Backed by acoustic strings of the more intimate sort, Otis Taylor interprets his original blues tunes sincerely. His homespun voice has a little grit in it. There’s nothing fake about the way Taylor explains it. With blues harp in hand, he takes over with timeless tales and new twists.
Bringing in rotating cellists to accompany was a brilliant idea. The luster of the instrument’s timbre blends appropriately with Taylor’s fluid voice. He’s able to mourn over subjects such as drug-dealing, societal intolerance, and heartache within a clear framework. Banjo, mandolin, cello, guitar and bass make a fine setting. It’s natural. And, of course, Taylor’s blues message is as natural as a bear in the woods.
”505 Train” tells of domestic abuse and getting away from it—to an acoustic accompaniment that spells anticipation. “Hurry Home” gives the listener a powerful ray of hope, performed a cappella, while “Sounds of Attica” exhumes the ghosts of slavery amid droning melody and rhythm. History and social issues, both past and present, continue to provide us with grist for the blues.
Taylor turns the lead microphone over to his daughter for Double V ’s final track. She sings with the same kind of gentile persuasion as her father. With Dad’s guitar, cello, and a clarion trumpet backing her up, she sings about racial injustice. Any time is the right time for reflecting on such matters. The world has changed, but we all know that there’s still a long row to hoe. Thanks to Otis Taylor, the blues isn’t about to run out of qualified spokesmen any time soon.
Enjoy Three Days on the Beach with Snarky Puppy, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Lettuce, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Lila Downs, Michael McDonald Acoustic Quartet, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Flor de Toloache and more—February 14-16, 2020 at the North Beach Bandshell in Miami, FL.
The winner receives a 3-day pass for two. Excludes travel or lodging.
Acclaimed by the New York Times as one of the “Top 10 Definitive Moments of the Decade in Jazz Music,” GroundUP goes beyond the typical festival experience, breaking down the barriers between audience and artists...
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!
Find All About Jazz articles, news, musician pages, and more!