“I didn’t have a script for this one; I was not chained to any one particular idea how it must sound,” Taylor explains,“ I wanted to focus on the songwriting, and I was able to write whatever I was feeling. I had not done that before, and I must say it was a lovely experience.”
Joanne Shaw Taylor's latest release, Nobody's Fool took me completely by surprise. While her last two releases were rooted mainly in the blues, boosting Joanne's guitar-slinger acclaim, " Nobody's Fool" is a hugely entertaining mix of rock, pop, soul, and, of course, the blues. I was
thunderstruck by the diversity, by the unique blending of styles and textures, songs that you would not associate with so-called blues music which are featured front and center.
Case in point, Joanne takes on the Eurythmics classic " Missionary Man" which in her capable hands, becomes "an old White Stripes, grungy thing," according to Joanne. The track features Dave Stewart who discovered Joanne after receiving her demo tape from a friend. He became interested in what he heard and soon booked Joanne to be a part of his band at the time for their European tour.
Many of the tracks on “Nobody's Fool " seem almost hymnal in nature poignant pieces of heart-wrenching soul that are fueled by personal life lessons and experiences. " Fade Away " is riveting, a gorgeous piano-and-cello ballad that Joaane wrote about the loss of her mother how she dealt with that grief and the long process involved in finally coping with the loss.
For long-time fans Joanne Shaw Taylor's signature blues based rockers are here. However on "Nobody's Fool" the songs themselves take center stage with influences ranging from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Hendrix and Buddy Guy Mahalia Jackson to Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, David Bowie, and even Harry Styles
"I've always said I'm a blues guitarist I'm a soul singer and a pop-rock writer and it all kind of jumbles together because I'm hugely influenced by blues..." - Joanne Shaw Taylor
There are horns-a-plenty here ("Just Getting Over You (Dream Cruise)", Joanne's trademark searing guitar breaks and vocals that drip with enormous passion and sincerity. This is certainly a cross-over release that will bring her new fans. For long-time fans this is a soulful passionate excursion into contemporary blues with exhilarating surprises along the way.
I urge you to check out Nobody's Fool. This is an album that touches you deeply excites you and certainly has something for everyone
As Joanne tells it " The recording which took place over one week in July 2022 at Sunset Sound studios in Los Angeles was such a magical and exciting experience Hearing new songs come to life with two producers a band and two dear lifelong friends Carmen and Dave lending me their time and talent supporting me and these songs that I hadn't previously been brave enough to write in fear it wouldn't sit well with my previous catalogue I'm pleased to say it still very much sounds like a Joanne Shaw Taylor album."
“I think you have to believe in yourself and in making the music that you believe in,” she says. “If you do what you want rather than a product that isn’t genuine, you’ve got a better chance of striking a chord with someone else. It’s nice to think at the end of this that I did it exactly the way I wanted to do it and I was authentic to myself.”
Label: KTBA Records
Produced by: Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith
Reviewed by John Muller.