Blues Queen Joanne Shaw Taylor set for Gigs in Preston, Chester and Southport

Posted on 22 June 2016
By Chris High
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For those who think that playing Blues Rock guitar is strictly the domain of men, think again. Since being discovered by Dave Stewart aged just 16, Black Country raised Joanne Shaw Taylor, who supports Joe Bonamassa in Preston on July 2nd,has become one of the “must see” artists on the music scene at the moment.

Hardly surprising really when you understand her immense talent and the fact that she’s hardly been off the road since. Coming up, Joanne will be supporting Joe Bonamassa on his three outdoor British Explosion Tribute shows to to Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, starting on July 2nd at Hoghton Tower in Preston, London Greenwich Music Time Festival on Thursday 7 July, 2016 and at Newark Castle on Friday 8 July, 2016.

Then, following the release of her fifth album, Wild, on September 30th – and gigs supporting another legend that is Glenn Hughes – Joanne returns to the North West with gigs at The Chester Live Rooms on October 21st and Southport Atkinsons on October 22nd as a part of her headline, 32 date UK and European Tour.

“It’s been a bit of a funny year, to be honest. We hadn’t done as many shows as usual at the beginning of 2016 because we’d been recording the new album in Nashville,” Joanne explained. “From May time though it’s started to get just a little bit hectic which is great; being on the road suits me a lot more than sitting around and not doing anything. I don’t really know what to do with myself, so I’m a lot better on the road than off.”

One of highlights of the year has been appearing alongside the likes of The Who and Queen + Adam Lambert at the Isle of Wight Festival: an iconic location to say the least. “Isle of Wight is such a legendary gig to play and it was pretty exciting to be a part of. Obviously I’m a big Brian May fan so it was great seeing him perform alongside the flamboyance of Adam Lambert, but playing festivals are a lot of fun anyway.

“They make such a nice change from being on your own where you get in the venue and are pretty much locked in. At events like Isle of Wight, you can just walk around and meet people, which is always nice to do. We have Glastonbury on the Sunday to look forward to as well, so to tick two events like that off the bucket list has been brilliant.”

Joanne is about to support Joe Bonamassa on his three outdoor gigs in tribute to the British Blues Explosion events, which sees him playing Hoghton Tower in Preston on July 2nd. “Me and Joe have been friends for many years but we’ve not had the chance to play together too often: his schedule is even more nuts than mine is.

“The gigs themselves are looking amazing, in those nice big prestigious venues, but then add on top of that the fact he’s doing the tribute to Beck, Page and Clapton makes it a kind of one off event. Then of course there is his guitar playing which is astonishing and perfect to celebrate the British invasion. It is going to be a really special set of gigs that I’m really looking forward to.

“The influence of Beck, Page and Clapton has been massive on me although, oddly enough, I didn’t really get into the British scene until later on when I was already gigging and recording. In fact, it was probably Joe who had a little bit of a hand in getting me into it more. I was always a sort of distant fan and my dad always had it on, Jeff Beck’s stuff especially, but I always tended to lean more towards the Texas Blues kind of stuff.

“I should also say that Paul Kossoff from Free has always been a big influence on me as well, and is why I switched to the Les Paul. These guys created their own sound and defined a whole generation of British guitar players. What I particularly love about it, and given that I’m not a traditional blues player, is that they were the first to blend blues with classic rock really.

“Jeff Beck remains one of my favourite guitar players because I still have no idea what he’s doing or how he does it, even having seen him several times. Maybe one day, if I keep practicing, I’ll figure out what the hell he’s doing.”

So who would Joanne most like to interview and why? “Oh, man, that’s tough. I think to be honest, what I would have really liked to have been able to do would be to sit down with BB King and ask him some questions. I was fortunate enough to gig with him and met him a couple of times, but if I could just wave a magic wand I’d really have loved to have just sat down and talked with him. I mean there are things I could ask Jeff Beck or ask Joe, but I think to sit down with someone like BB King and hear about what Chicago or Memphis was like in the 1950s, when blues music was really booming – to have him paint a picture of what it was really like back then – that would be fantastic. I don’t think that scene is something we are ever likely to see again, to be honest, so asking him about that would be most what I would like to do I think.”

With four albums already released – White Sugar, Diamonds in the Dirt, Songs from the Road and Dirty Truth – there is a fifth on the way, Wild which is released in September. “We’ve been recording Wild with Kevin Shirley and it is sounding pretty good. I’ve been looking forward to working with Kevin for a long time, we get on great and, for me, it is very important to be able to trust your producer.

“I’m the one who’s writing songs then handing them over to someone to tell me how they’re going to sound, so that element of trust has to exist but, I have to say, I’m super happy with Wild. It is a little bit different, which is always good, but still sounds like a Joanne Shaw Taylor album and what Kevin has encouraged me to do is sort of branch out and try things I haven’t before.

“I’m very excited though and can’t wait for people to hear it, but nevertheless a bit nervous as always. The release of a new album is always a little bit like your first day at school. Writing isn’t really something that came naturally and that and singing properly were things I had to really work on. I literally sat at home for two years and taught myself how to write songs and how to sing them, all of which eventually became most of those on White Sugar.

“On this album, Wild, I’ve co-written a lot of the songs which is something I have never done before either and, again, has been an experience in itself. Writing has always been pretty solitary but this time I’ve realised writing with other people adds an extra dimension and I’ve ended up really enjoying it.

“It’s been nice being able to go to other people and get different ideas and it relieves some of the pressure. Another thing with this new album is that we’ve kind of moved away from the three piece sound a little bit. I’ve added a rhythm guitarist which I’ve never done before, because I’ve sort of realised it isn’t any kind of chip on my skills to play alongside another guitarist.

“When you’re younger you sort of get into your head that everyone will think you can’t play if you have another guitarist up there with you. Now we can approach melodic parts in a very different way, which adds much more to the songs. I’ve not wanted it to be too polished, either. There are a few first takes on there because I wanted to give it a certain rawness. It’s definitely a Joanne Shaw Taylor album, but a little bit of a step up and away from the norm I guess.”

And then, following the release of Wild on September 30th, Joanne headlines her own 32 date UK and European tour from October, taking in The Chester Live Rooms on October 21st and Southport Atkinsons the following night. “Playing my music live is really what I love doing and it is great playing festivals, like I’ve said, and supporting people like Wilko Johnson like I did in April and, obviously, Joe Bonamassa. I’m also supporting Glenn Hughes during the late summer and autumn across America on something like 20 dates as well.

“But it’ll be nice to play a full set and we’ll have a few new band members in October so we’ll change things up a little bit. Also, you know, I’ll have been touring the Dirty Tricks album for something like two years now, so it’ll be kind of refreshing for both me and the fans to have some new material from Wild.”

Joe Bonamassa c/w Special Guest Joanne Shaw Taylor:

Hoghton Tower
Saturday 2 July, 2016

London Greenwich Music Time Festival
Thursday 7 July, 2016

Newark Castle
Friday 8 July, 2016

Book Online:
24 Hour Ticket Hotline: 0844 844 0444

Joanne Shaw Taylor ‘Wild’ Tour:

14 Oct UK Tavistock Wharf
15 Oct Cardiff Globe
16 Oct UK Bristol Fleece
17 Oct Worcester Huntingdon Hall
20 Oct UK Nottingham Rescue Rooms
21 Oct Chester Live Rooms
22 Oct UK Southport Atkinsons
23 Oct Shrewsbury Theatre Severn
26 Oct UK Leeds Brudenell
27 Oct Stockton Arc
28 Oct UK Dunfermline Carnegie
29 Oct Aberdeen Lemon Tree
31 Oct UK Bury The Met
02 Nov Southampton Brook
03 Nov UK Brighton Komedia
04 Nov Harpenden Public Hall
05 Nov UK Bury St Edmunds Apex

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For More Information About Joanne Shaw Taylor:

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