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Tasha Taylor: Honey For The Biscuit

James Nadal By

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Born into music royalty, does not, in any manner, guarantee success. Quite the contrary, it makes one work harder, to not only maintain the legacy, but break out from the looming shadow. With Honey For The Biscuit, vocalist Tasha Taylor, the daughter of Stax soul legend Johnnie Taylor, passed the heirloom boundary and crossed over into her own territory. Taylor went into the studio with thirteen well balanced compositions, and produced a reputable exposition of contemporary rhythm and blues, with just the right touch of inherent soul.

The accompanying musicians, led by bassist Nathan Watts, do a commendable job of laying the required foundation for Taylor to present her vocals. They kick it off with the inspiring "Feels So Good," a testament about a woman who is moving on, after repeatedly tripping over a rocky relationship; but then she tunes into those "Wedding Bells," and hopes for an enduring romance. The sensual groove of "Weatherman," is accented by the compulsory horn section, Taylor conveying genuine mastery of the soul idiom.

It is in the ballads that Taylor proves that she has the voice to sing the blues. "One And Only," has a tinge of country, "I Knew," conjures up traces of Etta James in her prime, and "Don't Rush Off," rises majestically with the gospel oriented organ undulations. The beat moves into the rock lane on "How Long," and the exotic Latin rhythm of "That Man," has Taylor refusing to give up on love. "Places I Miss," might be the more pop leaning track, but the message compensates for the light arrangement. Several tracks feature special guest artists, "Little Miss Suzie," has Robert Randolph on lap steel, and "Family Tree," adds Keb Mo on vocals. A highlight number is the sultry "Leave That Dog Alone, reinforced by the fiery Samantha Fish on guitar and vocals. Tommy Castro sings a responding verse with Taylor on "Same Old Song," as the record winds up where it started, a strong woman deciding that it's time to make some drastic decisions and personal choices.

Tasha Taylor was raised in show business, and learned her craft from her father, a master showman. Tough she is well educated, and also has an acting resume, it is the call of the muse which brought her into music, back to where she came from. She has a formidable stage presence, and as evident on this record, has honed her production and songwriting skills. The family standard has been set and met; now it's her time to step into the spotlight.

Track Listing: Feels So Good; Wedding Bells; Family Tree; Weatherman; One And Only; Little Miss Suzie; I Knew; How Long; that Man; Leave That Dog Alone; Don’t Rush Off; Same Old Thing.

Personnel: Tasha Taylor: vocals, guitar, keys, percussion; Nathan Watts: bass; Don Wyatt: Wurlitzer, piano; John Notto: guitar; Jon Taylor: guitar; Jamelle Williams, Matthew Demerrit, Lemar Buillary: horns; Gerry Brown: drums; Ronald Bruner: drums; Stanley Randolph: drums; Munjungo: percussion; Keb Mo: guitar, vocals (3); Robert Randolph: lap steel guitar (6); Samantha Fish: guitar, vocals (10); Tommy Castro: vocals (13).

Title: Honey For The Biscuit | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Ruf Records


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