The album art for Joanne Shaw Taylor's White Sugar

Joanne Shaw Taylor

White Sugar

White Sugar is a delight from beginning to the end: a traditional blues album that rips, shreds, and tears its way from one track to the next in intimate songs that feel as crafted for low-down bars as they do for giant stadiums under Joanne Shaw Taylor’s gentle leadership.

I’m on a bit of a blues kick this week, apparently. Look, don’t let the cover throw you off this record. It might not look like much, but let’s get the most important things out of the way: Joanne Shaw Taylor can sing, she can shred on the guitar, and she can play a mean blues riff.

From beginning to end, White Sugar is a total treat. Projecting Buddy Guy at one moment and Joe Bonamassa at another, Taylor is part human, part chameleon, all blues.

Some people would say the album slows down towards the end, but if anything, I think it just becomes more intimate. It’s not a bad thing. Intimacy is one area where blues excels. And Taylor is an exemplary blues musician. Works all around for me.