May 8, 2015, 8:15pm
"Otis Taylor is arguably the most relevant blues artist of our time”
- Guitar Player magazine
It may sound somewhat cliché, but if you were to look up the definition of a true contemporary Bluesman in the dictionary you would be sure to find a bio of Otis Taylor.Read More
In truth, no other artist on the scene today captures the essence of the Blues, base lining history while reflecting on life’s challenges and social injustice in a straightforward spontaneous manner reminiscent of John Lee Hooker. And all is conveyed with a unique singing style combined with a multi- instrumentalist virtuosity.
Chicago born and Denver Colorado raised, Taylor’s musical talents are varied: in addition to his strength as a singer – songwriter, he’s an accomplished guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica player. Through an amalgamation of various roots styles, he’s ever changing, capturing all that’s around him through a thought provoking lens. He senses that issues and conditions that affect the human spirit, while painful, must be brought to light if there’s any hope of deliverance. Instrumentation doesn’t always conform to tradition but remains current including the employment of electronic components such as loops, drum machines, or samples.
Taylor’s career started in the 70’s but it was only after his re-emergence in 1995 after a hiatus from the music business (working as an antique dealer!), that he started to distinguish himself. His first 2 releases definitely left their mark but his third album, 2001’s White African on the Northern Blues imprint caused the music world to stand up and take notice and set him on his way to recognition and respectability. All of his 14 releases to date are critically acclaimed. Examples of acceptance of Taylor’s art are many, including:
- A Blues Music Award for “Best New Artist” on the strength of White African
- A Living Blues Award for “Best Blues Entertainer”
- 8 various Blues Music Award nominations
- 2 Downbeat Critics Poll for “Blues Album of The Year”
Otis Taylor’s work is compelling – with his dark and sobering themes not for the faint of heart – and is highly recommended for those looking for a connection of life and the Blues.