John’s Blues Picks Dec 2015 – Dione Taylor
Dione Taylor Born Free (Matay) | dionetaylor.com
It’s been too long between albums for this Regina-born, Toronto-based singer. Her first disc Open Your Eyes was nominated for a Juno in 2004. Since then she’s been nominated for a Gemini Award for her performance of Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn To Freedom” with Oliver Jones at the Canadian Songwriter’s Gala (it’s on YouTube) and toured with David Clayton Thomas, and of course her appearance with the Women’s Blues Revue.
For this new one, as the press release states, she’s tackling some serious issues and decided on a rootsier sound, with Sean Pinchin featured prominently on slide guitar. For the opener we get “Love Is (beyond you and me)”, it’s her response to injustice everywhere including those done in the name of religion. With two guitars & handclaps, it’s a stirring choice. A marvellous blues follows, about the end of love, “Leave Me Alone”. A foot tapper on fighting temptation is another keeper: “Resist” has a catchy chorus over its martial drumbeat. Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hand” helps her deal with the death of her grandmother, a beautiful performance. Her own “Born Free” stresses her independence not just from another person but also to believe as she chooses. “Higher Ground” is the Stevie Wonder song, its message of achieving potential getting a pleading workout. A song of acceptance closes an all-too-short program: “Beer and A Bible” embraces the secular and the sacred in her life, the life of a preacher’s daughter in the modern world. If you go to www.dionetaylor.com, you’ll see links to her YouTube premiere of the disc on JazzFM and to the streaming sites Soundcloud & iTunes.