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Guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor expands her sound on ‘Nobody’s Fool’ | On tour | Detroit

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Joanne ShawTaylor.

Joanne Shaw Taylor is widely considered a blues artist, but she does not consider any of her nine studio albums to be blues records, and she does not write what she considers to be blues songs.

“I’ve always said I’m a blues guitarist, I’m a soul singer and a pop-rock writer and it all comes together, because I’m heavily influenced by the blues, but when I learned to sing, I was never going to sound like Freddie King or Howlin’ Wolf,” she said in a phone interview in late October. “All my influences were male, so I had to look for other forms of music with vocals. feminine. And again, as a music fan, I love good pop songs, whether it’s David Bowie or Bonnie Raitt or Fleetwood Mac or, I love the new Harry Styles album. So it’s a little jumbled up, but there’s definitely a blues influence there.

Taylor’s description of his music may be more accurate than ever with his new album, no one is fooled.

Yes, there is a blues influence, especially on rockier tracks like “Just No Getting Over You (Dream Cruise)”, “Then There’s You”, and the funky title track, as well as the soulful ballad “The Leaving Kind “. But on what is perhaps Taylor’s most musically diverse album, there’s also a strong pop/rock thread running through the dashing “Bad Blood”, the sweet and lighthearted “Won’t Be Fooled Again”, even the catchy “Figure It Out”. while “Runaway” has a jazzy folk feel and “Fade Away” is a piano and cello ballad that Shaw wrote about the loss of his mother, the course of her grief and the perspective she has gained over the decade since his passing.

Whatever styles she incorporates on no one is fooled, the songwriting is still solid and the performances by Taylor and the musicians are inspired. And that’s her goal every time she embarks on an album project.

“I always promised fans that every album would be different. I don’t see the point of doing the same album again,” she said. “If you particularly like, I don’t know, ‘White Sugar’, that’s great. It’s still here for you to listen to. But I’m going to make sure the next album sounds different, and one thing I I can promise is that I will always release songs that I believe in. They have to be the best songs that I can do at this point. So I think you just have to do this, really, and hope for the best instead of expecting it. really take it and just try to figure out what people will like.

For no one is fooled, Taylor teamed up with his longtime close friend, blues rocker Joe Bonamassa, and his producing partner Josh Smith. The couple also produced The Blues Album, Taylor’s 2021 record of blues artist covers. This album also marked his first release on Keeping The Blues Alive Records, the label run by Bonamassa and his manager, Roy Weisman.

The recording of The Blues Album went smoothly. And as Taylor began to focus on creating a new album of original material, she was thrilled to team up with Bonamassa and Smith again, and feels their partnership has grown over the course of creating. no one is fooled at the legendary Sunset Sound studio in Los Angeles.

“I think it’s a lot more collaborative than any album I’ve ever done. I see myself and Joe and Josh as kind of a band, really,” Taylor says. “I provide the songs, but they’re really very involved in the arrangement, the direction that these songs go in. I basically give them a song on acoustic guitar and vocals, so they have a lot of say.

Some of the 10 original songs on no one is fooled took on entirely new forms with the input of Bonamassa and Smith. A great example is “Runaway”.

“It’s one of my favorites, actually,” Taylor said. “I wrote it on acoustic and it was really Joe and Josh’s idea to kind of take it a bit Joni Mitchell (directing), I would say, which I really liked.”

Another song that has evolved considerably is the cover of no one is fooleda version of the Eurythmics hit, “Missionary Man”, which gets an effectively slower and grittier treatment.

“Again, it was Joe and Josh,” Taylor says. “I had it as a kind of acoustic blues format. They took it and played with it and I walked in and they got this vibe, it’s almost a form of White Stripes, this freshness, a little darker. And I was like, ‘Actually, this really works. I really like what we do with it. It was such a different approach. And luckily, Dave (Stewart) was in LA at the same time as me, so it felt right to finally do something with him (in the studio) after all these years.

Stewart, Annie Lennox’s musical partner in the Eurythmics, was the musician who discovered Taylor when she was 16. He immediately hired her for his touring band at the time and helped her get hookups with a number of record labels as she began her solo career. of the ground. It was then that she met Stewart, Taylor, who started playing classical guitar at the age of 8, had already been playing for a few years.

“I loved playing the guitar, but I just didn’t like the discipline of the classical world,” says Taylor, from Wednesbury, in the West Midlands, England. “So of course when I discovered (bluesman) Albert Collins, who plays the guitar in such a weird way – I don’t think anyone but Albert Collins has played it (in that way) since – you know, I just realized it’s a fantastic instrument and really there are no rules Blues guitar is all about personality Freddie King sounds like Freddie King and Albert Collins sounds like Albert Collins So I loved this idea that I could look like Joanne Shaw Taylor.

Taylor’s songwriting talents, soulful, sassy voice, and guitar chops have earned him an ever-growing following. Promote no one is fooledshe will have a five-piece band that includes a second guitarist and Hammond organ player, allowing her to reproduce her songs faithfully live.

She also thinks that no one is fooled material enriches his live performances.

“I think it definitely adds a new dynamic, but it’s not too over the top,” says Taylor, 37. “It’s always rooted in blues, pop soul, that I think I’ve always bypassed those three genres. So I think it will fit in well, but I also think it will give the set a bit of momentum to change up the tactics a bit.

Joanne Shaw Taylor performs Friday, November 4 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre; 318 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; 248-399-2980; royaloakmusictheatre.com. Tickets start at $39.