Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Joanne Shaw Taylor
White Sugar

Where I have an(other) eternal bugbear that no horde of love-locusts could scratch about starbucks blues-froth that leaves you with nuthin but the deep down darkness they’re meant to be consoling and assuaging, multiplied by the number of Mandarin speakers undergoing a population explosion when combined with the almost Pop Idol like production line of precociously twittering-teens with all too serene lives who follow musical formats to the letter not the lore, this lass from the Black Country is, as parlance commands, the real deal, no need to scratch it in her arm for she excises it rather successfully and succinctly from these other side of midnight and seven weeks of stormy Monday moans and howls. Sure it’s modern, glossy and got a show room-shine but it doesn't suffocate. With a husky, smoke-smitten voice she spins tales dashed with dirt-road dust (be that the dead-beat industrial wreckage of the Texan desert or the Dudley doledrums) outta those strings that loosen any kinks in your vertebrae, and plausibly other areas of your cerebral vortex. Possessed of a soul and spirit that has no trace of the ever-present forced nature of supposedly soulful new guns on the schlock-block like Joss Stone, in favour of a fervent flair and passion altogether missing from over-lauded and noted blues icons like Bonnie Raitt. Pretty sure I is, looking at the blond, um, Tele, on the cover that I saw her on an all-female bill in some Mancy shite-shed (twas a Walkabout, in some bizarre episode of promoter-ship) with Holly Golightly a coupla years back and she was scorching enough to make you realise just why Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart got her to shuffle the slink on tour with him, as the Stevie Ray aww shucks boogie of the instrumental title track, the cat-scrape fury on Time Has Come and summer funk of Kiss The Ground Goodbye ably (to borrow again from the pages of common parlance) demonstrate.
Stu Gibson

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