After a long absence from the spotlight (nearly a decade), Dione Taylor is back. That's good news, as she is a powerhouse r 'n b/blues/jazz vocalist of immense talent. Her debut album Open Your Eyes earned a 2005 Juno nomination, and she has shone onstage in venues across North America and Asia (including performances in front of the President of the United States and the Queen Elizabeth II). Her new mini-album Born Free is a passionate and deeply personal work, one that draws upon gospel and blues influences to get its spiritual messages across (her stylistic self-definition is "Gospeldelic Prairie Blues"). Her original compositions are strong, while a lovely cover of Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands" is just one of many highlights here. Of note: Taylor was nominated for a Gemini Award for her rendition of Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom,” which she performed alongside Oliver Jones at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala.
Taylor launched the record with a show at Toronto's Hugh's Room recently. On Dec. 4 she is part of CBC's Toronto charity show Sounds of the Season, alongside the likes of Francesco Yates, Bill King, Julian Taylor, Scott Helman, Barbra Lica, Terra Lightfoot, and Emilie-Claire Barlow.