I was fortunate enough to do the stage announcements for last night’s gig which featured Joanne Shaw Taylor and Virgil (bass) and Gabriel (drums) from the Accelerators at The Woodcutter in Hartlepool. A packed crowd were ecstatic from start to finish as Joanne and the guys tore the roof off.
I was also fortunate enough to be able to interview Joanne before the gig about her new album Diamonds in the Dirt. After the recorder was switched off, we spent some time talking about guitars and so on.
One of these:
Telecaster gifted to Joanne when she was in Dave Stewart’s band (she was only 17) She said it was in a much worse state that this when she got it. Seymour Duncan Jazz Humbucker at neck with coil tap, SD single coil at bridge, model not known. The neck is from a 55 Tele, the body isn’t Fender.
Mid 50s Esquire which she picked up when she was 15. It had been butchered with a knife. Same pickups as Tele apart from coiltap.
I’m not sure if it was a volume or a wah pedal, either way I don’t think she used it – into Boss Tuner into Ibanez Tube Screamer (she used to use two, one for gain and one for boost) into Boss Delay (used very sparingly but very effectively) into TwinStomp Booster – I think this is why she only has one tubescreamer.
and a 4×12 marshall cab (very light coloured grille cloth – just visible in photo)
Her normal amps are stock valve Fenders (recent pics with a Blackstar backline are confusing, they weren’t hers) but she is using a Marshall as she feels the new album has a more “rock” sound.
Sounded lovely with plenty of variation of tone.
Joanne switched fairly easily between using a plec and her thumb and fingers – sometimes plucking so hard with her thumb you could hear the “thwack” as the strings snapped back in place – which I guess is how she snapped the string on the tele.
She also made excellent use of her guitar volume controls and switched pickups frequently during solos.
Joanne had some classical guitar training as a child and some of that stuff still comes through in her playing.
All in all – and I don’t say this lightly – one of the best guitar players I have ever seen.
Full of passion, fun, tone, style and so much more.