Critically acclaimed British guitarist and singer songwriter, Joanne Shaw Taylor, universally hailed as the UK’s premiere blues rock guitarist, is announcing the release of her seventh studio full-length record The Blues Album on Friday September 24th, 2021. Today she also shares a new single, Let Me Down Easy along with a companion music video.
The album will be released via Joe Bonamassa’s independent blues label KTBA Records. It was produced and recorded by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
The hotly tipped 11-track album features Joanne’s personalised covers of eleven rare blues classics originally recorded by Albert King, Peter Green, Little Richard, Magic Sam, Aretha Franklin, Little Milton, and many more.
The Blues Album, the follow up to 2019’s critically acclaimed album Reckless Heart, features Josh Smith (guitar), Reese Wynans (keyboards), Greg Morrow (drums), Steve Mackey (bass), Steve Patrick (trumpet), Mark Douthit (sax), Barry Green (trombone). Joe Bonamassa plays guitar and sings on the track Don’t Go Away Mad.
Mike Farris also joins as a special guest on I Don’t Know What You’ve Got.
“I’d known from the beginning of my recording career that one day I wanted to record an album of blues covers, I just wasn’t sure when the right time to do that would be,” says Joanne. “I’ve always found it far easier to write my own material than come up with creative ways to make other artists’ material my own.”
When the pandemic put the brakes on from musicians from touring during 2020 and most of 2021, Joanne thought it was the right time to head into the studio to record The Blues Album.
“I mentioned my new project idea to Joe Bonamassa,” recalls Joanne. “He asked me for my song choices. Immediately he began sending me notes and was texting me song suggestions.” Joanne and Joe have been best friends and fans of each other’s music for many years. Joanne always wanted to work with Joe if the right project or collaboration came about.
“He was already acting as a mentor as well as an unofficial producer on The Blues Album, so I asked him if he’d fancy the job, officially,” says Joanne. “Thankfully, he accepted. The Blues Album has been everything I hoped it would be. It’s been a labour of love, overseen by an artist, producer, and friend who I trust beyond measure.”
“We wanted to make a tough vocal centric straight blues record that showcases Joanne’s amazing talent but in a slightly different light,” explains Bonamassa. “Joanne is a dear friend and a superstar. Josh and I focused on testing her limits and pushing boundaries that might not have occurred before. It’s all about making a statement and having the listener want to play the music repeatedly.”
Joanne’s covers album pays tribute to artists and bands that are not obvious choices including Little Village, Little Milton, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, James Ray, but, at the same time, she covers seminal blues icons including Albert King, Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green and Magic Sam. Some of the songs covered are B-sides of singles.