Otis Taylor's blues are self-consciously art, with unconventional instrumentation including the cello on Lifetime of Freedom, he employs four. Hear Otis play in the trailer to a new movie "Shooter". Spurning banjo stereotypes from minstrelsy to bluegrass and keying in on the instrument's rhythmic versatility, Taylor covers a broad swath of stylistic ground, including rocking blues, funky swagger, jazz-inflected melody, Creole dance, old-timey jug band and country blues. Music[ edit ] Taylor was born in Chicago and moved at a young age to Denver , Colorado , where he grew up. Taylor perfectly blends in the usually frenzied electric guitar of Gary Moore with his own banjo and acoustic guitar strumming". Otis's song, Nasty Letter is featured in the sound track of a new major motion picture "Shooter", starring Mark Wahlberg. Ultimately, though, Taylor's one-chord magic comes from his knack for repeating catchy riffs until they become a seductive blur--a hip-shaking platform for his colorful explorations of love, war, joy, deprivation, and racial struggle. Taylor, a multi-instrumentalist who has played the acoustic and electric banjos throughout his career, eloquently argues here for a renewed place in the blues with Creole songs and jug-band tunes, as well as his own haunting, history-steeped originals.
Otis Taylor at the Liri Blues fest. The lyrics are typically spare, often only a handful of phrases that gain or change meanings as they are repeated over the song's three or four minutes. He played music professionally both in Europe and the United States in a variety of blues-oriented bands, including Zephyr , until , when he left the music industry for other pursuits, including becoming an antique dealer. As enigmatic as the significance of blue seems, the song is powerful, with Taylor layering electric and echoed acoustic guitar fills over an essentially static backing. This session features brilliant picking and high spirited energy throughout. It's a brilliant collision of styles and yet another fiery testimonial to Taylor's unique artistic vision. Ultimately, though, Taylor's one-chord magic comes from his knack for repeating catchy riffs until they become a seductive blur--a hip-shaking platform for his colorful explorations of love, war, joy, deprivation, and racial struggle. Some common themes in his music are murder, racism, poverty and the need for redemption. The songs typically have a strong social consciousness as well, even if that isn't obvious from the lyrics alone. Taylor perfectly blends in the usually frenzied electric guitar of Gary Moore with his own banjo and acoustic guitar strumming". They have two daughters, Cassie Taylor and Jae Taylor. Album reviews in the New York Times are standard for Otis Taylor, but the Boulder bluesman reached another level of cultural significance this spring when he spotted his name in the newspaper's esteemed crossword puzzle. Album of the year by Blues and 2 by Twangville. He's also got a way with textures, spinning dirty guitar, prickly electric mandolin, his daughter Cassie's haunting alto singing, and his own appealingly hoarse baritone into mesmeric arrangements for tunes like the Hurricane Katrina contemplation "They Wore Blue" that owe as much to Pink Floyd as to Muddy Waters. Taylor returned to music in , and as of , has released fourteen blues albums. Upon hearing that the banjo was originally an African instrument turned almost exclusively into a white bluegrass instrument in part through the derogatory black-face minstrel shows of the 19th century, Taylor dropped the banjo and began to focus solely on the guitar and harmonica. Otis Taylor's blues are self-consciously art, with unconventional instrumentation including the cello on Lifetime of Freedom, he employs four. And in testament to the banjo's role in a rock setting, Taylor nods to Jimi Hendrix in his charged rendition of Hey Joe. Otis's song, Nasty Letter is featured in the sound track of a new major motion picture "Shooter", starring Mark Wahlberg. The former was also featured in the film's trailer. Taylor also pushes the envelope hard with "Long Long Life," which blends jazz star Hiromi Uchara's manic piano improvisations with Ron Miles's free-form cornet as Taylor intones a curse on a disdainful lover. The album, which is mostly originals with a few rearranged traditionals, is so strong in songwriting it's pretty stellar throughout, with fleshed-out stories of slaves, black cowboys and good-old alcohol. Music[ edit ] Taylor was born in Chicago and moved at a young age to Denver , Colorado , where he grew up. Miami International Film Festival. His music tends to focus on the hard realities of life, especially relating to the black community. Hear Otis play in the trailer to a new movie "Shooter".
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