Six albums in, Joanne Shaw Taylor has nothing to prove, but plenty to say. Reckless Heart, the follow-up to 2016’s Top 20 hit, Wild, finds the British blues musician in glorious form and a mischievous mood, one minute bearing her claws with catty lyrics, the next deliriously in love. In several senses, it’s an album of firsts - the first made in Joanne’s adopted home town of Detroit, the first produced by her close friend Al Sutton (Greta Van Fleet, Kid Rock), the first largely recorded live and the first to feature an unplugged solo performance and, by chance, a passing train. But it’s also an album that pulls the past in to the present. The good-time grooves of vintage British blues-rock are given a modern makeover, while Joanne’s most powerful, yet intimate vocals to date take their cue from the gritty soul greats (Aretha, Tina, Mavis Staples) she was raised on.
Guitarist Joe Bonamassa has described Joanne Shaw Taylor as a "superstar in waiting” in the blues/rock world. Her fiery guitar chops, powerful voice and a natural gift for songwriting has helped propel an impressive touring career, with sellouts across the UK and Europe and an ever growing worldwide fanbase. In 2002, while only 16, she was tapped by The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart for his supergroup D.U.P., and artists such as Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi of Tedeschi Trucks Band and blues legend John Mayall have marveled at her talents.
Watch for extensive US touring throughout 2020 featuring cuts from her May 2019 album release on Sony Music/Silvertone, Reckless Heart, which was recently nominated in the Best Blues Rock Album category for the 2020 Blues Music Awards in Memphis on May 7.
“I love the energy, music, and creativity of Chicago, but at the same time, the roots and hard work of my small town,” he shares. Growing up in Delavan, Illinois, with a population less than 2,000, Diekhoff’s grandparents were farmers, and their values have always provided the baseline of his songs. He writes music for “the kind of people that come to my shows. Whether in Chicago or Delavan, everyone has a story, and everyone puts in a long day and works hard the same way,” he says. “My generation may have been labeled as slackers, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work hard - many people I know put in 50-60 hours a week and 12-hour days. That’s what keeps me playing. I don’t like anyone to be left out; my music is for everyone in big and very small towns.”
He listened to punk rock and grunge as a kid before discovering a friend’s dad playing Hank Williams, and it was a revelation. Prine and Guthrie quickly followed. The name Chicago Farmer was originally for a band, but the utilitarian life of driving alone from bar to bar, city to city - to make a direct connection
to his audience and listener, took a deeper hold.
“You can smell the dirt in the fields, hear the wind as it blows across the plains, and see the people that Chicago Farmer sings about. Each track captures a moment in time, whether for a person or a particular place. Imagine if a John Steinbeck short story had been written as a song, and this will give you a fairly good idea as to what Chicago Farmer accomplishes on his albums.”
— HONEST TUNE
The Other Favorites is the long time duo project of Carson McKee and Josh Turner. Perhaps best known for their performances on YouTube, which have garnered millions of views. The Other Favorites are now based out of Brooklyn, NY. Together, Turner and McKee bring their shared influences of folk, bluegrass and classic rock into a modern framework; one distinguished by incisive songwriting, virtuosic guitar work and tight two-part harmony.