Anyone familiar with Otis Taylor’s work won’t be surprised by the hypnotic nature of his new record, featuring vocal numbers and instrumental interludes that all are seemingly connected.
The classic title cut gets two different takes and they both are stunning. The first one, the record’s opener, features Taylor with guests Warren Haynes and Langhorne Slim on guitars. The mix of spacey, psychedelic soloing and wild rock is perfect. Add to that some atmospheric cornet from Ron Miles and violin from Anne Harris and you’ve got the template for which this record is built on.
Taylor’s music is described as “trance” music, and he in fact champions a Trance Blues Festival. This record furthers that reputation, drawing the listener into that feeling of continuity, whether it’s on a vocal cut or an instrumental.
Taylor’s vocals sound, at turns, compassionate and intimidating. Lyrically, the songs deal with decisions and consequences.
On the musical front, it’s stunning to hear what great players can draw out of droning, one-chord efforts. Dynamics contribute to the great feel of this record.
The result is a true tour de force, and it’s time for Taylor to be recognized as one of our top artists.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s September ’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.
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