Otis Taylor - White African Reviews

 

"Taylor is nonetheless his own man on his second solo outing, building a drumless, reverb-drenched world for his bone-hard lyrics and skillful playing that perfectly reflects the dark corners of the psyche from which his ideas emerge. Deep blues, indeed."

-Ted Drozdowski
Pulse/Tower Records
Summer 2001

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"Taylor is a Colorado bluesman whose razor-edged message of human dignity slices to the blues idiom's very heart of darkness. In a case-hardened social-expressionist mode, Taylor offers a merciless, brilliant minimalist deconstruction of racism, lynching ("St. Martha's Blues", based on his own great-grandfather's end, as told by his grandmother), poverty, illness, homelessness, and other institutionalized features of the American social formation. Taylor stands to fill the shoes of John Lee Hooker, who passed into the spirit in 2001, together with Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Charley Patton--not to mention the forlorn denizen genius of the bedeviled global crossroads blues himself, Robert Johnson. Ignore Taylor's searing message at your own and society's peril."

-Michael Stone
Pop Matters
Best Music of 2001

   

"This Coloradan is responsible for the most astonishing blues album released in recent years, the incredible White African -- an eye-opening collection of harrowing songs about lynching, starvation, alcoholism, and other happy topics. Imagine David Lynch producing John Lee Hooker and you have an idea of White African's sound."

-Santa Fe New Mexican
August 31, 2001

   

"He is to blues what Edward Munch is to paintings; socio-psychological expressionism, bombastic, raw and brilliant."
-Frank Matheis
Blues Access Magazine
Frank's Picks Best of 2001
Summer 2001

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"**** ½ (four and a half stars) goes with: John Lee Hooker, Richie Havens"
-Dave Good
mnblues.com
July 2001

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"Heart wrenching. Powerful. Haunting."
-Bill "blue eyed" Fountain
Southwest Blues Magazine
May 2001

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"This is the Real Blues with a capital R and a capital B,...intense and moving..."
-Stephen T Davidson
mnblues.com
April 2001

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"Taylor has found beauty, even if it is a very savage beauty."
-Dave Marsh

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"...the sort of record Robert Johnson or Leadbelly would make if they were around today..."
-Ottawa Citizen

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"Everything about White African is stellar..."
-Genevieve Williams
Blues Revue

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"It ain't no rock and roll masquerading as blues...It ain't no disc filled with blues cliche licks."
-Art Schuna
WORT Radio in Madison, Wisconsin

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"...this is the most haunting and harrowing disc..."
-John Taylor
mnblues.com
April 2001

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"...White African is, in many ways, as good as the blues gets."
-Michael Koster
Thirsty Ear

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"If this album doesn't make is to the blues top 10 for 2001 I'd be very surprised."
-Doug Gallant
The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI

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"The album reinvents the raw honesty and simplicity borne out of the African-American experience..."
-G. Brown
Denver Post

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"...'White African' is clearly the thinking manís blues. It is also absolute brilliance."
-Alec Kirkcaldy
The Wire Magazine

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"Otis Taylor plays the rural blues in the fashion of Robert Johnson..." 
-Jon Worley
Aiding and Abetting

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"No one writes music like this. NO ONE!"
-Michael Allison
THEGLOBALMUSE.COM

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"If you are ready for music capable of grabbing you by your soul and heart put Otis Taylor in your player."
-Holler, newsletter of the Colorado Blues Society

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"The Denver-based bluesman managed to cut the best blues album of the year. His band has forged an original sound (hard to find in the blues these days) based on a show, deep groove...white african is his first truly great album."

- Albuquerque Journal
December 29, 2000
 

"Taylor's second eclectic release continues to plow new ground with meaning and style. Art backed by content makes for a new blue horizon line here, as Taylor brings a refreshing viewpoint to the blues mix. A major talent he is!"

-Tom Mazolini, Blues by Bay Radio Show
 

"We're obviously listening to a man who commands attention and respect as his story-telling ability is uncanny in evoking images in the mind of the listener, plus his level of mastery of instruments is rare..he's totally connected to his heritage/history but sounding like no one I've ever heard."

- Andy Grigg, Real Blues
  

"Taylor's spare, trance-blues songs are hypnotic - they stick in your mind (and your craw) even after you turn them off. The subject matter, often emphasizing black history vignettes, is as gritty as the minimalist, edgy music, and there's an almost out-of-control feel, any angry voice screaming for respect, simmering beneath the surface."

- Blues Access
 

"his blues went so deep they turned azure or indigo."

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 
"His songs are a defiant social commentary by a man who carries his racial heritage proudly."

- Blues & Rhythm
  

"His voice is a versatile, modern, but authentic bluesman's, gruff but tenderly soulful, pleading and growling."

- Blues Rag