One night. One shot. No safety net. If there was pressure afoot as Joanne Shaw Taylorwalked onstage at The Borderline on May 12th, 2013, then the bandleader used it as rocket-fuel, channeling the vibe into the set of her life.
Now, six months later, that explosive performance is captured on Songs From The Road – a live album with the soul power to jostle the greats off the podium. “I’m really pleased with it,” says Joanne. “It’s everything I wanted it to be.”
As the latest release in Ruf Records’ legendary Songs From The Road series, this CD/DVD set is the live album you’ve been screaming for.
“The timing is good,” agrees Joanne. “My fans, and especially the blues fans, have been asking me for a live album for a while now. I’m glad that we waited, and didn’t do it two years ago, because hopefully I’ve improved. We’ve done three studio albums now, so I think the live album ties all the albums together.”
A seasoned road-warrior since 2009’s debut album White Sugar, Joanne has nothing to fear from the stage, but the demands of her diary meant Songs From The Road presented a logistical challenge. “We only had one chance to do it because of my schedule,” she reflects. “If I’d played terribly – which fortunately I don’t think I did – it would have been unusable. It worked out really well, and I think a big part of that is because the fans were so good.
“We wanted to do it in London,” Joanne continues, “and the reason for picking The Borderline was because I wanted something small and intimate. I grew up being inspired by those small Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins club gigs, and I wanted to have that same ‘everyone-packed-in-like-sardines’ vibe – as opposed to a big production and losing some of that intimacy.”
If the crowd brought the atmosphere, then Joanne brought the songs. While some bands merely sleepwalk through the hits live, Songs From The Road finds the bandleader pulling her back catalogue around by the hair, ensuring that from early favourites like Going Home to current roof-raisers like Soul Station, these songs are very different beasts to the studio originals.
“There’s a very different energy live: that’s probably the main thing,” she notes. “I’m a live guitar player. There’s definitely more guitar in my live show than on any of the albums. I tend to lose all sense of control once I get onstage and everything is twenty beats faster than it’s meant to be! And there were no overdubs, so what you hear is what you get.”
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Songs From The Road
Format: 2-Disc CD/DVD Set
Label: Ruf Records
Release: 4 November 2013
Joanne Shaw Taylor: Songs From The Road Tracklist
1. Soul Station
2. Tied & Bound
3. Beautifully Broken
4. Watch ‘Em Burn
5. Diamonds In The Dirt
6. Manic Depression
8. Kiss The Ground Goodbye
9. Just Another Word
10. Band Introductions
11. Jump That Train
12. Going Home