Joanne Shaw Taylor – Songs from the road

Joanne Shaw Taylor - Songs from the roadBlues singer/guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor is having great success at the moment.  Despite only being in her 20s she’s released three albums; has played in front of a large crowd (and a massive television audience) with Annie Lennox at the Diamond Jubilee concert in London; has won a number of awards, and her albums have sold well both in the UK and in the US.

In May this year Joanne Shaw Taylor played the Borderline in London for a performance to be recorded for release.  Just under six months on, the album is being released as a CD/DVD package.  It’s strange but in the last few years I can’t think of a single live album or DVD to have been released that was recorded at the Borderline, but in the space of a few weeks we have two – this one from Joanne Shaw Taylor and one of the Tour de Force releases from Joe Bonamassa.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the venue, it’s a small club that holds around 400 people, and the crowd are pressed right up against the front of the stage, and when the gig is sold out like this one was, people are packed in tight.  This gives it an intimate feel, as you’ll see when you watch the DVD.

The first thing that I noticed with this release was the track listing – it’s different on the CD and the DVD.  Considering both came from the same gig then I can only assume that reasons of space meant some of the songs had to be omitted from the CD, which would explain five songs being on the DVD but not the CD. Equally the DVD omits the band introductions and the Jimi Hendrix cover (Manic Depression).  I have to admit to feeling rather disappointed by the omission of songs from the CD – I’d have preferred a double CD including the whole set rather than a CD and DVD.  The reason for this is that most people will watch a DVD infrequently, but will listen to a CD far more frequently.  Obviously the ideal would have been a 2CD/DVD package but this would presumably have increased costs – still I can’t help thinking that would have been a more attractive option for fans.

Moving onto the CD, it kicks off with “Soul station” and right from the start you get a lovely guitar sound as well as Joanne Shaw Taylors distinctive vocals.  There’s a great guitar solo too.  She’s got quite a distinctive guitar sound – it’s quite a fuzzy distorted sound rather than a nice clean one but it really does sound good.  With songs such as “Jealousy” the music is softer and allows her voice to really shine.

The DVD has great sound and the video quality is good too – better than I’d expected as the lighting in the Bordeline isn’t great, but for this DVD they’ve added exrta lighting which brings it up to the standard you need to film a DVD.  Unlike DVDs filmed in larger venues, this one is filmed largely from the back of the venue with the audience visible the whole time (apart from the bits filmed close up from a camera by the stage).  That adds to the intimate feel of the show

I’d certainly recomend this album, and if you like what you hear then you’ll be glad to know that she’s on tour at the end of November with dates in London, Birmingham, Holmfirth and Gateshead (scroll down for the tour dates).

“Songs from the road” will be released on 4th November on Ruf Records

Track listing:


1. Soul station
2. Tied & bound
3. Beautifully broken
4. Watch ’em burn
5. Diamonds in the dust
6. Manic depression
7. Jealousy
8. Kiss the ground goodbye
9. Just another word
10. Band introductions
11. Jump that train
12. Going home


1. Soul station
2. Tied & bound
3. Beautifully broken
4. Watch ’em burn
5. Diamonds in the dust
6. You should stay, I should go
7. Almost always never
8. Jealousy
9. Kiss the ground goodbye
10. Just another word
11. Let it burn
12. Time has come
13. Jump that train
14. Lost myself to loving you
15. Going home


24 HR BOX OFFICE – 0844 478 0898

Thursday 28th November
Tickets: £20.00
Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Book Online:
Doors 7pm/ Stage 8pm
Shepherd’s Bush Green, London W12 8TT

Friday 29th November
Tickets: £17.50 / Box Office: 0121 345 0600
Doors: 7:30pm / Stage: 8pm
Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ

Saturday 30th November
Tickets: £17.50
Ticket Hotline:  0844 478 0898
Venue Box Office: 01484 689759
Doors: 7.30pm / Stage: 8pm
Picturedrome, Market Walk, HD9 3DA

Sunday 1st December
Ticket Price: £17.50
Box Office number: 0191 443 4661
Doors: 7.30pm / Stage: 8pm
St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays,
Gateshead, NE8 2JR

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.