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Reviews


Ottawa Citizen
March 17, 2001



more reviews of White African
 
Simply put, this is a pretty astonishing album, maybe the sort of record Robert Johnson or Leadbelly would make if they were around today and able to use a 48-track studio.

It's an album of classic, first-person blues songs, many of
them drawn from Taylor's own family history, others through
his examination of the history of the southern and Western
US, both of African Americans and native Americans.

The form is basically acoustic blues, but it's a plussed-up
version. Taylor sings and plays all the instruments except
bass and drums and there are electric banjos and mandolins
and the guitars are often gated through effect channels.

There are also sound effects from train sounds to babies crying.

But Taylor and his sidekick, the veteran player Kenny Passarelli, who plays bass and produced the album, are careful that nothing ever takes away from the songs and the stories.

(Taylor's also going to be around town on occasion over the
next few months as one of the resident artist-professors
in the BluesFest-s Blues in the Schools program.)
 

"...Taylor and his sidekick, the veteran player Kenny Passarelli, who plays bass and produced the album, are careful that nothing ever takes away from the songs and the stories."