Joanne Shaw Taylor High Wycombe Old Town Hall 11-12-22
First up on a bitterly cold night with snow flurries but inside the Old Own Hall and under the shadow of 2 huge Christmas trees we were warmed up by Jon Allen who played a well received 30 minute acoustic set.Great voice and well worth checking out.
Here in the UK for the second time this year after a short 6 date tour in April Joanne and her band were on the last night of 14 dates.
From memory only Steve Lehane on bass remained from April and joined Joanne with Joseph Spina on guitar,Eric Savage on drums and Philip Whitfield on keyboards.
After a US tour and now into the UK the band were tight and ably backed Joanne and also had their own moment in the spotlight with Joseph having a couple of guitar solo's and Phillip on keyboards too.
Joanne is the star centre stage and grows in maturity and confidence at every turn with last year's The Blues Album raising her profile considerably. She has followed that up with this year's Live Blues album and with the recent release of Nobody's Fool now has an arsenal that few can match.
In an hour and 45 minutes we were treated to a setlist from across Joanne's career.
Stop Messin' Round
Keep On Lovin' Me
If You Gotta Make A Fool Out Of Somebody
Can't You See What You Are Doing To Me
Two Time My Lovin'
Let Me Down Easy
Three Time loser
Dyin' To Know
Won't Be Fooled Again
Watch 'Em Burn
I've Been Loving You Too Long
Just Another Word
Encore of Going Home
Over half the set was from The Blues Album and Nobody's Fool and are all now road travelled and seamlessly played in the live setting.
Joanne's voice soared with melodic intent and is a world class instrument and her guitar playing is beyond compare with phenomenal soloing and phrasing.Taking it down to whisper on Keep On Lovin' Me before building to a climax and the huge roar as the song closed showed we were all transfixed.
Blues,rock,soul Joanne seamlessly pulls it all together to create memories to remember and you can see her joy at playing live after the Covid interruption.
Name dropping her producers Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith and the title track Nobody's Fool of her new album showed great song writing and playing is infused in every note.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds cover of Two Time My Lovin' was glorious in it's execution and Three Time Loser saw heads nodding with the band interplay tight and Joanne's voice soaring.
One of the many highlight's of the set was the ballad Fade Away off the new album .Written as a note after the loss of her mum nearly 10 years ago anyone who has and will deal with grief and loss can relate to the beautiful words and Joanne played acoustically with picked electric notes from Joseph and Philip's keys brought the hairs on my neck. Stunning.
Runaway followed and isn't about her commitment issues as one journalist wrote and was superb before Bad Love ended the set leaving us wanting more.
One encore of Going Home left us wanting more and after wishing us all a great Christmas we went out into the cold night air revelling in Joanne and her band's wonderful performance as Joanne's star continues to ascend.
All photos credited to Paul May and used with thanks.