Live Review: Joanne Shaw-Taylor | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Live Review: Joanne Shaw-Taylor

Joanne Shaw-Taylor is one of the most exciting name in blues, and Matthew Hooper says her live show is reason to believe the hype

Joanne Shaw-Taylor is an artist I’ve been trying to see for a few years now and when I saw the opportunity to see her live, I did not hesitate. This is because she breathes new life into the Blues genre, which has sadly diminished over the decades. To make things even better, she shares my Brummie heritage, adding to the list of talented musicians to hail from Birmingham.

Joanne Shaw-Taylor largely showed that she is a force to reckoned with and is doing something new and exciting with the blues
She filled the majority of the Symphony Hall and came out with one of her most recent hits, ‘Dyin’ to Know’, in which the band played classic blues elements before Shaw-Taylor burst into a stunning guitar solo, the first of many during the night. By combining classic fuzzy tones used by Jimi Hendrix with classic blues solos by the likes of Clapton and BB King, Shaw-Taylor brought an exciting variation of the blues with each guitar solo seeming more astonishing than the previous one.

She often returned to the classic roots of the blues by slowing songs down and playing intricate blues melodies over the top of her band, who despite not receiving a proper name as a group, did receive lots of attention from the solo artist, who frequently credited each member in between songs. This was deserved as well, since the band managed to keep a very tight set in which none can be faulted for making any mistakes. The keyboard player received some time in the spotlight in which he played through a huge organ solo reminiscent of the likes of Billy Powell and Jon Lord.

‘Nothin’ To Lose’ was a standout track with a rock ’n’ roll riff, rhythm guitar parts that the late Malcolm Young would be proud of, and a punchy chorus
This added a new element to the sound, offering more classic rock tones to accompany some of Shaw-Taylor’s arguably classic rock riffs. ‘Nothin’ To Lose’ was a standout track with a rock ’n’ roll riff, rhythm guitar parts that the late Malcolm Young would be proud of, and a punchy chorus where Shaw-Taylor demonstrated her powerful voice whilst simultaneously tapping the guitar with one hand in a Hendrix-esque manoeuvre. As most of her songs did, a sensational guitar solo followed, and Shaw-Taylor used these to demonstrate her wide range of abilities but also to show that she is a technically gifted musician, who should arguably be given a lot more attention for her abilities.

The passion that she showed whilst playing and the desperation heard in her voice really did the blues justice, debunking the myth that blues has no place in the modern music industry. Blues has infected many genres and can be sometimes noticeable in more mainstream music, but Shaw-Taylor showed it in its’ purest form with a ferocious drive spawning from her own passion and talent.

Other standouts include ‘No Reason to Stay’, featuring a truly infectious riff, and ‘Bones’, one of her only covers of the band, The Hoax. Joanne Shaw-Taylor largely showed that she is a force to reckoned with and is doing something new and exciting with the blues, and an artist I would definitely recommend not writing off before even giving it a listen.

To keep up to date with Joanne Shaw-Taylor, visit her website.

(@Mattguitar3)



Published

28th November 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

28th November 2017 at 9:43 am



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