Joanne Shaw Taylor Interview

Joanne Shaw Taylor Interview Transcript: HER ABSOLUTE WORST GIG EVER!

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Craig Garber (00:00.663)
Hey everybody, this is Craig Garber. Welcome to Everyone Loves Guitar. We’ve got a great guest today, a great blues artist, Joanne Shaw-Taylor. She’s a lot of fun and she’s got a great sense of humor. So let’s get into this. I wanna just quickly thank John Blyshire for hooking us up, John. Really appreciate you thinking about me. Thanks very much. All right, Cliff Notes on Joanne. Originally from England, she’s a blues guitarist. She’s been playing live since she was a teenager and she’s currently living in Nashville. She won best female vocalist at the British Blues Awards twice, as well as songwriter of the year.

She’s released 11 albums including her latest, Nobody’s Fool, which features Dave Stewart, Joe Bonamassa, and Carmen Vandenberg. Oh, Carmen I had on the show as well. Lovely. Joanne’s currently, or she just wrapping up her tour of the States, but she is gonna be touring the UK in February, so please check her out. And you know that your guests is famous when you look them up to do research. And the second thing that comes up is who is Joanne Shaw Taylor dating? I swear to God.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (00:59.822)
Yes. Ha ha.

Craig Garber (01:00.895)
And I never looked at it, I was like, what?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:03.902)
I’m going to tell you a secret. I never Google myself, but every now and then if I’ve had like a little glass of wine and I’m a little bored, I Google who is Gerantia or Taylor dating. And it’s the last I heard was I was divorced from another woman. I have three children and I’m assuming she gave birth to them because I’ve been a bit busy doing other stuff. And I was worth five million. And it was like, dude, you can keep the kids, but where’s the five million?

Craig Garber (01:25.783)

Craig Garber (01:31.539)
Yeah, right. I know. It’s funny. Like it always really like who’s interested in that. Always like, you know, when you run out of things to, but when you run out of things to do, you’re like, she doesn’t tell me anything. Let me Google it. Anyway, thanks very much for coming on the show. I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to talking with you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:33.931)
I don’t know where they get that.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:42.271)
It’s probably my dad.

It’s just like, no, I can’t tell them it’s not.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:52.23)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:55.886)
Thanks for having me.

Craig Garber (01:57.655)
You’re welcome, my pleasure. All right, let’s get into this. What were you doing musically before you started working with Dave Stewart when you were 16?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (02:06.098)
Well, it had been pretty quick, to be honest. I mean, I started playing electric when I was 13, gigging around 14 and a half, 15. So within a short space of time, you know, I was out with Dave, which, you know, three years when you’re 16 feels like an eternity. But obviously, looking back, it was pretty, you know, short window. So, yeah, other than that, I was just pretending to go to school and pay attention. That was about all of my life.

Craig Garber (02:18.519)

Craig Garber (02:34.057)
How did you get gigs at 14? Like how were you getting?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (02:36.686)
Um, I was very fortunate that my dad and mom were very supportive, uh, in a, all right, she’s really applying herself to this, so we should encourage it, but not in a, we want to be show parents kind of way. Um, so my dad had some colleagues at work that actually were in a band and, um, they got me in with them and then they agreed to be like my backing band. And my dad kind of funded a little demo and, um,

Craig Garber (02:52.834)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (03:06.718)
you know, just started handing it out. Unfortunately, a guy called Mike Hamblett picked it up, who ran my local blues club, but also a very well-known, well-established venue in the UK, and started giving me all the regular support slots for the American touring artists, whether it’s Bernard Allison or Bo Diddley or John Hammond Jr. So obviously having that reputation.

You know, it meant that then other clubs in the UK realized that I was obviously of a pedigree that, you know, kind of could be trusted because I think originally my dad said it was pretty hard to pick up the phone and go, Hey, can you give, can we get a gig? Yeah. The, the league guitarist is my 14 year old daughter. Um, so having my kind of seal of approval kind of move things along pretty swiftly.

Craig Garber (03:53.475)

Craig Garber (04:00.023)
That’s really cool that they did that. And you were too young to feel intimidated probably by like being around Bo Diddley or any of these, or any of these big name artists.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (04:09.71)
Yeah, I think there’s a certain naivety isn’t there at that age that, and actually looking back, it was probably more ego. I mean, I’ve never considered myself an egotistical person, but just in the sense that nothing’s ever gone wrong because you’re so young, you know, certainly not in my career. I was only 16. So you just assume that everyone wants you there and everything’s rosy and you know, because you don’t know otherwise. And in all fairness, most people were really, really sweet and supportive. Thank God. I mean.

Craig Garber (04:13.612)

Craig Garber (04:27.511)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (04:38.766)
It’s hard to be mean to a 40 year old girl.

Craig Garber (04:39.371)

is gonna say how can you not be sweet and supportive of like a 14 year old girl getting on stage playing guitar? I mean, that’s pretty, pretty ballsy, you know, you got to support that.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (04:50.938)
Yeah, and I mean, you, you know, I know who you’ve interviewed previously, you know, what kind of a community this is, you know, people are genuinely very close knit and supportive. So yeah, it was a wonderful genre to be a part of from a young age, to be honest.

Craig Garber (05:06.655)
That’s awesome. Very cool. Uh, you told a story. I was doing research on you about how once the Dave Stewart gig ended, you get back home and you’re like, uh, okay, now what I was curious, what did you do and how did you get things up and running again musically?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (05:24.898)
Well, the other thing I should mention is that I’d moved to London when I was 16 for two years through the Dave Stewart thing. And when I moved home when I was 18, my parents had moved and not told me. So I ended up, they moved to Northamptonshire. Um, and in fact, they probably told me I just hadn’t listened because I was 17 and living in London with friends and hanging out with rock stars. So, um.

Craig Garber (05:37.561)
Oh, where they where they move.

Craig Garber (05:52.012)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (05:52.662)
then moved to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere and I still couldn’t drive. So it was a pretty harsh awakening of, you know, the, the village had a pub that opened at five o’clock and a phone box. So it was really kind of from going from touring Europe and living in London to that was kind of a, uh, yeah, humbling, but it was a nice time. I’m glad I did it. I think it did me a lot of good looking back to have that harsh reality of.

Craig Garber (06:05.015)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (06:19.646)
Oh wait, you’re not a child novelty anymore, you gotta figure this out. If you’re gonna do this, you gotta figure out how to write songs, you know, how to sing better, getting a whole band together, going out and working a part-time job to fund it. You know, I’m glad for that experience.

Craig Garber (06:35.167)
Yeah. What, what was there like a break that came about from that sort of opened the doors again?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (06:42.562)
There was, it was on and off for a few years. Dave was fantastic and he really helped, he really helped get me in front of other major labels. And I talked to Ireland and they kind of saw me as like a Nora Jones of the blues who just had her massive, you know, breakaway album. And then I talked to BMG or something and they wanted me to be like Avril Lavigne of the blues. And Dave was super supportive and I phoned him and said, Dave, you know, this isn’t feeling right to me. I just want to be a.

blues artists, you know, I feel like I’m being made to be something I’m not. And sweetly, he said, I will be performing with you when they roll me out on stage in a wheelchair and you’re headlining Royal Albert Hall. It’s like, I don’t care what you do as long as, you know, you know, you’ve got my support. Um, so then after that, it was just a few years of just touring and trying to learn to write songs really, so I could get enough of a demo together on an album. Um, and the goal was Roof Records, which was the biggest independent label in Europe.

for blues and still is I think.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (07:48.318)
I’ve got a brain fart. It’s the head cold.

Craig Garber (07:52.415)
No, you were talking about what learning to write songs and what was the thing that got you out of the

Joanne Shaw Taylor (07:57.618)
Yeah, the other thing was that Thomas had actually offered me a deal before Dave Stewart did when I was 15, but then Dave came along and it was like, ah, that’s a bit too much of a big opportunity to turn down to be honest. So yeah, it was just kind of a case of working in a pub, learning to write songs and getting it together to be able to record an album to send to Thomas. And we did and fortunately I got signed.

Craig Garber (08:08.98)

Craig Garber (08:22.175)
Was it tough learning how to write songs?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (08:25.246)
Um, no, you know, given our conversation off, uh, off air, we know what tough is, you know,

Craig Garber (08:35.087)
Yeah, right on, right on. Yeah, that’s a great answer. Yeah, that’s. Nothing’s tough.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (08:43.979)
None of this is tough. I’ve always loved that challenge of, I’m a self-taught guitarist and singer and songwriter. I think I’ve always been good at trying to teach myself things. I’m still like that today. Like flat pack furniture, I can’t follow the directions. Just leave me some tools and I will figure my way around it. I think I’ve always enjoyed that challenge, to be honest.

Craig Garber (09:03.735)

Craig Garber (09:08.727)
Yeah. Okay. Well, you certainly pretty damn prolific. So whatever you, whatever you had to do, you did and in spades, uh, I heard you mentioned this in an interview as well. You said that, um, you’re a blues guitarist, not a blues artist. And as tough as it is, you’re always trying to write beyond the conventional one, four, five or a blues shuffle. And I, and I, me personally, I really respect that because it’s very hard to do that.

yet at the same time musically it does give you a lot more freedom. So as a listener and a fan, I really like that you have that variety as well. I mean, I love good blues guitar, but I love good songs even more.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (09:47.203)
Thank you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (09:50.518)
to be honest with you, but it was out of necessity. It wasn’t intentional. Um, you know, all my influences on guitar were male. There weren’t really any females I could look at and go, that’s what I want to be. There was Bonnie Raitt, but she played slide and I don’t, um, you know, and at that time other female artists, Cheryl Crow, you know, she was mentioned in guitar polls, they just weren’t that many other than Jennifer Batten, who didn’t sing, um, there weren’t that many female players. So when it came time to learn to sing, you know, guitars are male.

Craig Garber (10:04.768)

Craig Garber (10:13.731)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (10:20.034)
dominated instrument, but it’s a gender neutral instrument. I can hack away at trying to sound like Albert Collins or Kenny Wayne Shepard. And if I can’t do it, it’s not because I’m a female. Whereas vocals, it was obviously a different thing. So I had to look outside of the genre and find other female artists to inspire me. So it was kind of just sort of accidental, really, that I kind of happened being a broader artist than just a blues artist, I think.

Craig Garber (10:23.244)
Oh yeah.

Craig Garber (10:48.395)
Who did you look at for vocal inspiration?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (10:51.386)
Um, I mean, once I kind of opened that can of worms, because my mom’s a massive Motown soul fan, Northern soul. So it was a lot of, even gospel, Mahalia and maybe staples, Tina Turner was big one, Aretha love Ella Fitzgerald. Um, and then like dusty Springfield or Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, um, you know, and just going down the runaways, Joan Jett, you know, just finally

So it really kind of opened up more into a pop and soul kind of area. And of course, then the songs kind of appealed to me more because they were sang from a female perspective. Um, you know, which again, with the blues, which I love, but I was never going to sing good morning, little school girl, or, you know, who she could, you know, um, it was, I think it was, had I been born a man, I think my, my musical path probably would have been more direct.

Craig Garber (11:29.216)

Craig Garber (11:38.152)
My baby done left me. I totally get that.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (11:51.642)
But I kind of had to invent myself, to be honest. There was no female doing what I wanted to do. I mean, now we’re very fortunate with Sam Fish and Anna and Oriency and her, you know, it’s come along a lot. But at the time it was, you know, that wasn’t, Stevie Ray Vaughan was the closest thing and I was never gonna sing or look like Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Craig Garber (11:51.82)

Craig Garber (12:13.003)
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Hey, I want to talk about some of my favorite songs of yours for a few minutes. The last track off your first album, White Sugar, Blackest Day. To me, that’s like one of those old school, you know, you used to get, you always bought the album and you put the last song, this final song from Side Two on there. That was always like, you know, it’s one of those tracks. Your vocals sound great. They’re like super smoky. It’s a

Joanne Shaw Taylor (12:19.886)

Craig Garber (12:41.999)
I love your tone on there. It’s like slightly broken up and the solos just throughout that track are really phenomenal. That was your first album and you closed it with this great track. I was curious, was that something you had in your catalog for a while or did you write that as you were putting the record together?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (12:59.534)
I co-wrote that with my dad wrote the lyrics. It was the first song I ever performed live. And then he wouldn’t let me put his name on it. He wanted me to have the credit. So I had my dad’s some publishing money. Yeah, I think.

Craig Garber (13:14.132)
That must have been really cool though, writing that song with your dad.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (13:17.73)
Yeah, that and Time Has Come, he helped me write that. Those were the first two that I had in my set. And so both of them now, particularly Blackest Day because it became such an anthem, it’s kind of hard for me to perform it because it’s also interesting that, people ask me why I don’t play a strat and it’s because I studied Steve Ray Vaughan so much when I was 13, that no matter how far I progressed, when you put a strat in my hands, I revert back to being a 13 year old that can barely play that’s copying Steve Ray Vaughan.

And it’s kind of the same for me with Blackest Day that I just, I can’t approach it now in a fresh way. I’m sure I will eventually, maybe when I’m sort of 50, 60, it would be kind of nice to go back to it, but it’s, yeah, it’s kind of a strange one for me to.

Craig Garber (13:46.659)

Craig Garber (13:59.923)
Watch it. Yeah, it’s a great track. I really love it. It’s really good. You have a track called jealousy off of almost always never your guitar, your guitar is so fiery on there. And well, I like good guitar. I like, I like passionate guitar. Yeah. I like passionate guitar. And if, you know, I’m not into like flashy

Joanne Shaw Taylor (14:17.762)
So you like the slow moves? I’m sensing a failure. Okay.

Craig Garber (14:30.299)
I like to hum something. I like to feel something when I listen to music. And like, you know, obviously you got guys that are great technicians, but I can’t, me personally, I can’t feel that. Uh, but yeah, so this.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (14:39.662)
Well, that was the other part of what was really important to my career was Dave Stewart telling me, he said, what’s everyone’s favorite guitar solo? It’s the most popular guitar solo in the world. I said, I don’t know. And he said Hotel California. He said it’s because it’s in a really good song. That’s why it’s like, I’m sure Cliffs of Rover is a better guitar solo, but it’s not as in, you know, as a breakthrough song. So that was kind of an important lesson that

Craig Garber (14:56.258)

Craig Garber (15:00.035)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (15:06.198)
You know, a great guitar solo is great, but unless it’s in a really good song, no one’s ever going to hear it.

Craig Garber (15:11.559)
Yeah, that’s like what I was talking about earlier. I like great blues guitar. I like great songs first though, you know But the um one thing a couple of questions about that track It sounds different the guitar in there sounds different I don’t know if it was the guitar or the amp on white sugar But it just sounds whatever you were using sounded different than what you did on white sugar What was it a different guitar or different amp or both or?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (15:34.834)
Yeah, I started around doing the album, which is a very different album for me, particularly at the time. I kind of reached a plateau, I think, with my playing and I kind of got stagnant. So I went down, I was living in Houston at the time and went down there and took a couple of months off the road and started playing Les Paul, which was also the Joe influence, you know, we’d recently become good mates. And I think it was, and I challenged which pick I was using and it was just sort of

Okay, I can’t seem to get any better at what I’m doing. So let me change what I’m doing completely. And, you know, you know, cook with different apparatus, I suppose, and see if it, you know, um, freshens me up. So yeah, for that album, I was predominantly using a Les Paul and, um, I can’t remember what amp we were using. I think it was the producers. I think it was an old silver tone, I want to say. Um, so I kind of switched up from the. Mm hmm. Um, so yeah, kind of.

Craig Garber (16:28.635)
on for jealousy.


Joanne Shaw Taylor (16:33.278)
moved away and I think there may have been an echo plex on there because we recorded that album to tape. There was a lot of more old school kind of sounds going on.

Craig Garber (16:36.967)
Okay. Oh.

Craig Garber (16:45.187)
Yeah, it’s a great, great track. That song was written by Frankie Miller, who I know, you know, his background is Scottish guitarist. He had a very tough life. I was curious, what prompted you to cover that track? And when did you first hear it? I mean, it’s a really, even his version is like guys, like an animal, like beating the shit out of that guitar. And he’s playing it.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (16:50.862)
Thank you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (17:07.158)
Honestly, I can’t take credit for it. I’d love to. It was my boyfriend at the time, who was Joe’s guitar tech and in his own right, a really decent guitar player. And he made me played it to me. He’s like, I really think you should cover this. And I heard it. And then I started messing around with it and trying to sing it and realize actually really did suit my voice, which is battle. So yeah, I got to give credit. That was not me. Thank you, Dave.

Craig Garber (17:16.749)

Craig Garber (17:26.003)
Yeah, fantastic.

Craig Garber (17:34.097)
Yeah. Good. Great track. Great cover. So Frankie Miller wasn’t like an influence on you or anything. He was just that you just right time, right place, right time for the What’s up?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (17:40.918)
kind of went down. Yeah, it was one of those nice discoveries that afterwards I went down the rabbit hole. You know, sometimes you just got to hear that one track that kind of opens up a whole new world to you, you know?

Craig Garber (17:48.532)

Craig Garber (17:57.511)
Yeah. And he also played like a yellow telly. I was like, Oh my god, but that’s probably just random that you play a yellow telly, right? It’s not.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (18:03.55)
Yeah, I mind the Albert Collins influence.

Craig Garber (18:08.231)
Yeah, for sure. Another song, I guess, in the same vein now that you mentioned it, Summertime off of Wild. First of all, it takes a lot of balls to cover that track. Because the Janis version is so iconic and you did a phenomenal job, so kudos to you. Tell me about your experience with that song and what made you cover it.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (18:25.754)
Thank you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (18:31.742)
Again, that was Kevin Shirley. He bought me two covers for the Wild album. One was Wild is the Wind, Bowie’s version, and the other was Summertime. And I was kind of against it, to be honest. I’m a massive Ella Fitzgerald fan and pretty much listened to her every day of my life. So it was really hard for me to get the Ella and Louie version out of my head. And then…

You know, obviously there was the Janice version, which Kevin was kind of going more for, because obviously it’s more guitar based, but it was really hard for me to kind of, okay, how do I find my voice in this when all I can do is Ella Fitzgerald. And then I know the Janice thing is such a big deal. She’s so iconic. Um, so it was, unfortunately, I hate to admit it, but it was one of those things where you just go in the studio and you let Kevin Shirley pour you a couple of martinis, and then you just kind of turn the lights off and start singing and hope for the best.

Craig Garber (19:08.564)

Craig Garber (19:27.399)
Is that the formula?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (19:29.398)
That’s when you work with Kevin Shirley, it’s always good to have a martini on hand and I don’t think I said that.

Craig Garber (20:41.887)
On your last record, Nobody’s Fool, New Love. I thought that was a really cool track and the horn section sounded great. And maybe this is the answer is Kevin Shirley on this game. But what made you decide to have horns on that record? And what were the challenges of that?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (20:43.562)
Yeah, little Hank. He’s just a little wiener dog.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (21:06.406)
Um, so that album I did with Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, and actually Josh wrote that song and bought it to the table. I’d pretty much written most of that album myself and I wanted to do the Missionary Man cover. Um, and we weren’t really looking for another song, but then Josh kind of threw that in the ring and it was like, oh, this could be a really good album closer, actually, we don’t have anything kind of like this on there. Um, and we, I didn’t want horns on any of the album, but when we heard that it was like, all right, this.

Then the challenge is can we have one song on an album with horns and not all of it? You know, will it stand out too much? but I think Joe and Josh did a brilliant way of Of making the horns fit on that song but not detract from the rest of the album It kind of had more of a yes, you said soul almost stones II soul kind of vibe It worked really well and Calvin whose Joe’s bass player he and played on the album he also wrote out all the

Craig Garber (21:54.303)
That was great. It was really cool.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (22:04.174)
horn and string parts because he’s one of those talented bastards that can do everything. Yeah I do get involved in string arrangements. But yeah it turned out really good, I love that track.

Craig Garber (22:09.527)
Yeah, I was gonna ask you how the arrangements on that. That’s a lot of work. Yeah.


Craig Garber (22:20.919)
Tell me, join top three musical experiences you’ve had and what made them so much fun.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (22:26.778)
Ooh, that’s so hard because I genuinely love performing live every night and seeing, you know, particularly the end of the gig when everyone, you can see their faces and see that they’ve really interacted with you. And particularly at the moment, I do a song about my mom called fade away. Um, cause you know, we were talking earlier, it was the 10th anniversary. So when I was writing this album, she was just on my mind a great deal. And, um,

You know, the fresh emotion was guilt. You know, she’d missed 10 years and missed, you know, my brother’s got kids. She hasn’t met. Um, so, you know, I decided to write a song about it. I’m very lucky that, you know, I get to use that as a free therapy to work through my emotions, you know, so the fact that I get to do that, and then I can share it with people, which I’m well aware that probably everybody in my audience has lost someone at some point, but they don’t have that benefit of being able to process it through a song.

Craig Garber (23:15.531)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (23:20.342)
Um, so, you know, lights go up and you can see people’s faces and you can genuinely see they appreciate you. And I’ve listened to what you’re singing and feel a little bit of, you know, connection to you is a really lovely thing. So, um, I mean, yeah, it’s, it’s hard to pick. If you, I mean, and also I’ve just been blessed. I mean, I met BB King, you know, when I was 15 and 16. Oh, it was wonderful. Actually, I got a cool BB King story. If you’ve, if you’ve got the time.

Craig Garber (23:20.608)

Craig Garber (23:41.527)
What was that like?

Craig Garber (23:47.691)
Yeah, of course. Yeah, let’s hear it. Absolutely.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (23:49.838)
So when I was about 14, my dad took me to watch BB King at the local arena, NEC in Birmingham, and at the end of the night, BB was hanging down out with guitar picks and we were in like the nosebleeds. And he’s like, go get a guitar pick. And I was like, no, he doesn’t want me to get a guitar pick. And it’s, but that’s like, Joe, it’s a bunch of like old white dudes in here. If he sees you, BB King’s going to want to give you a guitar pick. And I was like, okay, I’m going to win. Yeah.

Craig Garber (24:11.579)
Yeah, all right. That would be telling my daughter to be honest.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (24:15.71)
You see a kid at the front of the stage, they were always getting the drumsticks, I said, whatever we got, they can take the shirt off the rug, whatever you want. Um, so I was like, all right, I’m going. And I liked it. And like all the security were like, go on, love, go on, get down there. And by the time I got down to the front of the stage, I could just see him like behind the curtain and his mind was putting his coat on him. Unfortunately, he saw me and he turned around and he walked back on stage and he, he knelt down.

Craig Garber (24:20.233)

Craig Garber (24:28.963)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (24:41.33)
And he said, uh, hi young lady, I’m baby King. And I was like, hi, Mr. King, I’m Joanne Shaw Taylor. And shook his hand. I was like, uh, Mr. King, I think I’m going to be a blues woman. Like I’ve, I’ve really been listening and I’ve been studying and that’s what I want to do. Oh, I think I’m a blues woman. I was like, do you have a guitar pick I could have? And he said, I haven’t got any more guitar picks, but he said, you can have this. And he took his necklace off and put it on me. BB King world tour. Um, and then, and he just kind of like, he just was really sweet.

Craig Garber (25:02.379)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (25:10.774)
By the way, if you’ve got your little 13 year old girl hand in BB King’s mitt, you’re like, that’s a big hand. And then, yeah, like 18 months later I was opening up for him in Switzerland, you know, and I think.

Craig Garber (25:19.947)
can imagine.

Craig Garber (25:25.75)
Did you get to talk to him and say, hey, 18 months ago?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (25:27.902)
Me and my mom and dad, they came with me because obviously I was very young and they were standing backstage. I remember my mom was pretty nervous and I think my dad was hiding it better. But he just walked in the room with his minders and just went, hi everybody, I’m BB King. And we went, hi Mr. King. He was just this big presence, you know? I mean, when he passed away, it was kind of the end of those sort of artists like your Louis Armstrongs and you know, people that are the persona they put out there.

Craig Garber (25:52.525)

Craig Garber (25:56.098)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (25:57.646)
So yeah, that was a lovely and from that moment I was like, oh, it’s a sign. It’s a sign from a God I don’t believe in that I absolutely am a blues woman. And I’m going to, you know, so that was, it was lovely. So it was make the time that if I see a kid in the audience, I can get them on stage if that, you know, once the audience clears out and they can take a photo and look at all the gear and whatever they want to do, you know.

Craig Garber (26:19.715)
That is so cool. What a nice story. That’s really cute.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (26:22.262)
Yeah, I put it going.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (26:27.39)
I forgot what your original question was, sorry. I kind of went off on a sudden.

Craig Garber (26:31.76)
Three favorite musical experiences. You kind of like didn’t have any, but if you have any, like, yeah. What, like knee jerk reaction. What if I said to you, what’s your favorite musical experience you had? What would come to your mind?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (26:34.462)
I’ll do that one. I’ll put the beep on what…

Joanne Shaw Taylor (26:43.662)
My favourite musical experience? You see, again, it’s too hard, because my favourite musical experiences are really the connections I get to other people. So, opening up for Joe, I met my best friend, who went on to be a collaborator. He’s now my management label. You know, I talk to him on a daily basis. So that is a massive thing. It’s really, for me, as much as any time I get to play guitar or sing is a magical experience. It’s like playing obnoxiously loud guitar and screaming into a microphone is the best free therapy in the world.

Craig Garber (26:50.861)

Craig Garber (27:08.183)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (27:13.87)

Craig Garber (27:16.617)
You’ve mentioned therapy three times now, Joe. I have to give you a referral after this.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (27:16.975)
What I

I’m a professional touring musician. If you don’t think I’m a having multiple therapists and on various combinations of drugs, you’re mad. But yeah, but it’s that thing. I didn’t realize getting into this, what life it was gonna give me. And it’s given me a beautiful life. I mean, not always easy, you know, but I’ve got so many wonderful friends from, my best friends are from Jamaica, Italy, Detroit, and you know.

It’s been such a beautiful, opened up, such a wonderful world. Um, you know, getting to talk to you and hear about Anne and, you know, it’s just, um, what a nice way to live as opposed to when most people go to an office and sit there and hate it, you know, we get to talk about music.

Craig Garber (28:00.835)
Yeah, right.

Craig Garber (28:08.023)
You know, I really do know how you feel because that’s how I feel about this show. You know, I’ve, I’m like 900 something episodes in here and I had no idea what I’ve gotten out of this is infinitely more than I’ve put into it. And I’ve put a lot into it, but it’s, you know, the same thing, the connections that you get to make talking to positive people, like on a regular basis, it’s like, Oh my, like that’s, you can’t put that into, there’s no value that equals that, you know, so I really know how you feel and I’m glad you get to experience that.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (28:21.122)
Yeah, but.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (28:34.474)
No, and I hope it doesn’t sound stupid, but I think, you know, people always ask what would you have done if it hadn’t been music? It was always going to be music that was decided, you know, and I was pretty headstrong about it. But if I hadn’t got that bug, if, you know, sliding doors, I think I would have had to have done something in like a social care situation. I think I’m the sort of person that gets a purpose from being able to help other people. You know, it’s that thing that there’s no such thing as charity because it makes you feel so good about yourself.

Craig Garber (29:04.512)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (29:04.75)
But that’s the lovely thing about music is, you know, getting to meet different people and, you know, hopefully have a little bit of a positive effect, I suppose. I mean, yeah, don’t get me wrong, there’s some days where you do not want to meet me. If you woke up on the bus with a puppy in a tangent and nine grumpy dudes and it’s raining, but for the most part, you know, it’s a very, you know, lovely way to live.

Craig Garber (29:21.084)
Everybody’s like that. I mean,

Craig Garber (29:31.899)
And I hope you get to do that for the rest of your life. That’s really nice to hear. Um, so I kind of talked to you about this early. When I first heard your speaking voice, I said, man, you sound like you’re from five different places in England.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (29:34.145)
Oh yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (29:44.99)
It’s horrible my speaking voice, I hate it. It’s so nasally and quite pitch.

Craig Garber (29:48.403)
Um, no, it’s, no, it’s not, it’s not, it’s fine. You’re speaking voice is great, but I was just trying to peg your accent. But then I found out you moved to Detroit when you were 20 and I was just curious what prompted that move and why Detroit? That’s like, that’d be like me moving to England and moving to Dunstable. You know, I just like.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (30:06.69)
Yeah. You actually have good cause to move to Dunstall, at least you got relatives there. To be honest, it was just one of those things that happened. I always wanted to move to America. I always knew I wouldn’t stay in England. I love it, but even from a very young age, it felt very small to me, and particularly being an Irish. I got gypsy blood, you know, it’s like I’m a traveler. If it hadn’t been this, it’d have been I’d have joined a circus probably.

Craig Garber (30:10.452)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (30:36.566)
Um, yeah, just on the thing, you know, you don’t just like, um, as long as it’s either going to be mainland Europe, you know, so, cause you can travel through so many different countries or the States, preferably the States, because one there’s no borders, you know, it’s, this is the size of Europe, but there’s no language barriers or borders every 10 minutes. Um, and also it’s where the music’s from. Um, you know, and I was so in love with it and I was so in love with the history of it. It was a.

Craig Garber (30:37.463)
You have. It’s just a circus in music.

Craig Garber (30:54.083)
Mm. Yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (31:05.47)
I’m a history nerd. Um, so to discover the blues and you know, the story behind it. And also at an age where, you know, when I learned that, you know, there was, was slavery and people were working in cotton fields and, you know, it was, it was before I was born, so it felt like it may as well been at the same time as the Roman empire, you know, it just felt like it was so long. And obviously getting older and realizing, oh wait, there’s still people alive, but you know, um.

Craig Garber (31:26.292)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (31:33.922)
were subjected to that. So America was the obvious place. And then it just happened that I had a support band in the UK, they were from Detroit, became really good friends with them. Thomas Roof didn’t generally tour his European artists in the States, because it’s so expensive to get a visa and hard to be honest. So I was like, okay, well, I’ll do it myself. And I just mapped out a bunch of different venues in the States, rooting out of Detroit.

Craig Garber (31:42.135)
Oh, okay.

Craig Garber (31:51.233)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (32:03.77)
And I managed to get enough dates that I managed to get the work visa because I could prove I had work here that no one else could do. And, um, just found the guys from Detroit was like, Hey, like, can you be my band? Can you help me with the van and amp, you know, just general stuff. Um, and we did that. And then I got a, uh, an agent off the back of it, Piedmont. And, um, from then on, we were just spending so much time in the States touring and routing out of Detroit. That made friends and, and I could afford to live in Detroit, which I couldn’t afford.

Craig Garber (32:31.319)
How old were you when you moved? You were 20 when you moved there, right?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (32:34.038)
Now it’s funny when they started coming over, I was about 22 when I moved. I think 23, 26.

Craig Garber (32:38.955)
Yeah, my wife did that too. I think people from Europe in general are much more exploratory and willing to do that because it’s a big thing.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (32:51.846)
Oh yeah. Well, when you grow up in a country where you’re 40 minutes away from Amsterdam, which is a completely different part of the world, different language, and then you still only, you know, an hour train ride from Paris, which is again, a completely different, you know, if you imagine you go from Detroit to Cleveland and the, the language changes three times and the landscape and, you know, um, you tend to be a bit more, uh, used to it, I suppose.

Craig Garber (33:14.806)

It’s, yeah, more, yeah, more adventurous. It’s not as big a deal.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (33:22.25)
Yeah, I don’t want to say open-minded, but I think when you’re just exposed to so many different cultures, you know, from…

Craig Garber (33:29.355)
No, I think open-minded is fair. I think open, cause you, cause you are more open-minded. You go in the same distance and you’re, oh my God, totally different than I left home an hour ago that doesn’t happen here in the States.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (33:40.526)
Yeah, whereas in the States, yeah, the only place you’ve really got here is New Orleans. That feels very much like a different kind of country really. But yeah, I mean, it’s, you know, you can travel from New York to Seattle, and that’s a long ass distance, even by plane, and it’s very similar place.

Craig Garber (34:00.679)
Yeah, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Bronx. It’s a different country. It’s totally different there as well, but not in a good way.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (34:06.882)
I think I must have at some point. I think I’ve pretty much been everywhere now, so… Yeah. I love New York, by the way.

Craig Garber (34:12.941)
Ha ha.

Oh, it’s a cool place to hang out. Nothing that I could. Hey, people, what’s that?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (34:18.318)

I was just going to say I would live there in a heartbeat if I could afford to, but I don’t know how anyone…

Craig Garber (34:25.527)
Oh, it’s so much money. Oh, I know it’s, it’s a great place to live. It’s wonderful. Um, people are often attracted to the blues because they have a source of pain or emotions that blues helps heal to whatever extent you’re comfortable with in anything in particular, you’re healing through playing blues.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (34:46.11)
everything, you know, I mean, you asked earlier how I found it, you know, is when I taught myself to write songs and I was doing pretty good with writing music and I really struggled with lyrics, you know, I was like 20, I hadn’t really done that much. Um, and the first song I completed was going home, which is the first song on white sugar. And, um, I had a friend at school when I was 12 that commits suicide. She hanged herself over the Easter holidays.

And, um, you know, at that age, that’s a big thing to go through. But also, you know, as I got older, you know, and I was becoming an adult, you know, I still look back on her and she’s still a 12 year old girl to me, you know, and I’m, um, even today, I’m a nearly 40 year old woman and she’s still a little girl. Um, so I realized she didn’t leave a note and none of us really knew what the situation was. So I thought, why don’t I write lyrics?

Craig Garber (35:17.059)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (35:46.002)
as if it’s a suicide note and kind of imagine what I would want to say. Um, and it’s, so it’s tell my mother, she’ll be on my mind. Tell my lover not to wait this time. Tell my father and my brother too, that I’m sorry for what I’m going to do. And it continues. And I realized that writing that suicide note, because, you know, we never got one from her kind of helped me close that door of how she, what, you know, why she did it, what she might’ve been thinking. Um.

Craig Garber (35:49.917)
Oh, shi-

Craig Garber (36:02.339)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (36:16.662)
So I think that’s been the thing for me, is it’s really helped. As you say, it doesn’t always have to come from pain. It can be happy things too. And there’s a lot of joy in dealing with and closing the door on painful chapters. That’s very therapeutic. So I think for me, it’s always been, I’ve always tried to write from a personal point of view. My job is to make the audience feel something. And if I’m singing about things that I don’t feel, I’m not gonna be able to do that.

Craig Garber (36:30.558)
Oh hell yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (36:46.282)
I’m not a good enough actress to fake my way through that. So, you know, I think, yeah, you can write from pain and get something out of it that, you know, a lot of people have told me their sons commit suicide or something, and that was the song that, you know, really helped them. So I think you can, I think you can create art out of pain and have it be a positive thing.

Craig Garber (37:02.54)

Craig Garber (37:08.191)
Yeah, my brother committed suicide and it’s like a big, it’s always like a like it’s such a big question mark sort of thing. When, when you know someone who did that, it’s like what

Joanne Shaw Taylor (37:09.042)
I hope.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (37:18.898)
Yeah, I mean, it’s, um, yeah, well, you know, don’t have to tell you it’s, was it that bad? You know, all the things run through your mind. Was it a plea for help? What did we miss? You know, um, but, you know, unfortunately, I think at the end of the day, when someone’s that unhappy, you know, it is, it’s a mental illness. Yeah. Um, and like any illness, you don’t treat it.

Craig Garber (37:31.091)
Yeah, right.

Craig Garber (37:38.739)
Yeah, it’s mental illness for sure. Yeah, wow, that was pretty.

Yeah, it gets you. Wow, that was pretty heavy with your

Joanne Shaw Taylor (37:49.646)
Well, I’m going to join short, a day before. Thanks.

Craig Garber (37:52.651)

Craig Garber (37:56.331)
No, you’re, hey, you’re awesome. Let me tell you, what’s terrifying to me is when someone, when I ask them that question and then they’re like, oh, nothing. That I can’t do anything with, you know?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (37:58.454)
Thank you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (38:08.638)
Yeah, if you haven’t been through something, either you’re lying, or you’re just an idiot who didn’t realise.

Craig Garber (38:13.303)
Right. Yes, thank you. Thank you. Tell me something that you thought would be difficult to do, but in reality turn out to be much easier.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (38:27.798)
Being myself, I really struggled to be honest. COVID was a blessing in disguise for me. And I feel terrible saying that because I know millions of people died and, you know. But what I mean is.

Craig Garber (38:40.231)
millions of music. Let me tell you about 500 musicians have told me the same thing. So if it makes you feel any better, that COVID was a blessing to them.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (38:46.166)
Well, I think, yeah, I think there was a lot of people that made them take stock and just stop, you know, and do I really need to go to work every day when I could do virtual and spend more time with my kids at night, you know, and little things like that. But I was completely burned out, if I’m honest, I just hadn’t stopped since I was 20. And I was doing a lot of it myself, you know, I was managing myself, I was TMing, I was driving the van, I was booking the gigs.

And then when I wasn’t doing that, you know, as I’ve spoken with you, I was flying home to take my mom to chemo and make sure I was getting in as much time as possible with her in case the worst happened. Um, and then I was in New Zealand and we suddenly got the news like, Hey, this has gone south really quickly and you know, you’ve got like two weeks. Um, so I had to get back from New Zealand and see her through that and help her understand, you know, that was the end and then it was the funeral. And then three days after the funeral, I went back out on the road and I didn’t stop for six years. Um,

And thank God I was with Sony at the time and they were fantastic. I’d also had a really bad manager that was sort of taking advantage and I was not in a good position. Uh, but then I got with Sony and they were great. They were really big mental health, um, experts for particularly touring musicians, you know, they understood that that’s not a normal way to live, to be isolated from friends and family. Um, so they came forward and said, look, next year we want you to take six months off, you’re not Joanne Shaw Taylor. You’re just Joe Taylor. You stay home, do whatever you want.

Craig Garber (39:40.983)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (40:09.906)
you know, that’s it. And then two weeks later, COVID hit and I’m home and I’m home for two years, you know, sleeping in the same bed and going for a nice long walk every day. And it just made me realize how lucky I am to do this and how thankful I am that I have it in my life and most people don’t get, you know, that I’ve forgotten what your original question was, by the way.

Craig Garber (40:34.391)
The original question was something that you thought would be difficult to do, but in reality it turned out to be much easier. And you said being myself, tell me, like, tell me what was hard about being yourself.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (40:42.586)
So I realized through… I hated performing, if I’m honest. I loved it, but I just, I think from doing it from such a young age, because I had a lot of time through COVID to think about this, from doing it from such a young age, and all the audience were predominantly much older men. And you know, at that age, the only men I’d met were authority figures, they’re either members of my family or teachers.

So to have grown men coming up and telling me like, oh, you were really good, but oh, you were playing a bit too fast. And it just always felt like negative feedback, which it wasn’t, it was people trying to be nice. But when you’re that young, it was just a very strange situation to be in. So I think I started to close off a bit. And every time I was on stage, I just felt like, oh, they don’t like me. They hate it. They don’t think I’m a good enough guitarist. I don’t think I’m talking to them enough. And just so much self doubt. And then I think through COVID, it just became…

I’ll sod this. I’m just going to be me and I’ll attract the fans that I’m going to attract and stop trying to people please everyone. Um, you know, I’ve always done that with music. I’ve never released anything that I didn’t want to release. So it was like, why don’t I just do that as a person? Why don’t I just say stupid things on stage if that’s what comes into my head? And you know, what I oppose the most ridiculous selfies and I never wear makeup in a selfie because I can’t be asked to be honest, I don’t care whether or not you find me attractive or not.

Craig Garber (41:50.475)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (42:05.502)
It’s just a picture of my face. Have a good day. So that’s probably been the biggest.

Craig Garber (42:09.075)
for you. Yeah right and if it’s none of your business the way I look at it it’s none of my business how you feel about me. That is not my problem, not my business.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (42:18.446)
Yeah. And particularly, I mean, that ties in as well as being a female in a male dominated industry. I mean, you know, someone even today put online that stopped making faces. You look stupid. I just went shut up Brian. Like who cares?

Craig Garber (42:24.468)

Craig Garber (42:32.055)
Who has time? Who would I don’t? I don’t. Who has time for this? That’s what always.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (42:37.738)
Why do I care what your face looks like? It’s not my face. I don’t have to wear it. You know?

Craig Garber (42:43.535)
I mean, it’s just close. So how, what allows you to come to that realization? Like to give less shits, because I got to tell you, that’s a very common thing, especially for musicians. And, and most people don’t come to that realization until they’re 20 years older. We’re 15 years older. So pat yourself on the back.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (43:02.234)
Yeah, I mean, I’ve got to say 30s is much nicer than 20s, but also my 20s were very stressful. I think it’s a combination of stuff. I mean, I think one, it’s from being from a good foundation. You know, I’m very blessed that I had two parents that love me unconditionally and just, you know, the older you get, you realize, sadly, a lot of people don’t get that, you know. And also just knowing I’m a nice person. I’m not perfect.

You know, my favourite swear word is the C word, which is unthinkable for a woman from England.

Craig Garber (43:36.291)
That’s the only word my wife gets upset when I say.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (43:39.598)
It was my mom’s favourite. She always said, if you’re going to swear, do it properly. I was like, alright. You know, I know it means perfect, but my heart’s in the right place. And, you know, I’m doing my best out here like anyone else. So, and then I think also being a female, I’m being constantly told how you should look. And everyone’s got an opinion of what you’re wearing on stage. And it’s, I just realised one, I come from a good place of good intentions.

Craig Garber (43:43.967)
Yeah, I agree. Come on, show me what you got. Yeah, absolutely.

Craig Garber (43:54.85)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (44:08.818)
And two, I like the fact that, you know what, I’m going to say it because I’m saying it for that girl that’s coming up. That was me. That was too shy and scared to put a foot wrong. It’s like, honey, tell him, tell him you’re not dressed sexy because you’re trying, you’re not trying to attract anyone. No one’s trying to sell you anything. George, she’s just wearing it. It makes her feel, you know, that kind of stuff. It’s like, I saw it. If they’re not going to tell them, I’ll tell them. And then my.

Craig Garber (44:24.212)

Craig Garber (44:27.459)
Good for you.

Good for you. I’m really happy that I mean, honestly, that’s great because people don’t come to that conclusion too much later on, like men and women. Good for you. That’s awesome. What were some low points or dark periods you’ve had to deal with and how did you get through them?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (44:45.862)
I mean, the one thing that was, I mean, obviously there was the mom thing. That was a massive thing for me. We were exceptionally close. Um, you know, losing the person that’s most important to you in life is, you know, understand that life’s never going to be as good as it was before, you know. Um, but you know, people go through that. You just have to get through it and be kind to yourself. Um,

I think the harder thing was combining that with how difficult this industry was actually. And it was, I mean, I was pretty much broke till three years ago, like struggling to pay rent. I mean, there were some days where I didn’t have enough in my bank account to buy milk, you know, for a cup of tea. And it’s that financial stress. And you kind of think, well, I’ve put all my eggs in one basket here. You know, I’ve been a professional musician since I was 16, other than being an old bartender. I’ve got nothing else to do.

Craig Garber (45:40.907)
I got nothing else. That’s great. An old barmaid.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (45:44.007)
Um, yeah! I can pull a pint, and I can sing you a song, yeah, and I’d be brilliant at it.

Craig Garber (45:51.039)
Is that like a norm? Does every like young British woman with a good personality do that? Because again, my wife is a barmaid, intunstable for a long time.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (45:59.986)
I think I loved bars. I love pubs. And I loved being that woman where Jerry had walk in and you knew Jerry was 65 years old and he sat in the same chair at Barstool every day. And he would wait till you were free to pour his drink. Cause he knew that you, he wanted exactly five ice cubes, the lemon on one side, the lime on the other, double gin, splash of tonic, you know, things like that. I loved that. Um, so yeah, I think that’s a, yeah, it’s a cumberly wench trait.

Craig Garber (46:21.255)
Yeah, that’s great.

Craig Garber (46:27.351)
So, a rite of passage. Hey, which of your personality traits do you feel have most contributed to your success? And when I say success, I don’t mean just musical, you know, career. I mean, your success as a human being.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (46:31.233)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (46:38.67)
for peace.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (46:43.182)
I think it might be a sense of humour, I think. Yeah, if you can turn anything into something funny, it’s just gonna help you so much in life and it’s gonna make life so much more enjoyable, you know.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (46:59.303)
Yeah, I ought to cry when you’re laughing.

Craig Garber (47:00.087)
I agree. Let’s switch gears for a minute. I wanna talk about gear. What is your go-to guitar right now and what other two guitars would round out your top three?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (47:13.13)
Same as it’s ever been. I’m not a big collector of guitars. I leave that to Joseph and then I just borrow his. I’ve got, my main guitar is a 1966 Esquire that has been modified. It’s got a humbucker at the neck. He’s called Junior. And I use that pretty much predominantly for all gigs and albums. My other guitar favorite is a Les Paul Custom. I think it’s 2009.

Craig Garber (47:20.347)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (47:40.03)
And then after that, I’ve got a telecaster, which I inherited from Dave Stewart, which is, um, it’s a bit of a Frankenstein. It’s a vintage maple fender neck, I think fifties, but then it’s a warmeth body and again, humbucker. And, um, so that was.

Craig Garber (47:54.743)

Craig Garber (47:58.071)
How’d you get in the habit of putting the humbucker in the neck?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (48:03.146)
I don’t know, because particularly as I never use a humbucker, I only ever use the bridge pickup. Yeah, and I never change pickups, just bridge the whole way for me, rhythm and lead. The reason it was put in the Esquire was I was working in a guitar shop in Birmingham, England when I was 15, and between that and gigs I’d managed to save up enough money. I wanted a proper guitar, you know, I had like a Mexican Tele or something, Mexican Strat actually.

Craig Garber (48:09.406)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (48:31.178)
And my nan bless her saw how hard I was working and said, look, if you, whatever you save up our match, that’d be your Christmas present. Yeah. So we got together about 1400 bucks between the two of us pounds rather. Um, and I meet my dad went down to the train to London. There was a street called Denmark street, which had all the shops on. And we went to Andy’s, which isn’t there anymore, sadly. And, uh, yeah, I just fell in love with that guitar, but the previous owner had attacked it with a knife. But the, um,

Craig Garber (48:36.583)
Oh, that’s so cool.

Craig Garber (48:47.703)
Denmark sheet, yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (49:00.554)
So I did guitar tech at the time. I don’t know if she’d been drinking or, uh, maybe his girlfriend did it. I don’t know. She was angry with him or something. Um, so yeah, my guitar tech at the time was like, look, why don’t I just dig this out and put a humbucker in it? And then, you know, you’ve got more options and it’s more versatile. It’s not going to decrease the value of the guitar. It’s already ruined, you know? Yeah. So I did. And then, I mean, it looks great because it.

Craig Garber (49:01.643)
Is that a thing over there?

Craig Garber (49:23.593)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (49:27.35)
Looks like the, oh that’s my other favourite car, Albert Collins Signature Model. Joe bought it for me.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (49:35.766)
So yeah, those are the facts.

Craig Garber (49:36.267)
What is, how is that different? How is that guitar modified different for Albert?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (49:41.031)
I don’t know what they have a calling signature model.

Craig Garber (49:43.827)
Yeah. Anything like overt or.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (49:45.151)
I don’t know.

Not really. It comes with the, I mean, it’s a pretty stock, you know, telly with a humbucker at the neck really. Um, but it’s got the nice maple neck. Comes with the, I don’t think he actually really had any particular modifications on his guitar. I think the bizarre thing with Albert was obviously the tuning and the capo and the technique. Um, but yeah, I always, I always wanted an Albert Collin signature model. That was mine. Dream guitar and blessed.

Craig Garber (50:15.555)
Very cool. I saw him. God, I saw him years ago. Like, yeah, I saw him. God, it had to be.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (50:19.138)
I’m still out of it.

Craig Garber (50:26.744)
in the early 90s maybe or late 80s in a little.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (50:30.276)
Wow, fortunately both him and Steve said by the time I picked up the guitar.

Craig Garber (50:36.107)
Yeah, I saw Stevie too. I saw him and that was at Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Von tour here in Tampa. Yeah, that was a pretty good show. Yeah. Do you have a, uh, a worst gig ever story?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (50:48.69)
Oh God, where do I start?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (50:55.366)
Some of my friends.

Craig Garber (50:55.45)
You have a great personality. You really do.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (50:58.79)
Yeah, you do this nonsense for two decades and you’d get a good personality too. Um, there was one, an old name, what was the venue? It was in San Francisco and it’s a famous club on the blue circuit. It’s a Chinese restaurant. And, um, firstly, when we went in, the parking was in like the parking lot across the road and the guy was very particular about, he had one parking pass and you had to return at the end of the night, had to have it back.

So we’re doing this gig and one of my friends is there, Laura Chavez, who’s an amazing guitarist from the San Fran area. And we’re playing and the guy running the restaurant’s like, no, no. And like stops the whole thing. He’s like, too loud, too loud. I can’t do an accent, but that’s my accent. And I was like, okay. So I turned it and it just goes on and on and he just keeps interrupting me. And at this point I’ve got my amp on like, it’s not even on. You can’t hear it over the acoustic drum kit.

And people in the audience are shouting like, shut up, leave her alone. So eventually I stopped the performance and came off stage and I was like, I don’t know what you want me to do. And I talked to Laura, I was like, am I too loud? She’s like, no, no one can hear you. He just doesn’t like you. I was like, I don’t know what to do. And I came off stage, yeah, there’s no other reason. And he said, maybe it’s because most guitar players play like da, and you play like da, da. And I was like, oh yeah, could be.

Craig Garber (52:11.51)
No, he just doesn’t like you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (52:24.142)
And like kind of got through it and it was just very hostile. And so at the end of the night, I stole the parking pass because I was a bit with him and he was in, he was absolutely livid and he was emailing my agent and was like, have you got the parking pass? I’m like, no. And I started every time we crossed a board, I’d take a photo with the parking pass, like, welcome to Ohio. Um, and then after a back and forth, my agent was like, Joanne, you’ve had your fun, send it back. Cause I was like, okay. Um.

Craig Garber (52:32.803)
Good for you.

Craig Garber (52:41.995)
Ha ha!

Craig Garber (52:47.065)
Oh my god, that’s great.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (52:53.378)
So like things like that.

Craig Garber (52:53.463)
You should tag him on the, you should have posted it and then tagged him on.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (52:58.711)
I don’t know, it’s Mr. Somethings, Mr. Chang’s?

Craig Garber (53:02.735)
I know the place you’re talking about because I’ve had other artists come in and talk about it. I can’t think of the name, but I have had people come in and the guy is very particular. They’ve all said that. That’s so funny.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (53:10.858)
Yeah. Um, other than that, I mean, it’s always, there’s been some strange ones. Um, I mean, I’ll probably write a book eventually, but usually it’s like, it’s usually promoters or something being just odd or, you know, like we had an in-house sound guy the other day that after soundcheck decided to go on stage and change all the monitors to how we wanted them. And I’m like, what’s the point of us sound checking? Um, you know, it’s just things like that.

Craig Garber (53:20.491)
You should.

Craig Garber (53:37.8)
After a sandwich, I keep doing that. OK.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (53:42.153)
But yeah, by and large, the audience is always pretty cool to be honest. It’s usually some idiot behind the scenes making your day difficult.

Craig Garber (53:51.523)
Tell me your top three desert island discs in no particular order and just for this minute because obviously that changes a lot.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (53:58.814)
Ella Fritz Gerald with Louis, Songs for Lovers. Probably always gonna be Texas Flood. And, ooh, what would it go with? Maybe, would I do a Bowie?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (54:13.311)
Dean Martin live at the sand.

Craig Garber (54:16.703)
Wow, how did you come up with that one? How did you get turned on? What? That’s wild. That’s first time anybody’s ever mentioned Dean Martin. Wow.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (54:18.737)
I love Dino.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (54:22.454)
Well, the jokes are as good as the music.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (54:28.722)
I loved the Martin Sinatra. My granddad was a massive jazz fan and he had a massive vinyl collection and he had Count Basie signed by Count Basie, like he met him. So there was a lot of Sinatra, a lot of just rap pack kind of stuff, again, Ella. Ooh, could I do a fourth? All right. Clara Haskell. She was a fantastic, Clara Haskell? She’s one of my idols.

Craig Garber (54:39.166)
Oh cool.

Craig Garber (54:49.4)
Yeah, since you have such a good personality. Ha ha ha. Who?

Craig Garber (54:58.047)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (54:58.666)
fantastic female Polish pianist. Had a really tough life, but virtuoso pianist and particularly her works of Mozart are stunning because I love piano music. And yeah, I can listen to her every day.

Craig Garber (55:03.563)
H-A-S-K-I-L-L? Okay.

Craig Garber (55:19.711)
Is there a particular album name? Cause I’d like to check her out.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (55:22.434)
No, it’s tough to find stuff and it’s kind of because of the era she was in. She was really good friends with Charlie Chaplin, like randomly. That’s a yeah, she had a really interesting life. And apparently it was a really big personality because she was quite a small lady. I think she died in Paris. But it’s hard to find much stuff on her. And anything you find is generally kind of, you know, just a compilation album, but particularly the Mozart piano sonatas are my favourite.

Craig Garber (55:30.231)
That’s interesting. Yeah, that’s pretty random.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (55:52.402)
which apparently is, again, some trivia. That’s something I share with the current Pope. He’s a big fan of Clara Haskell’s Mozart sonatas.

Craig Garber (55:53.687)
Thanks, I’m gonna check that out.

Craig Garber (56:01.544)
There you go. You’re on your way there, Joy. To somewhere.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (56:05.176)

Craig Garber (56:08.803)
Tell me what are the biggest risks you’ve taken, personally or professionally?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (56:15.03)
Moving to Detroit when I was 22 probably wasn’t the most sensible thing that most people do. I think all of it, you know. Driving myself on my first US tour from New York to Las Vegas. I told my mom my friend was coming with me, so my friend would keep taking selfies and sending them to me. And we’d Photoshop her into the car to make it look like she was there.

Craig Garber (56:19.416)
Ha ha.

Craig Garber (56:39.017)
That’s awesome. That is so awesome.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (56:43.734)
But yeah, I think generally deciding as a 13 year old English girl to live in America and be a blues guitarist and forgo any kind of traditional education was probably not.

Craig Garber (56:56.247)
So let me ask you this, where all these things you’ve talked about, you really like had to have some big balls to do that. Where did that come from?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (57:03.482)
over is that’s the trick you know instead of over is um i don’t know i think i mean to be honest if i was to do it again at this age i don’t think i could do it but i think it’s just the naïve of youth and just being so determined um and that’s nice it’s sometimes you know on stage or get these wonderful experiences and i’m like thank god for that idiot 13 year old girl that was just

Craig Garber (57:09.862)

Craig Garber (57:16.512)

Craig Garber (57:31.316)

Joanne Shaw Taylor (57:32.258)
38 year old Joanne wouldn’t. Wouldn’t be brave enough.

Craig Garber (57:36.467)
Yeah, but I mean, that’s took a lot of a lot of courage to do all those things. Tell me something about yourself. People might be surprised to hear or find a little odd.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (57:48.715)
Probably just that I’m a giant nerd. Anything Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Stephen King.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (57:59.266)
Dogs are my favorite thing about the planet Earth. I think we should let dogs from the planet and be more like them and everything would be a lot better. Probably I don’t, yeah, I don’t actually really listen to new blues music or go to live blues gigs. I think because I’ve just do that every day for two hours that if I’m listening to blues, I wanna hear like Muddy Waters or Sun House. And, you know, likewise, you know.

Craig Garber (58:03.415)
Dogs, yeah, dogs are great.

Craig Garber (58:09.009)
Hell yeah, they get along.

Craig Garber (58:21.183)
Yeah, I can understand that.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (58:28.07)
more likely to sit down and listen to some jazz or piano than and kind of, you know, not listen to guitar really, you know, when you play it so much, you end up kind of studying it and then it kind of takes the fun out of it for you.

Craig Garber (58:42.047)
Yeah, I could understand that for sure. You listen to everything and you start critiquing it instead of just enjoying it or, or maybe I should do that or.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (58:48.154)
Yeah, I’m not, you know, the world’s best guitar player, but I’ve got enough knowledge to kind of tell what people are doing and it kind of takes the magic out of it. You know, it’s nice to listen to something where you go like, wow, how did they come up with that? You know?

Craig Garber (58:58.603)

Craig Garber (59:02.751)
That’s a good point. That’s interesting. Any hobbies or interests outside of music?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (59:10.018)
Um, cooking. Love my food. I love to cook. A lot of cooking shows. I’m looking forward to the new season of Julia on HBO. Julia Charles, another big heroine of mine. Uh, I read a lot. I love my books. Um, and then that just being outside, taking the dog out, walking, running, hanging with friends. I’m pretty boring.

Craig Garber (59:13.315)
What do you like to cook?

Craig Garber (59:38.696)
You don’t eat jacked potatoes and beans anymore.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (59:41.35)
I had a baked potato last night. Thank you very much. And, uh, I also found in Keswick, Pennsylvania, a little shop that had a massive British food section. So I put, yeah, but they had the good stuff. I spent about $300 on baked beans and Kit Kats and Marmite and all the good stuff.

Craig Garber (59:43.24)
Okay, good. All right.

Craig Garber (59:51.424)
There’s tons of them. There’s tons of them now.

Craig Garber (01:00:00.944)
When my wife, she just came back a while ago. She has a whole suitcase dedicated. She’s always like scared. I’m like, they’re not pulling you over for beetroot and pickled onions. I promise you’ll be.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:00:07.682)
Oh yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:00:11.066)
Yeah, I know the fear of sweating thinking, can she tell from my face that I’ve got crumpets in my bag?

Craig Garber (01:00:18.087)
Yeah, right. Best advice you’ve ever been given and who gave it to you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:00:27.166)
Ooh. Gigs never as good as you think it is and it’s never as bad as you think it is. You know, you can play the best gig you’ve ever played and there’ll be one person in the audience that just didn’t get it and it wasn’t for them. And you can have your worst gig or you think you’ve had your worst gig and there’s someone there whose life you just changed. I think the trick there is don’t overthink it. You know, you’re never gonna please everybody. Somebody’s really smart.

Craig Garber (01:00:49.759)
Yeah. Who told you that?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:00:56.106)
I can’t remember to be honest. I think it was Bart Walker, actually. Yeah.

Craig Garber (01:00:59.115)
That’s good advice. Good advice. Tell me the biggest change in your personality, Joanne, over let’s say the last seven to 10 years, and has that change been intentional? What, stop giving a fuck, yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:01:09.367)
not getting this far.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:01:14.427)
Yes, it was intentional and yes and no. I think you just get to a cantankerous age where it happens naturally.

Craig Garber (01:01:22.695)
I’m happy again that doesn’t happen usually at your age so congratulations. Final question. What’s that?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:01:28.106)
Well, I was raised by a strong team of cantankerous women, so that usually speeds up the process.

Craig Garber (01:01:36.711)
Yeah, well, good for you, honestly. Tell me the thing in life that’s making you happiest or giving you the most joy right now. You’re Hank.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:01:43.658)
My puppy, my dog Hank. And my boys in the band. Everyone I work with, this crew, they’re just beautiful, beautiful people that show up for me every day and just care about me and care about what they do. And that’s not always been the case, to be honest. There’s a lot of interesting personalities in this industry, but I got a great team.

Craig Garber (01:02:07.291)
Oh yeah. Are these guys coming to England, coming over to Europe with you?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:02:11.69)
Yep, they’re with me all the time. And I think one of them is even going to fly to Nashville with me to help me bring Cank over because I’m having his first international flight. I should be fine.

Craig Garber (01:02:18.955)
That’s awesome. Very cool Any final words of wisdom

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:02:26.974)
You do you. No one else is gonna do it.

Craig Garber (01:02:32.955)
Awesome. Hey, listen, let me tell people what you got going on. First of all, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it. You’re a great sport, honestly. And are you going to be you’re going to be coming down to Florida anytime soon?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:02:38.366)
Oh, it’s been a pleasure, love. Absolute pleasure.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:02:44.63)
We were just there. Um, so yeah, probably in the spring and I would work on US dates for next year at the moment, but hopefully I am going to Harry Potter world for my birthday, if that counts. Love it.

Craig Garber (01:02:50.531)
Great. Awesome.

Craig Garber (01:02:56.787)
in Disney. We’ll have a good time there. You’ll have to save up. Apparently from what I’ve read it’s like a fortune. I haven’t been at Disney a while because my kids are older. It’s like five grand to go there for three days or something like that. I’m like, holy shit.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:03:08.194)
Oh yeah.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:03:13.286)
Oh yeah. Well, I got friends who live there so I can stay, but I do the whole, I’m not there to mess around. I’m doing the both parks. I’m doing the fast track passes. Um, you know, sorry to any kid that gets in my way. It’s I’m coming through.

Craig Garber (01:03:26.163)
I was just thinking that I could see you just like throwing some kid at you.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:03:31.071)
I’m afraid I’m going to have to put on some gloves.

Craig Garber (01:03:34.083)
Hey, let me tell people what you got going on. First of all, Joanne’s got a bunch of new singles coming out and they’re all really cool. Black Magic, Sweet Little Lies, and there’s one more that I don’t know the name of. I apologize. Is there one more?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:03:48.051)
We’ve done Black Magic and Wild Love just came out.

Craig Garber (01:03:52.971)
Wild Love. Okay, great. Please check those out. They are available everywhere. Also, she will be, as I mentioned, touring Europe starting, UK dates starting in February. And you can go to joanneshaw to find that it’s Joanne with an E-J-O-A-N-N-E. Were you always like three names?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:04:15.902)
Yeah, sure’s actually my middle name.

Craig Garber (01:04:18.527)
Oh, it is.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:04:19.622)
Yeah, it’s not hyphenated, I’m not posh. Um, yeah, it was my mother’s maiden name, Karen Shaw.

Craig Garber (01:04:23.574)
Oh. Ha ha ha!

Craig Garber (01:04:28.842)
I like people that go out of their way. Sorry to cut you off, but I love people that go out of their way to make sure that you know, I’m not paused. You’re my kind of person.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:04:35.722)
Like that’s a question I get a lot when I can tell when some man just doesn’t want to interview me and the question of like, do you think it’s fair that someone with a hyphenated surname gets to play the blues? You know, privilege. So I’m like, there’s no hyphen.

Craig Garber (01:04:49.763)
How would that get, again, how does that get in someone’s head to even think of that as a question?

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:04:55.826)
Some people are just miserable and they want to make you miserable. But no, it was my mother’s maiden name and it’s a Scottish tradition, because her side of the family is Scottish, that the daughter takes the mother’s maiden name as a middle name.

Craig Garber (01:05:00.231)
Oh my God.

Craig Garber (01:05:08.547)
That’s so cool. I didn’t realize that was your, that’s your middle name. That’s very cool.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:05:11.934)
Yeah, so Joanne Taylor, but middle name is Shaw.

Craig Garber (01:05:15.287)
That’s awesome. Very cool. So Joanne Shaw Taylor, go there and, uh, you also follow join on socials, Instagram and Facebook. Um, she’s not on Twitter or X formerly known as Twitter. Um, what else, what else can we promote? You’ve been wonderful. I want to make you some money. We’re just sending her money. Just, do you have a credit card? Just send it to her and her.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:05:29.539)
Um, yeah, let’s switch. Um.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:05:37.43)
Yeah, Venmo, Joanne Short-Taylor needs money. Yeah, that’s it. Just the gigs, the music. If you want to follow me on Instagram, there’s loads of pictures of me and my dog. That’s literally all I post about because I’m lazy. And yeah.

Craig Garber (01:05:40.856)
That’s it.

Craig Garber (01:05:51.951)
Awesome. No, that’s appropriate. I can’t stand what he, you know, like I’m on there. I just want to look at animals and shit. I, when people start railing on politics and shit, I completely disconnect. I have no interest in ever.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:06:03.734)
No, I’m not very politically motivated, unless it’s like a cultural thing of like, I’ll call someone out on recently, I’ve had a post about being constantly called a female guitar player. It’s like, I’m not a female, I’m just a female that plays guitar. I’m a guitarist. You don’t say female lawyer or, you know. Um, so yeah, occasionally I have my little self-righteous rant, but it’s my page so I can, uh, but yeah, I don’t care who you vote.

Craig Garber (01:06:18.707)
Yeah, yeah, it’s weird that people, yeah, very weird that people think about that shit.

Craig Garber (01:06:30.187)
You can, and you deserve to. Hey, listen, you have been absolutely wonderful. Um, I hope to see you when you come down here. I wish you have a great holiday season and, uh, a very happy and healthy new year, and I hope your tour in Europe goes great and I know it will. So hang on one second and then we’ll wrap up. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. And thanks for being so candid.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:06:46.807)
Thank you love.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:06:50.622)
Oh, you’re welcome. Thanks for being cold and not boring.

Craig Garber (01:06:56.235)
Hey, I’m not posh. Everybody, thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this, please share it on your socials. We appreciate your time. We appreciate you listening. Thanks very much to Joanne Shaw Taylor. Please check out her new singles. They are available on her website and on any place where music is streaming. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook. And if you’re in England, check her out in February when she comes through your town. And most important, remember that happiness is a choice. So choose wisely.

Be nice, go play your guitar and have fun. Till next time, peace and love everybody. I am out, Joanne, you’re lovely.

Joanne Shaw Taylor (01:07:32.034)
Oh, no worries. Thank you so much. Happy…

Craig Garber (01:07:35.415)
My pleasure. Hang on one second.

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