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They tell me God don't like ugly. Said, boy, your home's in hell - Sam Chatmon, God Don't Like Ugly

Author Topic: Eddie Taylor  (Read 812 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Eddie Taylor
« on: February 08, 2015, 01:00:51 AM »
Mention of Eddie Taylor elsewhere by Blueshome reminded me of something I scanned back in 1989 for somebody writing about Eddie Taylor


New face Eddie may steal the blues concert

THIS YEAR'S Folk Blues Festival is made up mainly of familiar faces. At the most ethnic level is Big Joe Williams, the Mississippi nine-string guitarist, who made his first recordings over 30 years ago and was here with the 1963 Festival. Big Joe remains an original and exciting country blues performer, unchanged by trends ? Delmark have just reissued his comeback album (DL 602).

A younger man from similar background is John Lee Hooker, who came to Britain with the first Blues Festival back in 1962, as did T-Bone Walker. Hooker is most impressive in the solo context, where the often sinister voice finds a hard pillow in the unique and unschooled electric guitar style. But he has fitted in surprisingly well on more sophisticated recording sessions in Detroit, ranging from the usual small blues hand to riffing saxes with the Vandellas providing a vocal background.

On these concerts it is most likely that he will perform solo, though it is to he hoped he may be joined on at least one number by Jimmy Reed or Walter Horton on harmonica and T-Bone Walker or Curtis Jones on piano, plus bass and drums. A good representative album is Joy 101 ''I'm John Lee Hooker," with Eddie Taylor on bass guitar on most tracks and Jimmy Reed playing harmonica on "Time Is Marching."

Another man who recorded extensively for the same Detroit label as Hooker (the now defunct Vee-Jay company) is Jimmy Reed, who visited the UK. on a club tour a few years ago. He has the reputation of being an erratic performer but the discipline of the Festival context and the presence of his old buddy Eddie Taylor should ensure a good set. He is a singer and harmonica player with a peculiar lazy style, accentuated on record by the boogie rhythm of his own guitar, and Taylor's bass. Born in Mississippi in 1923 Eddie Taylor is one of the most solid bass-guitarists in the blues but also a competent guitarist and a good but neglected down home singer. He could be, the star of the show if he gets the chance. None of  his records have been issued in U.K. though four tracks are on a French Top Rank anthology "Bluesville Chicago" (RLP 909) although not his most famous number "Big Town Playboy." At press-time the line up of Eddie's band for the Festival is Waiter Horton, Jerome Arnold and drummer J.C. (Jesse) Lewis. "Shaky" Horton was on the 1965 Festival bill where his harmonica style (akin to that of Little Walter Jacobs) was well received (hear him on the new Otis Spann single, "Bloody Murder" ? Blue Horizon 57-3142), Jerome Arnold is the brother of singer/harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, and has played bass-guitar with the great Howling Wolf band, as well as with Paul Butterfield.

Sixty-two-year-old Curtis Jones is this year's pianist, though it is not certain whether he will fill the "house" pianist role probably concentrating on his own act with possible rhythm assistance.

Finally, a man who is always popular ? T-Bone Walker. His last visit to Britain was with the Jazz From The Philharmonic tour, on which he played with top jazzmen who obviously thought it beneath their dignity to accompany a bluesman. On this occasion he should find sympathetic support and as well as his guitar playing (he is loosely the link between Lonnie Johnson and B. B. King) he may provide some piano accompaniments as he did on the first Blues Festival.

It should be an entertaining bill, and a safe financial bet, though one could wish for more fresh faces, like say Juke Boy Bonner or Magic Sam. Meanwhile one new face, Eddie Taylor, could provide the surprise.
Melody Maker , 19 Oct 1968, p.18

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