Down Beat - 7/02, p.584 stars out of 5
- "...Taylor hooks listeners with atmospheric blue moods that at once touch the heart and create moral uneasiness..."
Living Blues - 5-6/02, p.42
"...These exhorations, fearsome tales, compassionate portraits, and declarations of black pride echo traditional blues and country even as they are clearly contemporary....Taylor is one of the more intriguing figures in blues today..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/02, p.108
"...Rural, urban, universal..."
Personnel includes: Otis Taylor (vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica); Eddie Turner (guitar); Kenny Passarelli (keyboards, bass); Cassie Taylor (background vocals).
Recorded at Stepbridge Studios, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Personnel: Otis Taylor (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, banjo, electric banjo, mandolin, harmonica); Eddie Turner (guitar); Kenny Passarelli (piano, organ, keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Tim Stroh .
Recording information: Stepbridge Studios, Santa Fe, NM.
Arranger: Kenny Passarelli.
Otis Taylor might well be the best and most inspired of contemporary bluesmen. His White African album was a masterpiece -- which makes the task of following it doubly difficult. With Respect the Dead, however, he does a superb job -- the man is still very much on a roll. Kicking off with the stark, banjo-led "Ten Million Slaves," the intensity level never dips. It doesn't matter whether he's basing a song around a single chord, as he does on "Hands on Your Stomach," or simply using voice and harmonica on "Baby So," there's a remarkable urgency about his singing and lyrics, never more so than with "Black Witch," a tale of the American South that goes right back to Africa -- but the album returns and takes its tone to Mexico and racing for "Three Stripes on a Cadillac." The support, from Kenny Passarelli, Cassie Taylor, and atmospheric lead guitarist Eddie Turner, always serves to push the tension of the songs even higher. Taylor doesn't work within standard blues structures, and his lyrics stray far from the standard blues lines to encompass history and mythology. Where others seem content with the established limits, Taylor is pushing them further and further -- and in doing so, he's making some of the most exciting music around. ~ Chris Nickson