New Music: Otis Taylor
Discovered Otis Taylor with his standout song “10 Million Slaves” that was featured in Michael Mann’s motion picture “Public Enemies”. Only to find his career is still going stronger than ever.
On May 11, 2010 artist/musician Otis Taylor will release his latest CD “Clovis People, Vol. 3″. It’s the ideal project for the architect of a sparse and hypnotic style that has come to be known as “trance blues.” Taylor has spent his career crafting songs that are wide open to interpretation — thematically as well as structurally.
The album title is inspired by a recent scientific discovery very close to Taylor’s home in Boulder, Colorado. Barely 100 yards from the edge of his property, archeologists dug up a cache of tools and other implements belonging to a civilization known as the Clovis people, who walked the earth briefly about 13,000 years ago and then mysteriously disappeared.
Helping to shape that new perspective is a crew of players who lend a variety of shades and voices to the mix. Guitarist Gary Moore, a guest musician on two of Taylor’s previous recordings (Definition of a Circle in 2007 and Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs in 2009), who adds just the right atmospherics wherever he appears. Also on hand is pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell — a member of the Campbell Brothers, the African-American gospel group that has developed a sound commonly known as “sacred steel.” Rounding out the guests are cornetist Ron Miles and bassist Cassie Taylor (Otis’ 22-year-old daughter).
In addition to traditional touring and recording, Taylor spearheads a Blues in the Schools program called “Writing the Blues.” Conceived by his wife, he appears at elementary schools and universities around the country to offer advice, enlighten, and mentor students about the blues. “I start by asking them to write down what makes them sad; fears, disappointments, losses, whatever. It is just amazing to see some of these nuggets, these incredible thoughts.” For Taylor, it’s an opportunity to connect with others and help others to connect with themselves. And, it allows him to do his part in ensuring that the blues, and the ability to share life experiences will continue in the next generation.