To call Otis Taylor a cutting-edge artist is an understatement. Although his music is based in the Blues and folk realm, his meticulously crafted recordings crash the barriers of jazz, rock, funk, Americana, and myriad other genres to create a hybrid that Taylor labels “trance blues”. And that signature style serves as a backbone for his frank tales of struggle, freedom, desire, conflict and, of course, love. With Taylor, it’s best to expect the unexpected. While his music, an amalgamation of roots styles in their rawest form, discusses heavyweight issues like murder, homelessness, tyranny, and injustice, his personal style is lighthearted.
“I’m good at dark, but I’m not a particularly unhappy person,” he says. “I’d just like to make enough money to buy a Porsche.” Part of Taylor’s appeal is his contrasting character traits. But it is precisely this element of surprise that makes him one of the most compelling artists to emerge in recent years. In fact, Guitar Player magazine writes, “Otis Taylor is arguably the most relevant blues artist of our time”. Whether it’s his unique instrumentation (he fancies banjo and cello), or it’s the sudden sound of a female vocal, or a seemingly upbeat optimistic song takes a turn for the forlorn, what remains consistent is poignant storytelling based in truth and history.
Larry Thompson – drums
Todd Edmunds – bass
Shawn Starski – guitar
Otis Taylor – guitar, harp, vocal