Her first live performance in two years, Taylor is backed by a stellar group of musicians including Rob McNelley (guitar), Steve Mackey (bass), Jimmy Wallace (keyboards, piano), Nick Buda (drums), Devonne Fowlkes (backing vocals), Kim Fleming (backing vocals).
Over the past two decades, Joanne has proven herself to be a prolific songwriter, releasing seven acclaimed albums, cementing herself as one of the most important exports in British blues/rock. Her latest studio album The Blues Album (2021), produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, sees Taylor covering rather obscure blues covers with innovative interpretations. Many are included on Blues From the Heart Live, along with a few songs from her previous releases.
“Can’t You See What You’re Doing To Me” (Albert King) featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd, is a highlight and if you watch the DVD, you’ll see why. These two are the perfect pairing, both with muscular riffs but different guitar styles. The end result is exhilarating for any blues/rock guitar fan. Joanne steels the show with her inspired guitar and vocals as the two play off each other, while backing singers and band hold down the roof. The crowd goes wild, which of course, is part of the fun with any live album or concert film.
Slowing things down a bit is the lovely “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got” featuring Mike Farris. Joanne’s throaty voice serves this song not unlike an Ella or Etta, with Farris adding harmony vocals. Sax drifts in and out of the song as well.
A slow blues tune “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” sees Taylor stretching out a bit with her guitar mastery. Almost mournful in a minor key, her vocals enter the scene and dam, if they aren’t soulful enough to raise the hair on your arms. Joanne delivers once again with a fierce guitar solo.
Taylor’s interpretation of “Summertime” (George Gershwin) is compelling with her sultry vocals. The spotlight shifts to Joe Bonamassa and his guitar chops, making for a riveting watch on the DVD. Following is “Only You Know And I Know” (Delaney and Bonnie), also with Bonamassa, which closes the set with fun comradery between the two of them.
First discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Joanne Shaw Taylor is well on her way to greatness