Ruf Records announces a September 12 release date for blues-rock singer/guitarist Joanne Shaw Taylor's new CD, Almost Always Never, which was produced by Mike McCarthy and recorded in Austin, TX. Ruf Records is distributed in the U.S. by the Allegro Corporation.
Almost Always Never is Joanne’s third CD and follows the international buzz for her two prior albums, White Sugar (2009) and Diamonds in the Dirt (2010), for which she was voted “Best British Female Vocalist of the Year” in both 2010 and 2011 at the British Blues Awards. Additionally, her first CD garnered a nomination as “Best New Artist Debut” at the 2010 awards.
Another recent honor came when Joanne was tapped by legendary singer Annie Lennox to accompany her on guitar for her amazing performance as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Buckingham Palace in London on June 4th.
Joanne Shaw Taylor has been doing fantastic things since she was discovered by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart as a guitar prodigy while only 16 and asked to join his “supergroup” of the time. With each successive album release, she’s added to her amazing collection of rave reviews from fans, critics and radio DJs around the world. The All Music Guide called her first CD, “A spectacular debut from a major talent.” The Boston Herald said of her, “England’s Taylor has all the tools to become the next big thing in blues…Taylor wields an un-clichéd guitar style and the voice of a goddess – a fragile rasp that recalls Dusty Springfield and is worth the price of admission.”
Now based outside of Houston, Taylor has used her time in the U.S. over the last few years to concentrate on touring throughout this country, while still maintaining a very active presence in Europe, as evidenced by her critically-acclaimed UK tour in late 2011, which she’ll follow-up with a 13-date return trip to the UK in October.
Almost Always Never marks a departure for Joanne from her previous two CDs, which were both produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines and recorded at his Tennessee studio. This time, she’s journeyed further southwest and has hooked up with the acclaimed Mike McCarthy, who produced, recorded and mixed the new album in Austin, Texas. McCarthy has garnered accolades for his production work with Spoon, Patti Griffin and the group And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. Backing Taylor on the new CD is a group of stellar musicians, each with their own impressive resumes: David Garza on keyboards/mandolin (Juliana Hatfield, Fiona Apple, Blues Traveler); Billy White on bass and acoustic slide (Heartless Bastards, Craig Finn, Dokken); and J.J. Johnson on drums (John Mayer Trio, Tedeschi/Trucks Band, Doyle Bramhall II).
“Mike McCarthy comes from a very different musical background from me,” says Joanne about the new sessions. “He pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to explore and embrace new territories, while remaining true to who I am. I never thought when I started this journey I would ever get to work with such an amazing array of musicians. I’ve been a fan of J.J., David and Billy for many years and their performances on this album are exceptional.”
The new album’s dozen tracks include 11 originals that showcase Taylor’s continuing emergence as a songwriter of exceptional insight and scope, as well as a scintillating cover of a song from the late, great and underappreciated British singer Frankie Miller (“Jealousy”).
“I’ve loved every album and recording experience I’ve had to date for many different reasons,” reflects Joanne. “I think what sets Almost Always Never apart from my two previous albums is the songwriting process leading up to it. All 12 of them combine into one body of work. It’s the perfect and truest example of who I am as an artist to date.”
In addition to her continued growth as a major songwriter, the new CD showcases a guitarist of amazing dexterity, passion, skill and creativity. Joanne’s rhythm guitar work lays down a beautiful bed of sound upon which her lead guitar literally soars with soul, pain and joy.
“I’ve made an album where I’m starting to hold my own on the guitar,” states Taylor. “I spent a lot of time leading up to these recordings going back and exploring old influences as well as embracing some new things,. I had the opportunity to write the songs I’ve always wanted to write, with an all-star cast to support and nurture them, but also to push me and this album to places I would not have been capable of reaching without them.”
Joanne Shaw Taylor will support Almost Always Never with a series of pre-release showcase dates in the U.S., before leaving for a UK tour and returning for more American shows in the fall. She’s managed worldwide by Barry Taylor for MCT (firstname.lastname@example.org) and booked in the U.S. by Eric Roberts at Hello Booking (www.hellobooking.com). For more information, visit www.joanneshawtaylor.com and www.rufrecords.de.
JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR U.S. TOUR DATES
8/11 Winchester Music Hall
8/15 Dinosaur BBQ
8/16 Dinosaur BBQ
8/17 The Turning Point
8/18 Blues Festival Day – Newport Yachting Center Newport, RI
8/23 Treasure Lake Ski Lodge
8/24 2nd Story Blues Club
8/25 Hudson River Park’s Blues BBQ Festival New York, NY
10/6 The Blind Tiger
Additional dates forthcoming ….