How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Moving comfortably between acoustic and contemporary electric blues, Otis Taylor brings us an exciting new album with social commentary laced all the way through. This is his fifth album. The seasoned bluesman’s passionate volume of adventurous storytellin’ garnered several W.C. Handy Award nominations this year.
Taylor, 55, grew up in Chicago and Denver. His first love was the banjo, which gets quite a workout on Truth Is Not Fiction. Singing with a down-home ease and a genuine spirit, the bluesman offers stories that honor Rosa Parks, stark prison landscapes, the Black experience in America, the Native American experience in America, and your average hard-working man of the house. He closes the album with Big Joe Williams’ “Baby, Please Don’t Go.”
Recalling the way “House of the Rising Sun” swept across the land several decades ago, Taylor’s songs utilize dramatic tension and emotional release to convey a mood. His blues mood serves to pump up our ambitions and to push us in ways we’d otherwise neglect. Everybody needs a little push now and then. Taylor’s got just the remedy for that. Armed with his session of powerful inspiration, we’re ready to face the world and to make things work out the way we truly want.
Visit Otis Taylor on the web for audio samples and more.
Track Listing: Rosa; Kitchen Towel; Comb Your Brown Hair; Babies Don
Personnel: Otis Taylor- vocals, guitar, electric banjo, mandolin, harmonica; Kenny Passarelli- bass, piano,
keyboards; Eddie Turner- guitar; Ben Solee- cello; Cassie Taylor- backup vocals.