ATLANTA, GA â€“ Ruf Records announces a November 9 date for Diamonds in the Dirt, the new CD from British blues guitar sensation Joanne Shaw Taylor. Ruf Records is distributed in the U.S. by the Allegro Corporation.
Diamonds in the Dirt follows the international critical acclaim and sales generated by Taylor - who is now based in Detroit â€“ for her 2009 label debut, White Sugar, which was nominated as â€œBest New Artist Debutâ€ at the 2010 Blues Music Awards. Back in the UK, Joanne was named â€œBest Female Vocalistâ€ at the recent British Blues Awards.
Plaudits for her first album were universal. â€œA spectacular debut from a major talent,â€ said All Music Guide in its review. About.com: Blues called it â€œA collection of scorching blues-rock fretwork and soulful vocals, the album represents Taylor's â€˜coming out partyâ€™ to blues fans everywhere.â€ The Boston Herald said, â€œEnglandâ€™s Taylor has all the tools to become the next big thing in blues. On her debut, Taylor wields an un-clichÃ©d guitar style and the voice of a goddess â€“ a fragile rasp that recalls Dusty Springfield and is worth the price of admission.â€ And the Phoenix Blues Societyâ€™s BluesBytes summed up its review by calling White Sugar â€œAn absolutely stunning release. Rarely, if ever, do you get a debut recording that is as fully realized as this one. Blues fans are advised to stay tuned for much more outstanding music in the future from Joanne Shaw Taylor.â€
Once again on the new CD, sheâ€™s joined by Grammy-winning producer Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and the same team of all-star studio musicians that helped to make her first album such an infectious pleasure. Diamonds in the Dirt was recorded at Gainesâ€™ Bessie Blue Studios in rural Tennessee and features 10 new original musical gems that showcase not only Taylorâ€™s continued growth as a songwriter, but also as a guitar player of genuine passion, power and depth. The opening track, â€œCanâ€™t Keep Living Like This,â€ opens with a lone acoustic guitar, but soon shifts into electric overdrive with a dizzying display of her guitar virtuosity. Taylor attributes the energized sound of the CD to her new musical environment, a place immortalized in such songs as â€œDetroit Rock City.â€
â€œThere are a huge amount of incredible bands and musicians in Detroit,â€ says Taylor about her adopted hometown. â€œIâ€™m sure itâ€™s given me new inspiration and been part of the reason for the slightly heavier sound on this album.â€
Songs such as the opening track and â€œLord Have Mercyâ€ demonstrate a remarkable range of dynamics. Taylor and her tight, two-piece rhythm section of Steve Potts on drums and Dave Smith on bass - along with the addition of keyboardist Rick Steff â€“ build gradually with solid, riff-driven groves before Joanne launches things into the stratosphere with one of her incendiary guitar solos.
Itâ€™s not all fireworks, though; songs such as the title track, a tune about the process of emotional recovery, shows off the softer, more melodic qualities in Taylorâ€™s singing and playing , as well as her willingness to reveal and heal. â€œWriting, for me, is very personal,â€ she says. â€œAll the songs on this album are autobiographical. Itâ€™s basically a chance to put thoughts and fears to paper.â€
And while it would have been easy for Taylor to try to repeat the success of the songs on her last album, so much as changed in her life since then that she never even considered it. â€œI wanted an album that showed my growth as a musician and person. I think Diamonds in the Dirt is a good snapshot of where I am right now as an artist and a good memoir of the past two years.â€
Joanne Shaw Taylor is booked by Piedmont Talent and is currently on tour in the northeastern U.S. Sheâ€™ll continue touring in support of the new CD with a series of shows in Florida in December before hitting the rest of the country, as well as Europe.
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