“Heavy Soul” is released on June 7th. 

It was produced by Kevin Shirley (the Black Crowes, Joe Bonamassa, and Beth Hart). 

The new album is released by Joe Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records and is available at – https://shop.joanneshawtaylor.com/

Joanne Shaw Taylor, discovered at 16 by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, quickly ascended to become one of the world’s leading rock guitarists. Championed by legends like Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, and Joe Bonamassa, her powerful songwriting, and distinct vocals first captivated audiences with her 2009 debut, “White Sugar.” Over the years, Joanne has released numerous acclaimed albums, including the UK Top 20 hit Reckless Heart and the #1 Billboard Blues Chart toppers “The Blues Album” and “Blues From The Heart Live.” Her most recent studio album, “Nobody’s Fool,” launched under Bonamassa’s Journeyman Records in 2022, showcases collaborations with industry icons and highlights her continually evolving artistry. Joanne remains a trailblazing force in blues rock, eagerly anticipating her next album release.

The album features an array of accomplished musicians, including Anton Fig, Alison Presswood, and Rob McNelley, blending their unique talents to create an unforgettable musical experience. Reflecting on the creation of Heavy Soul, Joanne shares, “For me, it was about connecting the dots from ‘Nobody’s Fool’ back into the blues… It’s a mix of contemporary soul-pop and roots music.” 

We were especially looking forward to listening to the drum work of Anton Fig. Anton Fig has worked with BB King, Cyndi Lauper and Ace Frehley (he was a member of Frehley’s Comet in the mid-80’s). He played drums on the Kiss albums “Unmasked” and “Dynasty” and has been one of the best session drummers in the business for decades. His drumming is always fitting the mood of the song and worth the admission alone.

That said, on with the review! 

Track Listing

“Sweet ‘Lil Lies” sports a great chorus, a confident swagger and strong bluesy vocals that take no prisoners. It’s a highly commercial number, and the little piano moments hidden a bit in the mix add that little extra too. And, yes, the drumming is right on the money, as expected.

“All the Way From America” is more whimsical, acoustic and has a light touch. It is a contemplative track lyrically, moves with a sway, and has an easy beat.

“Black Magic” was reviewed by us when it came out, we said at the time, “it kicks straight into this funky guitar sound, with Joanna’s vocals slipping between a country feel spliced with the blues. The track rips along and has some terrific honky-tonk piano and backing vocals that got us all singing along. It ebbs and flows through the beat, and it has instant commercial radio appeal. At the risk of using an overworked term, it’s really catchy!”

“Drowning in a Sea of Love” introduces a bit of funk into the mix. It blends a bit of urban funk with some harmonised vocals and a heavy beat. I’m sure this would be a strong track on the live set, and I enjoyed the guitar break mid-track. 

“A Good Goodbye” is a song for a summer day, blues for the sunshine! It drives with a narrative tale and has those little touches of background harmony vocals that are pleasing features of the album as a whole. 

“Heavy Soul” opens with a great drum beat, announcing a blues riff beat interlaced with some catchy melody and a fist-pumping chorus. It’s an enjoyable, bluesy groove and the drums maintain that beat throughout. 

“Wild Love” is smoothly commercial, very radio friendly and the most pop sounding track on the album. It has a touch of boogie in there and the abandonment of dancing on the beach. Nicely done! 

“Someone Like You” slows the pace down and turns to a slow dance move. The vocals are dreamy and romantic, the music resonating of the club very late at night with the last dancers still on the floor. She’s taken her shoes off and is slowly moving with her partner; he’s happy she’s there, and a few hours of night still lie ahead.

“Devil in Me” returns to a rock vibe. Loads of energy and a song to drive to with the speakers blasting. My living room couldn’t really do it justice! It’s a short, three-minute energy drink.

“Change of Heart” closes the album in a positive vein; it’s a celebration of a song, uplifting, like so much of the album.

In summary:

I really enjoyed the background harmony singers, Anton Fig’s drumming was excellent, and Joanne gave a masterclass in contemporary blues pop rock. It’s a highly polished album that rarely slips out of top gear and has a number of really classy tracks.

Standout tracks: “Sweet Lil Lies,” “Black Magic,” and “Wild Love.”

As a finishing point, to keep us improving the magazine, we really do need your support, and if you can go to the’support us’ button and buy us a coffee, it helps us feel appreciated and keep improving the magazine. We also have our merchandise shop, Lorraine, looking great in the gear! Read on, check out our many great features and reviews, and do bookmark us on your pages!


Fans can also look forward to Joanne’s Spring U.S. 2024 Tour, where she will treat audiences to her latest hits and classic anthems. The tour, spanning across the East Coast and Southeast, starts in Virginia Beach, VA, on March 29th, and concludes in Skokie, IL, on May 3rd. For more information on the album, single, and tour dates, visit joanneshawtaylor.com.

You can stream the album, and other material from Joanne here.

By Stevie Ritson

Saturday, June 15 – Aurora, IL – Blues On the Fox Festival

Saturday, June 29 – Poortugaal, NL – Muziek of Rhoon Festival

Saturday, July 6 – Jarvenpaa, FL – Puistoblues Festival

Friday, July 12 – Nescopeck, PA – Briggs Farm Blues Festival

Friday, July 19 – Bangor, ME – Maine Savings Amphitheater*
Friday, August 2 – Mammoth Lakes, CA – Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza

Saturday, August 10 – Duluth, MN – Bayfront Blues Festival

Saturday, August 17 – Thornton, NH – White Mountain Boogie N’ Blues Festival

Saturday, September 14 – Morristown, NY – Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival
*Opening for Joe Bonamassa

All photos used in this review credited to Stacie Huckeba