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My 2010 BMA Ballot: Blues Band, Entertainer Of The Year, Best New Artist Debut

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I know it's snarky to say Joanne Shaw Taylor is what Joss Stone wants to sound like, and I'm (almost) sorry. Actually I am sorry and I do apologize. To Taylor. The young woman stands on her own. She can sing and she can play, mixing soul singing with Texas blues playing.

My only "knock" is while listening to her record I sometimes felt I knew her CD collection a little too well. I heard the Stone similarity pretty quickly (and like Taylor better). As a player, she sounds like she's listened to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Her playing is accomplished but sometimes feels a little too familiar. She's a talent and she's only 23. She's also written the collection of songs that make up her White Sugar record. The lyrics are pretty conventional blues fare,but she remains convincing and engaging throughout. I hear loads of talent and sparks of creativity that should allow her to further distinguish herself on future records.

About Josh Hathaway

  • Tom Johnson

    I don’t like Joss Stone either, she sounds like a sick, warbling cat, but I’d suggest Susan Tedeschi if he wants ‘that’ sound. I don’t hear much in Taylor at this point in her career, vocally- or guitar-wise. She’s technically competetent but it’s pretty generic sounding stuff. Maybe given some time something powerful will happen, but it’s not there now.

  • Josh Hathaway

    I like Tedeschi as a vocalist very much, Tom, but I’m not as big a fan of her playing. I don’t think she’s bad but I find her vocals more appealing.

    As for Taylor, you’re not wrong. I guess I hear a bit more of a spark in her voice and playing than you do and I’m viewing this through the prism of a debut from a 22 or 23-year old artist. If this is her launching point, I think we have something special on the horizon. If this is as far as she can take it, it will be a bit of a disappointment. I do like her, though.

  • Joanie

    Tedeschi isn’t very dynamic when she’s performing (it sounds like she’s wailing on the guitar, but it doesn’t look anything like what it sounds). And her speaking voice, ay yi yi yi yi. I don’t like squeaky little girl voices. Never have. She can sing, though. And yet, gimme Joanne any day. There’s something happening there. You can hear where this can lead.

    Now, about that whole Super Chikan thang…we need to talk. lol