FOR those of you who don't know, arguably THE hottest, British blues guitar playing talent – Joanne Shaw Taylor – is headed for The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton this November, as a part of the annual Wirral Guitar Festival which also features appearances by Wishbone Ash, Steve Hill, Roy Wood and The Blues Band.

To say that Joanne Shaw Taylor has had something of a wild time over the last 15 months or so would be an understatement.

Her appearance on one of the smaller stages at Glastonbury was followed by a live late night TV appearance from the festival; an unexpected plus that provided us with a timely taster of Joanne's not then released fifth studio album Wild, which finally saw daylight in September last year.

Naturally, there then followed a whole raft of gigs that has seen arguably the hottest British female blues act there is on the road, both in the UK and Europe, for much of the interceding months, with festivals, venues and guest slot assignees falling over themselves to sign her up.

Via the courtesy of good old Skype, Joanne seems happy and relaxed.

There's a veritable spring in her step and little wonder.

2016/17 has been quite a year and it’s no wonder that, as we speak, she's having little downtime at her home in Detroit before taking to the road once more with dates in Holland and the UK looming fast.

She said: "I'm doing really well, thanks. I'm just having a few days at home in Detroit, enjoying an Indian summer before heading back to the UK later in the week. 

"It's been my home base for around 10 years now and I try to spend as much time as I can in the city.

"I was in the UK and Europe a lot more last year than I had been previously and, quite frankly, got I bored hopping on and off international flights to come over here as much.

"I love it here.

"I was brought up in Solihul and there are a lot of similarities, to be honest.

"Detroit is an industrial city with quite a high rate of unemployment, sadly, that's had a fair amount of problems over recent years.

"It has had to sell a lot of its municipal buildings to survive.

"In the ten years I've been here though it's really starting to come back into its own."

Produced by Kevin Shirley and recorded in Nashville, Wild is one of the stand out blues/rock albums of the past twelve months.

A rich mixture of Joanne's exemplary guitar work and smoky vocals, being added to by a couple of covers including David Bowie's Wild is the Wind – from which the album derives its name – and Summertime from Porgy & Bess. A song Joanne performed live alongside Jools Holland on Later ... in October.

"That was really unexpected. I was walking back from a tube station when I got the call from my manager who said 'you're doing this next week' to which I thought 'oh crap!'" Joanne laughs.

"I've been waiting years for that phone call and when it finally came through I was just so excited.

"It's a huge, huge show to do and was all a bit of a whirlwind, particularly as Jools sat in and did the duet.

"He was really lovely and very complimentary about the music, so all in all it was a very nice, very big, bucket list tick."

Joanne's last appearance in the North West was at The Summertime Festival in Warrington last July, but now she’s set to play the New Brighton Floral Pavilion on Friday November 17 as part of a Wirral Guitar Festival week which features the likes of The Blues Band, Roy Wood, Wishbone Ash and Steve Hill.

The event is growing ever more popular and Joanne is excited to be a part of the 2017 line up.

Joanne said: "I don't think I've played there before.

"I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I have and it's always great to experience new venues.

"I'm certainly looking forward to it and I just love the fact that there are all these blues and blues-rock events and gigs popping up.

"It shows what a healthy place the genre is in right now."

During 2017, Joanne has barely been off the road with a whole of host of festivals and headlining gigs taking place across the country.

She returns to touring on Friday with four dates in Holland then a whole raft of gigs in the UK to follow which takes her – and her band – on the road, including her New Brighton date, until early December.

A tough touring regime by anybody’s standards.

"I have a very good vitamin regime, which always helps, and I just love playing live and touring!

"I've had a fair amount of time off this year which has seen me play in Europe more in blocks and at one-off festivals more and more.

"That's meant I’ve been able to spend more time at home here in Detroit, which is good for recharging the batteries.

"This spell has been around three weeks, which has been lovely, but I'm itching to get back out there now because I enjoy gigging so much.

"It's what I do and I'm used to it.

"I've been doing this since I was fifteen, don't forget, so I sort of miss the pace of it all when I'm not out there playing.

"I guess it’s in the blood now."

Joanne Shaw Taylor will be at The Floral Pavilion New Brighton on Friday November 17.

Tickets from the box office 0151 666 0000