on Songs From The Road: a live album with the soul power to jostle the greats off the podium.

“I’m really pleased with it,” says Joanne. “It’s everything I wanted it to be.”

As the latest release in Ruf Records’ legendary Songs From The Road series, this album set is the live album you’ve been screaming for. “The timing is good,” agrees Joanne. “My fans, and especially the blues fans, have been asking me for a live album for a while now. I’m glad that we waited, and didn’t do it two years ago, because hopefully I’ve improved. We’ve done three studio albums now, so I think the live album ties all the albums together.”

A seasoned road-warrior since 2009’s debut album White Sugar, Joanne has nothing to fear from the stage, but the demands of her diary meant Songs From The Road presented a logistical challenge. “We only had one chance to do it because of my schedule,” she reflects. “If I’d have played terribly – which fortunately I don’t think I did – it would have been unusable. It worked out really well, and I think a big part of that is because the fans were so good.

“We wanted to do it in London,” Joanne continues, “and the reason for picking The Borderline was because I wanted something small and intimate. I grew up being inspired by those small Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins club gigs, and I wanted to have that same ‘everyone-packed-in-like-sardines’ vibe – as opposed to a big production and losing some of that intimacy.”

If the crowd brought the atmosphere, then Joanne brought the songs. While some bands merely sleepwalk through the hits live, Songs From The Road finds the bandleader pulling her back catalogue around by the hair, ensuring that from early favourites like Going Home to current roof-raisers like Soul Station, these songs are very different beasts to the studio originals.

“I think there’s a very different energy live: that’s probably the main thing,” she notes. “I’m a live guitar player. There’s definitely more guitar in my live show than on any of the albums. I tend to lose all sense of control once I get onstage and everything is twenty beats faster than it’s meant to be! And there were no overdubs, so what you hear is what you get.”

Sold out venues. Screaming crowds. Her name in lights. Joanne Shaw Taylor never anticipated any of that at the start. Back then, she was just an ordinary black country schoolgirl, bored with the disposable pop she heard on late nineties radio, rifling her father’s record collection for sunken treasure, and falling for albums by SRV, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix.

“Guitars were lying around the house,”recalls Joanne. At 13, she’d picked up her first electric and practiced every minute. At 14, she defied her teachers to play The Marquee and Ronnie Scott’s, and began to overcome insecurity about her voice. “I never set out to be a singer,” she modestly told Classic Rock. “I’ve always had a deep voice. I think it came from my influences as a kid. When I was singing to records, I was listening to Albert Collins and Freddie King. When I was a teenager, I became a big rock fan: Glenn Hughes, Skin, Doug Pinnick. I wouldn’t get far on The X Factor.”

Joanne left school at 16 and ran straight into her big break, as a twist of fate directed her demo into the hands of Eurythmics icon Dave Stewart after a charity gig.

Reflecting on his first impressions, Stewart recalls that “she made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.” His call the following day proved the start of a lasting friendship, with Joanne seeking his advice on the industry and even accompanying his DUP supergroup across Europe in 2002.

Stewart gave Joanne her first deal, but when the label ran into financial trouble, it gave her a chance to regroup and work on her songwriting. Until then, original material had perhaps been a neglected side of her talent.

“I never really wrote songs until I was 21.” Suddenly the dam broke. In 2008, Ruf won the rush for Joanne’s signature, and soon she was working with veteran producer Jim Gaines (Carlos Santana, Johnny Lang, SRV), bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts on the songs that became debut album White Sugar.

“We recorded it in this little backwater town in Tennessee,” she recalls, “and if we needed a break, we’d walk to the shop and buy root beer.” When White Sugar dropped the following year, taking in gems like Bones and Kiss The Ground Goodbye, it turned out the press had a sweet tooth, with Classic Rock crowning it Blues Album Of The Month and Guitarist noting “she plays with more attitude and flair than most – massive potential here”.

Soon enough, the buzz was building, with Joanne both raising her profile supporting Black Country Communion, and honing her craft on 2010’s Diamonds In The Dirt. This second album was another step up, from the explosive lead breaks on Can’t Keep Living Like This to the heavier influence of her adopted Detroit hometown on the crunching country-blues of Dead And Gone. Not bad, considering she had written the material in just two days and recorded it in less than a fortnight: “It’s the dreaded second album curse. You have ten years to do the first one, and ten days to do the second!”

By then, she was unstoppable, with Diamonds In The Dirt proving not only a classic record, but also a skeleton key to every door in the industry. Having received a nomination for ‘Best New Artist Debut’ at the auspicious British Blues Awards for White Sugar, Joanne scooped consecutive wins in the ‘Best British Female Vocalist’ bracket at both the 2010/2011 events: a haul that cements her position, as Blues Matters put it, as “the new face of the blues”.

Since then, it’s gone stratospheric, with Joanne breaking into the notoriously hard-to-crack US market, beating the stereotypes of her age and gender, and being watched by 17 million viewers as she played an angel-winged solo during Annie Lennox’s set at the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert. That same summer gave us Almost Always Never: a bar-raising third album that found Joanne dodging expectations, writing the songs her muse dictated, and diving in at the deep end with just her talent to keep her afloat.

Recorded in Austin, Texas, these twelve cuts moved from the savage Les Paul solos of Soul Station and the strutting hooks of Standing To Fall, to the failed relationship achingly depicted on You Should Stay, I Should Go and the title track’s refrain of “You crash, you burn/you live, you learn”. She’d never sounded more open and honest. “I’ve loved every album I’ve made for many different reasons,” reflects Joanne. “But I’m so proud of these songs. It’s the perfect and truest example of who I am as an artist to date.”

Maybe so, but if you only know Joanne Shaw Taylor as the songwriter and studio magician, then it’s time you heard Songs From The Road. Released November 2013 on Ruf Records, it’s a candid snapshot from the road that makes your front room feel like the front row. “That night was just really good fun,” she reflects. “And I think that translates on the album.”

“She’s blonde, she’s beautiful and she plays blistering blues-rock guitar. She’s a rock and roll revelation.” (Sunday Mercury)


Joanne Shaw Taylor
When Annie Lennox paused her Diamond Jubilee Concert performance to let a white-suited, angel-winged blonde fire a soaring Les Paul solo into the sky above Buckingham Palace, uninitiated viewers all asked the same question. Who’s that girl? Needless to say, the music fans and blues-heads in the crowd already knew the answer. It was Joanne Shaw Taylor. The whisky-voiced singer. The midas-touch guitar heroine. The heart-on-sleeve songwriter. And now, the author of a classic third album that will plant her flag as the first lady of British blues.

Released on September 17 through Ruf Records, Almost Always Never is the sound of a bar being raised. Rather than riff on the same themes as her feted past albums, White Sugar and Diamonds In The Dirt, this third collection finds the artist dodging expectations, writing the songs her muse dictates, diving in at the deep end with just her talent to keep her afloat. Recording in Austin, Texas, these 12 cherished cuts were nailed alongside Mike McCarthy – the producer whose gold-plated CV takes in everyone from Patty Griffin to Spoon – and the crack session team of David Garza (keyboards), Billy White (bass/slide guitar) and J.J. Johnson (drums). As you’ll gather from a cursory spin: they aced it.

“Mike comes from a different musical background from me,” explains Joanne. “He pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to explore new territories. I never thought when I started on this journey that I would ever get to work with such an amazing array of talent. I’ve been a fan of J.J., David and Billy for years, and their performances on this album are exceptional.”

Ultimately, Almost Always Never is Joanne’s statement. From the savage Les Paul solos of Soul Station to the strutting rock hooks of Standing To Fall, this record will delight the fans who clutch the security rail at Joanne’s gigs, waiting to be scorched by her guitar pyrotechnics. Yet there’s tenderness too, and from her aching suicide-note to a failed relationship on You Should Stay, I Should Go to the title track’s touching refrain of “You crash, you burn/you live, you learn”, this eloquent songwriter has never sounded more open and honest. By the time you reach the slow-burn Lose Myself To Loving You, she has you by the heart-strings.

Faced with this game-changing third album, it’s astonishing to note that this prolific musician is still only in her mid-twenties. It’s been quite a ride. Three albums. Countless shows across the planet. A mantelpiece groaning with awards. Support slots with everyone from B.B. King to Eric Sardinas. And of course, that performance with Lennox in June – watched on television by 17 million viewers.

Joanne never imagined any of that at the start. Back then, she was just an ordinary Black Country schoolgirl, bored with the music she heard on late-’90s pop radio, rifling her father’s record collection and falling for albums by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix. Guitars were “lying around the house”, she recalls, and at 13, she’d picked up her first electric and was practising “every minute”. At 14, she defied her teachers to play The Marquee and Ronnie Scott’s, and was starting to overcome insecurity about her voice. “I was never meant to be a singer,” she modestly told Classic Rock. “I’ve always had a deep voice. I think it came from my influences as a kid. When I was singing to records, it was guys like Albert Collins, Freddie King. As I got into my teens, I was a big rock fan: Glenn Hughes, Skin, Doug Pinnick. I wouldn’t get far on X Factor…”

Joanne left school at 16 and ran straight into her big break, as a twist of fate directed her demo tape into the hands of Eurythmics icon Dave Stewart after a charity gig. Reflecting on his first impressions, Stewart recalls that “she made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end”, and his phone-call the following day proved the start of a lasting friendship, with Joanne seeking his advice on the industry and even accompanying his DUP supergroup across Europe in 2002.

Stewart offered Joanne her first deal, but when the label ran into financial trouble, it gave her the chance to regroup and work on her songwriting. Thus far, original material had perhaps been a neglected side of her talent – “I never really wrote songs until I was 21” – but once the dam broke, things moved fast. In 2008, Ruf won the rush for Joanne’s signature, and soon she was working with veteran producer Jim Gaines (Carlos Santana, Johnny Lang, Stevie Ray Vaughan), bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts on the songs that became debut album White Sugar. “We recorded it in this little backwater town in Tennessee,” she recalls, “and if we needed a break, we’d walk to the shop and buy root beer.”

When White Sugar dropped the following year, taking in gems like Bones and Kiss The Ground Goodbye, it turned out the rock press had a sweet tooth, with Classic Rock crowning it Blues Album of the Month and Guitarist noting that “she plays with more attitude and flair than most: massive potential here”.

Soon enough, the buzz was building, with Joanne both raising her profile supporting behemoths like Black Country Communion, and honing her craft on 2010’s Diamonds In The Dirt. This second album was another step up, from the explosive lead breaks on Can’t Keep Living Like This to the heavier influence of her adopted Detroit hometown on the crunching country-blues of Dead And Gone. Not bad, considering that Joanne had written the material in just two days and recorded it in under a fortnight. “It’s the dreaded second album curse,” she laughs. “You have ten years to do the first one, and ten days to the second!”

By then, she seemed unstoppable, with Diamonds In The Dirt proving not just a classic record, but also a skeleton key to every door in the industry. Having received a nomination for ‘Best New Artist Debut’ at the auspicious British Blues Awards for White Sugar, Joanne scooped consecutive wins in the ‘Best British Female Vocalist’ category at both the 2010 and 2011 events: a haul that cements her position, as Blues Matters magazine once put it, as ‘the new face of the blues’. Since then, she’s broken into the notoriously hard-to-crack US market, beaten the stereotypes of her age and gender, and won the respect of the giants.

“There are a lot of great guitarists and singers in the blues today,” says Joe Bonamassa. “What I see in Joanne Shaw Taylor that sets her apart from the rest is the ability to write a great song. Not only is she a killer guitarist and singer, but you find yourself walking away from her shows singing her songs as well.”

Here are 12 more songs to get stuck in your head. With Almost Always Never, the precocious blues star has blossomed into a full-grown talent, raised the stakes and given herself the dream setlist for her UK tour in October. “I’ve loved every album and recording experience I’ve had to date for many different reasons,” reflects Joanne. “I think what sets Almost Always Never apart from my two previous albums is the songwriting process leading up to it. I’m so proud of these songs. All 12 of them combine into one body of work. It’s the perfect and truest example of who I am as an artist to date.”

Booklet for Songs From The Road (Live)

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