Joanne Shaw Taylor: Time Has Come With Debut Release White Sugar

“I wanted to take time out to really work on my craft and make sure that when I did an album it was the best that I could do.”-JST

The articles you read on TheBluesBlogger have me drifting through time… I love writing about the past and the music that was a part of those memories… However, there are some new artists on the current blues/rock scene that really shine and I love writing about them. Sometimes we can learn a lot about the past just by looking right in front of us.

Earlier in the week I listened to Joanne Shaw Taylor’s latest album White Sugar. I wasn’t too familiar with her work, but when I finally heard this young lady play, I was completely knocked out… She’s fantastic.

The first weekend of Spring my wife and I are taking our son and the dog for a rare overnight excursion. Our friend has a fully equipped cabin in the country and he gave us the keys for the weekend. So we decided to take the opportunity to get away.

Saturday morning during the car ride, I was anxious to share Joanne Shaw Taylor’s music with my family… I was that convinced they’d love it… And I was right… So I put the cruise control on and let the music wash over us. And we continued to make our way up the crunchy country road.

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Born in England in 1986, she caught the blues bug at a young age. She trained on a classical guitar, but set it aside when she received an electric for Christmas. Joanne then became captivated by the sounds of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Freddie King and Albert King.

She has toured since she was 14 and headlined at top clubs like Ronnie Scotts and The Marquee. As well as performing at numerous European festivals playing along with many of her idols like BB King… Later in her career she fronted a trio and developed quickly while keeping the costs of gigging fairly economical.

Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics first discovered her when she was 16. Blown away by her talent, in 2002 he asked her to join his group and tour Europe.

Ruf Records flew Shaw Taylor to Tennessee to meet up with producer Jim Gaines to record her latest album White Sugar. Gaines worked with some some of the greats like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison and Lonnie Brooks. He hired experienced session guys Steve Potts on drums and Dave Smith on bass. The effort payed off…

“As soon as I heard SRV and Albert Collins I knew pretty much that I wanted to do that full stop. That was the lifestyle route that I was goin´to go down. It was never a hobby. It was always very serious and dedicated to it.”

White Sugar is tastefully done and is extremely catchy with plenty of blues, rock & soul… All ten of the album’s songs were written by Shaw Taylor and they flow really well. She weaves her raspy vocal prowess with sweltering guitar licks beautifully and sounds natural doing it. It’s a very impressive debut record and one I strongly encourage my readers to fully explore. She is definitely a star on the rise.

Later That Night

I love relaxing in the country.That serene peaceful feeling away from all the noise and lights is so refreshing. Sure it’s a little chilly, but I’m not complaining… After going for our hike and having some dinner, I started a fire and everybody did their thing… The cabin was very comfortable indeed. My son played with his PSP and read some of his magazines. TBBW cozied up on the couch with her latest novel. And me? Well I’m finishing off this piece to the snap crackle and pops of the fire and thinking about the music that warmed me up during the drive… And our dog Lucille? She’s snoring with her head on my foot…

Hope you enjoyed your first weekend of Spring…

Is this the first time you’ve heard of Joanne Shaw Taylor? Or are some of you already familiar? I’m curious to know. Please add your comments below… Let’s hear from you!

Enjoying the Wilderness,


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17 Responses to “Joanne Shaw Taylor: Time Has Come With Debut Release White Sugar”

  1. Retrokimmer March 23, 2009 at 5:24 am #

    Wow is she fabulous or what? Unbelievable.

  2. The Blues Blogger March 23, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    She’s a very inspiring young lady to watch and listen to. Spread the word on this one… Awesome talent for sure. Thanks for commenting.

  3. MaxLaw March 24, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    OK, TBB–another really good article about someone that I just had never heard of. Ya had me on the first video, but when she said that Stevie Ray Vaughan (“SRV”) was some one who influenced her to go “full stop” with the blues…I had to listen some more. Then, listening to the MP3 samples had me thinking about buying the CD.

    Thanks to you, the first pup Lucille, and TBBW for another enjoyable read.

  4. Badsanta March 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Thanks for turning me on to this very talented young woman. I sampled some songs and then bought the album. Fantastic!

  5. revpete1 March 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    Thanks for introducing her to us, Blues Blogger. She is amazing. I purchased the album right away. She really got me. Up there with Susan Tadeschi and Debra Coleman

  6. The Blues Blogger March 25, 2009 at 4:26 am #

    Thanks everyone for adding your comments… It’s a great feeling to write a post and see many of you agree enough to purchase JST’s album. It will be interesting to see what happens next for this young talented lady…


  7. krellpw March 27, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    First I’ve heard of JST. Very solid sound. Looking forward to hearing more. Can’t wait to see what you bring out next.

  8. LocateBlogger April 10, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    Never heard of her before.Great female guitarist.

  9. BluesBlastMagazine April 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    I listened to the tracks on the Amazon player and them decided to buy the CD too. Hang on to your hats, This gal is gonna be HUGE!!!!!!

  10. The Blues Blogger April 14, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    BluesBlastMagazine — Couldn’t agree more…

  11. The Blues Blogger April 16, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    Hi Everyone,

    Great News!!!

    River City Blues Society presents Joanne Shaw Taylor on Wednesday June 17th, 2009. If you’re in the Illinois area be sure to check this one out… Should be great!

  12. Sleiven April 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

    March 16 a rainy evening I was driving through the Highlands of Scotand and listening to BBC2 on the radio. They broadcasted a live session with JST. She played “Coming Home” live in the studio. I was totally blow away and drove with goosbumps allover while the speedometer increased…
    Listening to a live performance is MUCH better than the CD version. .The BBC2 mix was fantastic with the rythm guitar much more pronounced. I beg for a single with this cut. Anyway the CD is really good.The most pleasing musical discovery since the first time I heard “Smoke on the water”/Deep Purple and later Dire Straits for the first time….Different genres needless to say… I bought the White Sugar CD instantly and am now waiting for a tour in a country near me..

  13. Grahame Rhodes May 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Hi guys – Mighty impressive album . . . not all original songs though, just one cover . . . The Hoax tune “Bones” off the “Humdinger” album!

  14. Ian Rogers June 5, 2009 at 6:33 am #

    I heard of Ms Shaw Taylor in a record shop, thought she sounded great and ASSUMED that she was American. I couldn’t believe that she was, in fact English straight from the Black Country. Very authentic young woman who really knows her stuff. I saw her play in London recently, supporting Johnny Winter. She sang and played as good as I hoped she would and I got to meet the lady afterwards. I remember her saying that she would not live in The States otherwise she would get fat! Anyway, a nice person who seems tough enough to make it big. I very much hope she gets the fame she deserves. Talent like Joanne Shaw Taylor is all too rare in the UK as it is.

  15. Andy Hall July 26, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Wow! Just…Wow!…is what I kept saying after I got a copy of “White Sugar yesterday and gave it a listen. I heard a promo on the radio the other day for Dan Akroyd’s “House of Blues” syndicated show and when he said “I have seen the future and her name is Joanne Shaw Taylor”…I ran out to find out what all the buzz was about….I was not disappointed. Great Blog…keep up the good work.

  16. Bluesjam August 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    I love the Album, great guitar player.

  17. Ron May 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    yes – you folks that haven’t had the pleasure of listening so far please do – very exciting and breaks so many stereotypes

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