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CD Review: Joanne Shaw Taylor - "Diamonds in the Dirt"

December 21, 2010
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Diamonds in the Dirt
Ruf Records



When Joanne Shaw Taylor made her debut in early 2009 with White Sugar, fans of gutsy blues guitar sat up and took notice of the young British gal who could tear up her Tele as well as any lad her age. With her second album, Diamonds in the Dirt, Taylor brings a new authority to her playing, songwriting, and smoky vocals. In this set of 10 originals, the 24-yearold bares her soul by contrasting confessional lyrics with snarling solos. Though Taylor is categorized as a blues musician (she won the Best New Artist Debut at the 2010 Blues Music Awards), the grooves and riffs she weaves into her songs owe more to early Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, and Free than classic Chess or Cobra sides. If you enjoy the rough-and-ready sounds of Rory Gallagher, you’ll dig the rockin’ vibe Taylor brings to her blues.