Friday, February 01, 2013

Joanne Shaw Taylor Almost Always Never

Joanne Shaw Taylor’s newest album (her 3rd), Almost Always Never (Ruf Records), has been quietly making an impression on me for some time. The CD was recorded and produced in Austin, Texas by Mike McCarthy (Producer of Patti Griffith and others) and features the British singer-songwriter and guitarist backed by David Garza (keyboards), Billy White (bass/slide guitar) and J.J. Johnson (drums). With the exception of Frankie Miller’s Jealousy, Taylor penned the songs on this.

Her smokey, soulful vocals have the strongest appeal with a simmering intensity which is displayed on Beautifully Broken, with the crisp backing (Garza’s organ really helps frame her vocal) and Taylor’s rocking solo. At spots, her guitar is too much in a rock vein for my taste (the opening Soul Station), but her vocals never disappoint here as she moans and never screams her blues-laced performances. Furthermore, her lyrical takes on standard themes are fresh such as her take on a break-up, You Should Go, I Should Stay, where she tells her ex on her leaving that “you’ve got nothing to be sorry for.” Miller’s Jealousy might be the highlight as she wears her heart on her sleeve with passionate singing with smoldering backing and crisp, searing blues-rock guitar. 

With the performances ranging from the hard rock of Soul Station and Tied and Bound, to the buoyant, rocking ”A hand In Love” and the low-key, acoustic country blues flavor of Army of One, there is plenty to sustain a listener’s interest throughout Almost Always Never. The solid production, and Joanne Shaw Taylor’s strong blues and soul infused performances contribute to a very memorable recording.

I received this from a publicist. Here is a video of her performing Piece of the Sky.

No comments: