British blues rock guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor is set to release The Blues Album on September 24. The album is now available for pre-order and was produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith and was recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville. The Blues Album is a collection of 11 blues covers recorded by Albert King, Aretha Franklin, Peter Green, Magic Sam, Little Richard, and more.
“I’d known from the beginning of my recording career that one day I wanted to record an album of blues covers, I just wasn’t sure when the right time to do that would be,” says Joanne. “I’ve always found it far easier to write my own material than come up with creative ways to make other artists’ material my own.”
Joanne came up with the idea for the album when the pandemic halted touring.
“I mentioned my new project idea to Joe Bonamassa,” recalls Joanne. “He asked me for my song choices. Immediately he began sending me notes and was texting me song suggestions.” Joanne and Joe have been best friends and fans of each other’s music for many years. Joanne always wanted to work with Joe if the right project or collaboration came about.
“He was already acting as a mentor as well as an unofficial producer on The Blues Album, so I asked him if he’d fancy the job, officially,” says Joanne. “Thankfully, he accepted. The Blues Album has been everything I hoped it would be. It’s been a labor of love, overseen by an artist, producer, and friend who I trust beyond measure.
“We wanted to make a tough vocal centric straight blues record that showcases Joanne’s amazing talent but in a slightly different light,” says Bonamassa. “Joanne is a dear friend and a superstar. Josh and I focused on testing her limits and pushing boundaries that might not have occurred before. It’s all about making a statement and having the listener want to play the music repeatedly.”
While Taylor covers some big names on the album the song choices are not obvious.
“We try not to live in the well-worn trails of the blues,” said Bonamassa. “Each song has to has to stand on its own while paying tribute to the original masters.”
“Joe made it known from the get-go that his main objective for this album was to push me as a singer,” said Joanne. “Obviously, Joe has seen me perform many times over the years and knows my voice well. I think he felt that he could my vocal performance more, and get more out of it, especially since I’d had over a year to rest my vocal cords.”
Taylor has released a music video for her new single “Let Me Down Easy.”
1. STOP MESSIN’ ROUND (3:38)
2. IF THAT AIN’T A REASON (4:00)
3. KEEP ON LOVIN’ ME (4:07)
4. IF YOU GOTTA MAKE A FOOL OF SOMEBODY (4:10)
5. DON’T GO AWAY MAD feat. Joe Bonamassa (2:49)
6. SCRAPS VIGNETTE (1:27)
7. CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO ME (4:25)
8. LET ME DOWN EASY (4:50)
9. TWO TIME MY LOVIN’ (4:34)
10. I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT feat. Mike Farris (4:49)
11. THREE TIME LOSER (4:52)