On Tuesday evening, Joanne Shaw Taylor made a welcome return to the Fire Station in Sunderland, where a legion of blues lovers awaited her.

The concert marked the artist’s second show in this very room, having performed at the venue approximately 18 months prior. Joanne has a connection with the city via her days with local superstar Dave Stewart. Of course, Joanne was discovered by the Eurythmics legend at the age of 16.

Joanne Shaw Taylor opened the set by way of In the Mood, which as the title illustrated, set the tone or mood for a wonderful musical evening.

The headliner was accompanied onstage by Shane Sanders on rhythm guitar, Steve Lehane on bass, Phil Whitfield on keys, and Eric Savage on drums. Collectively, throughout the evening, the band came together like a wheel-oiled machine.

This time around JST is touring as a precursor to the release of her forthcoming album "Heavy Soul." The album is to be released on Joe Bonamassa's Journeyman Records on June 7th.  Joanne’s forthcoming long player was produced by the legendary Kevin Shirley.

The Northern Echo: Joanne Shaw Taylor at Fire Station Sunderland

On this occasion, the artist largely kept her new material under wraps, with recent singles Wild Love and Sweet Lil Lies featuring in the set. Each of these didn't disappoint. As the old saying goes, all good things come to those who wait.

The first half of the show saw Taylor put her stamp on several covers by greats of the blues genre, including the soulful sounds of Keep on Lovin' Me by the late Otis Rush and Can't You See What You Are Doing to Me by Albert King. With its heavy groove, the latter got the audience’s toes tapping.

Joanne’s blistering fretwork during If You Are Gonna Make a Fool of Somebody was captivating. She made her Fender Telecaster sing like a bird. The cover songs featured on Joanne’s 2021 release, The Blues Album, where the artist put her stamp on tracks by many a blues legend via some of the lesser-known tracks in each of their repertoires.

The Northern Echo: Joanne Shaw Taylor at Fire Station Sunderland

The thunderous blues/rock stylings of Dyin’ to Know and the rather apt Watch ‘Em Burn featured mid-set. Joanne’s playing throughout the song was sizzling. The latter felt appropriate since the headliner was performing at a venue named the Fire Station after all. Massive cheers erupted from the Sunderland crowd.

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A heartfelt performance of Diamonds In The Dirt was one of the many highlights of the set. The song was the title track of Joanne’s second album and was most welcomed by the artist’s old-school fans in attendance.

The headliner switched things up momentarily while grasping an acoustic guitar during an emotive airing of Fade Away. A beautiful and insightful backstory accompanied the song, where the artist shared her thoughts about grief and loss. A subject that many can relate to. In music, Joanne has a vessel to channel her emotions, and throughout the song, she does exactly that. The audience was transfixed throughout.

The main set closed out with a fiery rendition of Bad Love. The finger-picking sounds of Going Home was the perfect way to close Joanne's combustible performance. On Tuesday night, Joanne Shaw Taylor was on fire in Sunderland.