Coming off White Sugar, one of the most promising blues debuts of recent years, Joanne Shaw Taylor’s Diamonds In the Dirt is proof anew that far from being moribund the genre is in fact being revitalized by a younger generation of artists—many of them female—who write, sing, and play with authority and unbridled soulfulness. A product of emotional upheaval, the album begins with a soft, acoustic Delta blues rumination in the first bars of “Can’t Keep Living Like This” before bursting into flames as the gifted Ms. Taylor explores the aftermath of uncoupling and a revival of her own spirit. Her powerhouse guitar ignites it all: The grinding “Dead and Gone,” the thumping “Let It Burn,” and the furious “Lord Have Mercy” are among the hard- edged screeds here, whereas remorseful lyrical introspection informs the sweet but driving Muscle Shoals-redolent “Same As It Never Was” and the pure, velvety torch- style winsomeness of the title track with its deep groove, sensuous female chorus, and Shaw’s whispered recriminations and pungent soloing. As per the mood, the sound is either steely, punishing, and raw, or lush and intensely seductive. Being the real deal, Joanne Shaw Taylor here makes a great leap forward.