Joanne Shaw Taylor at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 5 things to know – The Oakland Press

Joanne Shaw Taylor is rooted in Nashville these days. But the Detroit metro area still feels like home for the British-born singer. songwriter, conductor and guitarist.

Taylor, who was discovered by Eurythmics Dave Stewart about 20 years ago, lived in Michigan, most recently Birmingham, for about 14 years. Detroit itself gets a shoutout in ‘Then There’s You’, a track from its new album, ‘Nobody’s Fool’, and Taylor, 37, acknowledges that some of the city’s blues and soul music roots still have an impact on his writing, recording and performing.

“Then There’s You” was co-produced by Joe Bonamassa and is Taylor’s third with the guitarist’s Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA) label; Bonamassa also guest-stars on the track “Won’t Be Fooled Again”, while Stewart appears on a cover of Eurythmics’ “Missionary Man”. Shaw considers “Nobody’s Fool” her most personal album to date, and another step in a creative evolution that has continued since she began performing in her early teens…

  • Taylor says she conceived “Nobody’s Fool” as a kind of reaction to her last two releases, the cover versions “The Blues Album” in 2021 and “Blues From the Heart: Live” earlier this year. “After those two, within a year, I sat down to do an original album and I thought I could kind of write whatever I wanted. So I would push myself to write things that I had never written before – different chord progressions, softer melodies. I didn’t feel like I had a set of things to do, which was good.
  • Taylor adds that working with Bonamassa and co-producer Josh Smith “was a lot more collaborative than with the producers I had in the past. I felt like we were a small band, basically a band with three guitarists – including two were much better than the other, being me. They had a lot of different ideas that I would never have had on my own, but they gave me a lot of space to develop them and make them my own too.
  • Given his long history with Stewart—playing in his band DUP and later with Eurythmics partner Annie Lennox—Taylor felt it appropriate to include a Eurythmics song on the new album. “I always wanted to do a cover of (‘Missionary Man’), to be honest. Dave found me when I was 15 and I have a long history with him, and I always thought about covering one of his songs. I thought if I was going to dream big I’d like to do it slowly, so I made a demo and sent it to Joe and Josh (Smith, co-producer), and they really liked the idea and came in in the studio and started working on it and changed it to a really cool vibe. Dave was in LA so I asked him if he wanted to play on it and do a solo, and luckily he said yes. It was so cool after all these years to finally have him on a song.
  • Taylor also felt that although Bonamassa was available for the entire album, his playing was particularly well suited to play on “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. “I really liked how retro it was; it sounded like a pop song from the early 80s. I was playing and having fun with it, but I felt like it could be bigger. I thought Joe, being a more versatile guitar player, could do something that I didn’t think I could do. We are quite different players. So it really came organically. He played on it and we really hear that it’s him.
  • At this point in her career, Taylor considers herself to be “a mix of multiple genres of music – a blues guitarist but a soul singer who is a pop and rock songwriter. I think my main focus is I just want to sound like Joanne Shaw Taylor and hopefully look back at the end of a great piece of work that is consistent, good quality music. I think if I just write songs and then try to choose what’s best and what feels best to me, it’s going to be a genuine product, if you will. I like to keep it organic. You shouldn’t think too much about the music, it should come naturally.

Joanne Shaw Taylor performs Friday, Nov. 4 at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors at 7 p.m. 248-399-2980 or

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