Joanne Shaw Taylor announces The Blues Album and turns up the soul on new single Let Me Down Easy

Joanne Shaw Taylor
(Image credit: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

British-born and Detroit-based blues-rock phenom Joanne Shaw Taylor has announced the title and release date for her forthcoming sixth studio album, and shared a video for its second single, Let Me Down Easy.

The Blues Album will be released on 17 September through KTBA Records, and comprises a set of 11 lesser-performed blues standards from the likes of Little Milton, Albert King, Peter Green, Little Richard, Magic Sam and Aretha Franklin. 

Produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, the producing duo who were behind Joanna Connor and Eric Gales' latest albums, The Blues Album promises some stellar electric guitar moments, but not at the expense of Taylor's voice, which comes into its own when putting her stamp on the material.

“I’d known from the beginning of my recording career that one day I wanted to record an album of blues covers, I just wasn’t sure when the right time to do that would be,” said Taylor in a statement. “I’ve always found it far easier to write my own material than come up with creative ways to make other artists’ material my own.” 

Taylor says Bonamassa and Smith were a “fantastic team”, with Bonamassa lending his lead guitar talents and voice to Don’t Go Away Mad, and Smith on guitar alongside keyboard player Reese Wynans, drummer Greg Morrow, and bassist Steve Mackey, with Steve Patrick on trumpet, Mark Douthit on saxophone and Barry Green on trombone. Mike Farris is a special guest on I Don’t Know What You’ve Got.

A longstanding friend of Taylor's, Bonamassa was an obvious choice as producer. Not only could he supply the Dumble and the vintage Fender combos, but also because the blues titan was proactive in helping her put together a tracklist.

“I was worried about working with Joe for obvious reasons, (we are very close friends), but you never know how that will translate into a working relationship,“ said Taylor. “It was cool to work with two guys not much older than me. Most of the producers I’ve worked with so far haven’t been so close to me in age, plus Joe and Josh have the added benefit of understanding what it is to tour on the same scene as me and what me touring this album will look like. All in all, it was a very relaxed fun session and hang.”

The Blues Album is available to preorder now from KTBA Records.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.