Joanne Shaw Taylor: The Dirty Truth – new studio album

Joanne Shaw Taylor: The Dirty Truth – new studio album




Joanne Shaw Taylor is pleased to announce details of her fourth studio album “The Dirty Truth” released in the UK on Monday 22nd September on Joanne’s boutique labelAxehouse Music. The highly anticipated new album sees Joanne reunited with Jim Gaineswho produced her 2009 debut album “White Sugar.”

“I wanted to go back into the studio in Memphis with Jim to retain the same vibe that we captured on the first album,” says Joanne. “The new album is a combination of rock and blues. It’s an exciting collaboration, and hopefully my fans will love the more stripped down sound.”

Album Track Listing

1. Mud, Honey
2. The Dirty Truth
3. Wicked Soul
4. Fool In Love
5. Wrecking Ball
6. Tried, Tested And True
7. Outlaw Angel
8. Shiver And Sigh
9. Struck Down
10. Feels Like Home

Photo Credit: © Rob Monk

Fans will be able to pre-order the following formats of the new album from JST’s official website www.joanneshawtaylor.com.

Available Formats
Signed Digipack CD, Standard CD, Limited Heavy Weight Blue Vinyl, Heavy Weight Black Vinyl, A2 Art Print & Signed Digipack, Art Print & signed Blue Vinyl.

The new album dovetails Joanne’s 14-date November UK Tour with former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden as special guest. The tour kicks off on Saturday 1st Novemberat Norwich Epic. Click here for further details for all the tour dates.

The new studio album and forthcoming UK tour follows 2013’s live album “Songs FromTheRoad” that burst with first class guitar playing, soul power, gritty blues and rock roots.

In May 2013, when Joanne originally performed at London’s Borderline, Classic Rock’s The Blues magazine said, “Joanne slips from bursts of muscular rhythm to searing riffs rooted in the blues but not dominated by it… JST bristles with self-confidence, energy and excitement.”

In 2013 during an in-depth interview, The Blues magazine asked Joanne if she enjoys playing live. “How can you not enjoy that job?” she smiled. “I get on stage, turn my guitar up really loud and I shout in the microphone for two hours. It’s the best therapy in the world.”

In November 2013, the Sunday Times said, “Who said white gals can’t play the blues? Killer licks, soaring solos and heart-wrenching vocals,” while the Sunday Telegraph observed, “A Brummie blues singer? Yes, really. Joanne Shaw Taylor has enough soul to compete with the best the Mississippi Delta has to offer.”

Photo Credit: © Rob Monk


I had the song title “Mud, Honey” for several years and intended to write an instrumental under that name. I originally wanted my second album “Diamonds in the Dirt” to be called “Mud, Honey.” When we went in to the new album with Jim Gaines, I took a demo of this in and told him it was going to be an instrumental, however, when I heard how it sounded with the band, it was so big and heavy it seemed a shame not to write some lyrics for it.

I decided to go with a darker subject matter for the lyrics as I felt that’s what would do the heavy track justice. It’s a fictional song about a gangster style character whose burned too many bridges.

When I sat down to write the song that would become “The Dirty Truth” I was actually attempting to write a country track. I’m a big country fan and had been listening to it a lot around the time I was writing. I hit upon this riff which obviously has a slightly more blues feel to it but decided to keep the lyrics more in a story telling vain that’s obviously common in country/Americana.

Again another fictional song about trying to get out of a relationship with a violent partner and the admission from the narrator that they know the only way to do so would be with the other person “winding up dead”. It’s a fictional song. I haven’t shot any of my boyfriends.

I often struggle when writing with what direction to take a song in when it comes to the melody and lyrics. I had the music written for a little while but just couldn’t figure out what else to do with it. The chorus just popped into my head one day. It wasn’t until we we’re in the studio and it came to record the vocals that I managed to write the verses and bridge.

It’s part autobiographical. Since I was struggling so much with finding what to say in the verse lyrics I decided to draw upon an experience I had last year with myself and a friend parting ways.

This track took a little longer for me to figure out the chorus lyric but I’m very happy with it. A story about the new sensation of falling in love with someone that you know is the right relationship you’ve been waiting for.

This is the one song on the album that was changed quite drastically from my demo version of it. I originally wanted it to be a rock song and it was similar to “Jump that Train” off my second album, Diamonds in the Dirt. However when we got in the studio there we’re too many changes in it and it became obvious it would benefit from being stripped back. I made the rhythm guitar part less busy, and it really gave the vocals more room.

It’s basically about falling in love with someone and the concerns about not being open to the prospect of getting hurt that go along with that. The chorus lyric summarizes with the realization that you’re already to “far gone” to not run with it.

Photo Credit: © Rob Monk

I describe this as a soul ballad. I had the title of this song written down for some time and always intended to write a slow blues track for it. I came up with the music to this song and the front part of the chorus lyric and realized it was the lyrical conclusion I needed for that chorus.

I actually wrote this about a long term relationship I ended last year. I guess it’s an apology of sorts and it also gave me the chance to explain my reasons for leaving the relationship.

A Texas style blues shuffle. I wanted it to be a little heavier i.e. more in the Billy Gibbons style so I played it on a Les Paul cranked through a crate head and 4 X 10 cab. The lyrics are about someone realizing their own immortality and questioning where they will go in their next life having lived a less than seraphic existence. 

I grew up listening to a lot of gospel music and have always enjoyed the use of words and stories involving redemption that feature heavily in that genre.

I co-wrote this song with Kevin Bowe over a decade ago and up until the past few years it had been a main staple of my live set list but I was never able to find the right album to put it on until we began this album. It’s a song about an unrequited love and for that reason I wanted the vibe of this song to be quite dark though the chorus is slightly sweater.

A straight up 3 piece rock song based around a driving riff. The lyrics are about being cheated on. I really love the vibe of this song and I felt it sounds closely related to the vibe on the opening track “Mud, Honey”.

I wrote this song and previously recorded it for my 2009 debut album, “White Sugar.”
However I also wrote “Kiss The Ground Goodbye” for that album and I felt the Hendrix feel of both songs made them a bit too similar to include on one album.

It’s obviously heavily influenced by Hendrix, and the way he used to play a rhythm part that was almost a rhythm/lead hybrid. That’s also the reason we decided to keep this song a three piece track. It’s about finding love.


Produced and Mixed by Jim Gaines.
Recorded at Bessie Blue Studios in Counce, TN.

Guitars and Vocals: Joanne Shaw Taylor
Bass Guitar: Dave Smith
Drums: Steve Potts
Keyboards: Rick Steff

All songs written by Joanne Shaw Taylor
*Except “Shiver & Sigh” written by K. Bowe and Joanne Shaw Taylor
Record Label: Axehouse Music Ltd.

Photo Credit: © MHP Studios

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Biography

Sold out concerts.  Screaming fans. Her name in lights. Joanne Shaw Taylor never anticipated any of that at the start. Back then, she was just an ordinary Black Country schoolgirl, bored with the disposable pop she heard on late 90s radio, rifling her father’s record collection for sunken treasure, and falling for albums by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix.

At 13 she played her first electric guitar. “Guitars were always lying around the house,” says Joanne.  At 14, she defied her teachers to play The Marquee and Ronnie Scott’s, and began to overcome insecurity about her voice.

“I never set out to be a singer,” she modestly told Classic Rock. “I’ve always had a deep voice. I think it came from my influences as a kid.

When I was singing to records, I was listening to Albert Collins and Freddie King. When I was a teenager, I became a big rock fan: Glenn Hughes, Skin, Doug Pinnick. I wouldn’t get far on The X Factor.”

Joanne left school at 16 and ran straight into her big break, as a twist of fate directed her demo into the hands of Eurythmics icon Dave Stewart after a charity gig.

Reflecting on his first impressions, Stewart recalls that “she made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.” His call the following day proved the start of a lasting friendship, with Joanne seeking his advice on the industry and accompanying his DUP supergroup across Europe in 2002.

Stewart gave Joanne her first deal, but when the label ran into financial trouble, it gave her a chance to regroup and work on her songwriting. Until then, original material had perhaps been a neglected side of her talent.

“I never really wrote songs until I was 21.” Suddenly the dam broke. In 2008, Ruf won the rush for Joanne’s signature, and soon she was working with veteran producer Jim Gaines (Carlos Santana, Johnny Lang, Stevie Ray Vaughan), bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts on the songs that became debut album White Sugar. “We recorded it in this little backwater town in Tennessee,” she recalls, “and if we needed a break, we’d walk to the shop and buy root beer.”

When White Sugar dropped the following year, taking in gems like Bones and Kiss The Ground Goodbye, it turned out the press had a sweet tooth, with Classic Rock crowning it Blues Album Of The Month and Guitarist noting “she plays with more attitude and flair than most – massive potential here”.

Soon enough, the buzz was building, with Joanne both raising her profile supporting Black Country Communion, and honing her craft on 2010’s Diamonds In The Dirt. This second album was another step up, from the explosive lead breaks on Can’t Keep Living Like This to the heavier influence of her adopted Detroit hometown on the crunching country-blues of Dead And Gone. Not bad, considering she had written the material in just two days and recorded it in less than a fortnight: “It’s the dreaded second album curse. You have ten years to do the first one, and ten days to do the second!”

By then, she was unstoppable, with Diamonds In The Dirt proving not only a classic record, but also a skeleton key to every door in the industry. Having received a nomination for Best New Artist Debut at the auspicious British Blues Awards forWhite Sugar, Joanne scooped consecutive wins in the Best British Female Vocalistbracket at both the 2010/2011 events: a haul that cements her position, as Blues Mattersput it, as “the new face of the blues.”

Since then, it’s gone stratospheric, with Joanne breaking into the notoriously hard-to-crack US market, beating the stereotypes of her age and gender, and being watched by 17 million viewers as she played an angel-winged solo during Annie Lennox’s set at the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert.

That same summer gave us Almost Always Never; a bar-raising third album that found Joanne dodging expectations, writing the songs her muse dictated, and diving in at the deep end with just her talent to keep her afloat.

Recorded in Austin, Texas, these twelve cuts moved from the savage Les Paul solos ofSoul Station and the strutting hooks of Standing To Fall, to the failed relationship achingly depicted on You Should Stay, I Should Go and the title track’s refrain of “You crash, you burn/you live, you learn”. She’d never sounded more open and honest. “I’ve loved every album I’ve made for many different reasons,” reflects Joanne. “But I’m so proud of these songs. It’s the perfect and truest example of who I am as an artist to date.”

Maybe so, but if you only know Joanne Shaw Taylor as the songwriter and studio magician, then it’s time you heard Songs From The Road. Released November 2013 on Ruf Records, it’s a candid snapshot from the road that makes your front room feel like the front row. “That night was just really good fun,” she reflects. “And I think that translates on the album.”

In May 2014, Joanne reunited with her White Sugar album producer Jim Gaines, and recorded her new studio album in Memphis.  The new studio album entitled The Dirty Truth is a return to Joanne’s original sound that mixes rock riffs with blues influences.  The album will be released in the UK on September 22nd on Joanne’s own independent boutique label Axehouse Music.

Photo Credit: © Rob Monk

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Official Website

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August 12th, 2014

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