Joanne Shaw Taylor
Exclusive !! – Special Unreleased Bonus Tract
Q & A
Back in February 2009, around the time of her first album release, Joanne Shaw Taylor was put in the chair by Pete Sargeant for one of his arcane Q&A’s :
Name an instrument that you’d like to own and one you’re proud to own
Probably a vintage Tele Thinline, my favourite guitar. I own a 1966 Fender Esquire that’s my main guitar right now but a vintage Thinline or a nice custom would be great
Name a departed artist that you miss
Give us a song that makes you smile (artist/song/source album)
Prince – ‘Baby I’m a Star’ – from ‘Purple Rain’
Choose a film where the soundtrack really works, for you
‘Batman’ – Prince. I remember watching it shortly after it came out. Jack Nicholson (The Joker – PS ) terrified me. The scene where he walks into the art gallery with the boombox playing…incredibly cool
Who is a singer that has influenced you ?
You know I don’t have many singing influences. Just because I never thought to listen to singers, it was always something people did between guitar solos. There’s people I would love to be able to sing like, ie Rosie Gaines, Tina Turner…but singing has always been a second instrument to me and I still feel like a guitar player that sings. It was never something I focused on too much I just wanted to be able to front my own band. If I could sound like anyone it would probably be Tom Waits, but I guess that’s a bit unrealistic
Name a TV programme you can’t stand watching ( and why )
Any reality show because most of them are extremely unrealistic
Suggest a recording that evokes sadness
‘Hurt’ – Johnny Cash
Name an ‘own composition’ that you’re really happy with
‘Just Another Word’ – I wrote it on the plane to Memphis the day before we went to record. Turned out to be pretty good considering. That and ‘Heavy Heart’ are probably the most honest songs I’ve written, at this point
Quote a song lyric (by anyone ) that you think holds true
‘I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints – sinners are much more fun ‘ – Billy Joel
Nominate a male and a female (from any walk of life) that you consider dress with style
Lenny Kravitz – I think he is pretty much the epitome of the cool rockstar
Lucinda Williams – there’s not many women that can pull off the cowboy hat
Select a song where the bassline really appeals to you
‘I Want To take You Higher’ – Sly & the Family Stone
Name an album you can listen to in its entirety
Freddie King – ‘Pack It Up’
Give us a favourite Bob Dylan song
‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’
What guitar strings do you use and why ?
GHS 11-58 – Stevie’s influence (heavy strings tuned down half a step) but it helps my voice as well. I have quite a low voice for a female
What’s your favourite album on the RUF label and why ?
Luther Allison ‘Blue Streak’ – reminds me of a nice period in my life when I was about 13 and just discovering all these great blues artists. This was one of the first blues albums I heard and my first introduction to Luther. I got to meet his manager/widow Rocky recently. When we finished recording in Memphis she came out and met us (me and Thomas Ruf) and we drove down to Mississippi for a few days. Amazing trip. Amazing woman. Other than that The Imperial Crowns..they are the coolest band in the world ( apart from The Detroit Cobras)
The best and the worst thing about being on tour ?
The worst thing for me is the hanging around at venues, in between soundcheck and showtime there’s usually a 4-hour gap where you’re just sitting around. Best thing is just being able to spend every night onstage, being surrounded by other musicians all day. Talking music, trying out new ideas etc
Which player do you feel you will never be able to match ?
Most of them. Somebody like Joe Bonamassa, I’m certainly not a virtuoso player and technically I don’t really know much about the guitar. I would say my biggest strength as a player is the personality in my playing and the attack. I’m very ‘fly by the seat of your pants’…
Which track on ‘White Sugar’ would you like the uninitiated to take a listen to and why ?
Probably ‘Going Home’. I’m very happy with how that turned out. Again it was last-minute addition. I was still working on the lyrics up until the day we started recording. I think it has everything I want to get across about myself to a listener, rocking song, plenty of guitar, voice but it’s also a very honest blues song
Name a record that finishes or fades too early, for you
The Paladins – ‘Million Mile High Club’
Johnny Depp or Johnny Winter ?
Winter, of course !
Pete Sargeant www.fairhearing.co.uk