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Catching Up With Joanne Shaw Taylor

June 9, 2012

There was a sweet moment for guitar fans during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.  Annie Lennox was belting out a wonderfully bluesy version of “There Must Be An Angel” when a true guitar angel showed up for a fantastic but understated guitar solo. It was none other than Joanne Shaw Taylor, arguably Britain’s best contemporary blues guitarist (assuming you don’t count Eric etc as contemporary).

For those who do not know her, Taylor is not your typical guitar god. She is female, for one thing, and only about 25 or 26. But she plays like Stevie Ray Vaughn and sings a bit like Janis Joplin. She got her start at 16 when she was “discovered” by Dave Stewart, Lennox’s old buddy in The Eurythmics.

Taylor has put out two very-heavily blues-oriented albums – “White Sugar” and “Diamonds in the Dirt”. She also now lives in Detroit, but is touring Britain in October (I’m aiming for the London gig on Oct 16) and has a few U.S. shows in August.

Here she is in full flight:

And here she is with Lennox (starting around 3:20):

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