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Art Schuna
WORT Radio, Madison, Wisconsin

more reviews of White African

Interesting you should inquire. I just got Taylor's latest "White African" in the mail yesterday from his publicist. It's on the Northernblues Music label (NBM0002). I was familiar with Taylor from his previous disc, "When Negroes Walked The Earth" released in 1998 on the Shoelace label.

I've just had one chance to give this disc a spin all the way through and right now I'd put it near the top of the new releases for 2001. Here's what White African ain't...

It ain't no rock and roll masquerading as blues.
It ain't no disc full of songs about some guy being wronged by his woman and vice versa.
It ain't no disc filled with blues cliche licks.
It ain't no disc that you can leave as background music.
It ain't no disc filled with dance tunes.

It IS a disc that would benefit from paying close attention to what he has to say.
It is a disc that deserves repeated listenings.
It is a disc which is very thought provoking.

To give you an idea - here is some of the subject matter - My Soul's in Louisiana is about a hobo in the 30s accused of murder with no chance of getting justice. Momma Don't You Do it is about a man who's mother is dying. Saint Martha Blues is the story of his grandmother who's husband is lynched. A song called 3 Days and 3 Nights is about a man who can't pay for the medical care of his dying daughter. Not quite the music that has a good beat that makes you want to dance to but definitely stuff that makes you think and that's a good thing. Something most of us don't do enough of when it comes to race relations in this country. A very provocative album. One which will make me think of those messages each time as I reach for it again and again.

This music is the blues, pure and simple without question. Much of it has minimal backing with Otis Taylor doing vocals and playing acoustic guitar. If you like this, you'll also probably want a copy of
"When Negroes Walked the Earth".


"I'd put it near the top of the new releases for 2001..."