Down Beat - p.733 stars out of 5
-- "[S]he packs a wallop handling five of her own freshly minted songs and old numbers associated with the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Memphis Minnie..."
Dirty Linen - p.41
"OLD SCHOOL finds Taylor's voice in fine form. She sings with the keen worldliness of a veteran blues woman..."
Living Blues - p.38
"[T]he material is a nice mix of proven covers and solid originals....The background is provided by such seasoned players as harpman Billy Branch, guitarists Criss Johnson, Bob Margolin and Vino Louden..."
No Depression - p.84
"[W]hat's most impressive is not her raw power, formidable though it remains, but the way she keeps her absolutely sure rhythmic footing as she shouts, growls and rasps..."
Personnel: Koko Taylor (vocals); Vino Louden, Criss Johnson, Shun Kikuta, Bob Margolin (guitar); Billy Branch (harmonica); Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff (tenor saxophone); Brother John Kattke, Stanley Banks (piano); Melvin Smith (bass instrument); Jimmy Sutton (upright bass); Kenny Hampton (electric bass); Willie 'The Touch' Hayes, Rick Nelson (drum).
OLD SCHOOL, Koko Taylor's first album following a life-threatening hospitalization in 2003, finds the queen of Chicago blues singers in remarkably strong voice throughout. A 12-track set split between familiar covers and solid originals, the album features classic gems from Willie Dixon ("Don't Go No Further") and Memphis Minnie ("Black Rat"), among others, alongside new material such as "Bad Rooster" and "Piece of Man." The band, led by Taylor's longtime foil, guitarist Bob Margolin, cooks throughout, making OLD SCHOOL as vital as any of Taylor's previous albums.