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Whelans, Dublin
Saturday 21st November 2015

Brian Boyle
Photos by Dani Kammler

brian boyle

joanne shaw taylor

The Birmingham blues rock sensation made her debut Dublin appearance tonight in support of her latest album 'The Dirty Truth'.

Just as South America has a proud tradition of producing the most iconic footballers in history, the Black Country area of England can boast that it has given the world some of the most legendary names in rock music.

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and John Bonham, Judas Priest's Rob Halford, The Prince Of Darkness himself Ozzy Osbourne and ELO's Beatle copycat Jeff Lynne are just a few of the names whose talents were born out of the midlands region.

Now with the emergence of Joanne Shaw Taylor that list has now grown even more impressive.

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Shaw Taylor made a low key entrance to an extremely subdued reception and looking around there did seem to be a lot of people standing with arms folded and with a “you're a woman with a guitar - impress me” look.

But as soon as she launched into the chuggin' 'Mud, Honey', the sceptical few were quickly under her spell. Some might say that a 29 year old isn't qualified to sing the blues, but Shaw Taylor put that dim theory to rest with the deeply personal 'Wrecking Ball'.

joanne shaw taylor

Choosing her words carefully, she told of a failed relationship with, as she described, a “real shitty boyfriend“. She channelled her anger and sadness with a sublimely delivered performance.

Even if you only have a passing interest in blues rock, you will know the magic Shaw Taylor possesses as a guitar player, she could easily mix it with the best of them, and her work on the Telecaster and Gibson tonight was a pleasure to witness.

joanne shaw taylor

But as well being a virtuoso on the six string, she is also the keeper of one of the finest voices you will hear across any genre of music today. The brilliant 'Tried, Tested & True' showcased her immaculate pipes to the maximum, and the smoky silk texture of her voice looked like it had the majority of the crowd captivated.

More relationship woes were played on the funk vibed 'Diamonds In The Dirt'. Jokingly, Shaw Taylor was quick to tell the crowd that this time it ended in a close friendship.

She played a jaw dropping solo with a wide eyed smile of woman totally in love with what she's doing. Things went up a few decibels with the gritty 'Tied & Bound', which brought a few of the many stiffs in the crowd out of their shells.

joanne shaw taylor

The night closed with the full blooded Texas drawl of 'The Dirty Truth', leaving the capacity crowd in no doubt that they have witnessed a bona fide legend in the making.

On this form, the Birmingham native has all the tools in her armoury to be mentioned in the same breath as any blues legend you could name.

This lady proved tonight you're never too young to sing the blues.

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