Monday, April 6, 2015

Otis Taylor – Hey Joe Opus Red Meat

Want to be proud of something from Colorado? Check out Colorado’s real blues legend’s new album. Recorded in Colorado at Immersive Studios and mastered by David Glasser at Airshow, this 2LP, 200 gram, 45RPM audiophile recording is an absolute showcase of everything good about our music scene. Not only is Colorado exploding with young, fresh talent, but we also have world-class engineering facilities and a legacy artist who is legitimately one of a handful of REAL blues artists left on earth. Otis Taylor is the real deal in so many different ways; he is a fiercely independent musician who makes the music in his head come out in a totally unique way. He has no precedent or antecedent. Like any of the great bluesmen, one listens to Otis and has to wonder where this came from. Hey Joe might very well be Otis’ greatest album. It is singular in his catalog. It flows like one long dream sequence. Blues, rock, jazz, trance - it all appears from a boiling stew of angst and slices of the human condition. Somehow, Otis expands the basic plot and theme of the classic song “Hey Joe” into various meditations on everything from love to hate to tranvestitism. Yes, like all of Otis Taylor’s albums it is unpredictable. Just like the various guest artists who pop up; Ron Miles sounding like Miles Davis in a Sergio Leone movie, Warren Haynes plays a couple of scorching solos, Billy Nershi picks some sweet acoustic, Langhorne Slim adds subtle vocals, but the star remains the Cumulus Nimbus of emotion and talent that is Otis Taylor. He really is unlike any other performer alive and he’s ours. And his new LP is OURS. For the time being, Twist and Shout is the only place this beautiful and collectible LP is available. I cannot recommend this album highly enough. It is a superlative listening experience, and an important addition to the blues legacy.
- Paul Epstein

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