Diamonds In the Dirt
Images of smoldering love and blazing destruction fill these songs — but the real heat comes from Taylor’s guitar work. Still in her early 20s, this gifted Britisher unleashes torrid riffs with a ferocity and confidence that players twice her age might envy. Diamonds In the Dirt is an often compelling showcase for both her fluent instrumental touch and her breathy, whiskey-seared vocal style. Taylor’s self-penned tunes are as much rooted in late-‘60s hard rock as classic blues — tracks like “Can’t Keep Living Like This,” “Jump That Train” and “Let It Burn” are muscular and aggressive musically, tormented and yearning lyrically. “World On Fire” mixes things up with a funky groove, while the title tune slinks in a sultry R&B direction. Taylor receives tight, sympathetic support from keyboardist Rick Steff, bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts, all veteran blues players. “The World and Its Way” (a tenderly bruised love song that recalls Danny Kirwan-era Fleetwood Mac) closes the album on a simmering and satisfying note.