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White Sugar

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Album Review

She's already being called "the new face of the blues" by the press in her native Britain, but her debut album is the first opportunity most Americans will have to hear Joanne Shaw Taylor's sharp, fiery take on blues-based rock. Opening with the dark and sultry "Going Home," Taylor makes her intentions clear from the very beginning: her sound is raw, funky, and soulful, and she's as likely to reference Jimi Hendrix's R&B-inflected blues-rock as Stevie Ray Vaughan's rock-inflected blues. She's also unwilling to be hemmed in: notice the gorgeous guitar intro on "Just Another Word," and the way that the song goes well outside the lines of traditional blues structure without erasing them. Also notice the especially Hendrix-y "Kiss the Ground Goodbye," the lovely instrumental title track, and the stark, spare "Heavy Heart." The latter is the finest track on the program; it features a brilliant chord progression and a sly bluebeat outro that reveals a sense of humor that is otherwise pretty much hidden. The album ends on a very powerful note, with the slow-burning "Blackest Day." The challenge on this song is the solo, and she meets that challenge brilliantly, twice, and in two very different ways: once with gentle regret and then again with forsaken rage. A spectacular debut from a major talent.

Customer Reviews


I have always been reluctant in the past about trying albums from female blues guitarists - sorry ladies but its really a guy thing! At least that was always my attitude before. I took a chance on this one and it blew my mind!! Joanne has really perfected her craft before releasing her debut album and shows a very strong influence from Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her playing is up there with the best and with a voice like Joss Stone she brings a sultry tone to the blues. This one will have a permanent spot on my ipod for a long time to come!

It Shaw is good!

It's not often that i hear a female guitarist that can REALLY play (I'm not trying to be sexist here at all... but it seems that all too few females have "got the stuff") Well, let me tell you... Joanne has got it...and in plentiful quantities! I'll happily have this album in my collection alongside the wonderful Czech guitarist/vocalist Ana Popovic and the amazing Aussie bass slinger/vocalist Anni Piper.
Boys... we gotta take our hats off to these ladies and enjoy the groove that they have going on! Touche!

Nice Work

MY GOD!Did Steive Ray Vaughan have a daughter? Ilove the sound of her music and style of singing. Can't wait to hear more of this young ladies work.


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Joanne Shaw TaylorTaylor embodies all the elements of modern blues, even if she sings with a distinctively British accent. Given her extraordinary dexterity as a guitarist and well-developed vocal chops, Taylor was already a sensation on the blues festival circuit in both the U.S. and Great Britain when only in her mid-twenties. Taylor caught the blues bug as a young teenager growing up in the Birmingham area. She heard guitarists...
Full Bio
White Sugar, Joanne Shaw Taylor
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Customer Ratings