Saturday, July 10, 2010

Otis Taylor: Truth Is Not Fiction (2003)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Otis Taylor
Truth Is Not Fiction
(Telarc Blues)

One would no sooner tell Otis Taylor to lighten up than tell Lawrence Welk to get funky. Nevertheless, the unrelenting fury of Taylor’s acoustic hellhound blues can get heavy, as Telarc’s PR department apparently suspects, so eagerly has it hyped this album’s introduction of plugged-in instruments. Truth is, the electricity doesn’t make much difference, not with Taylor’s manic acoustic picking a sonic lynchpin and electricity-indifferent horror stories like “House of the Crosses,” described by Taylor as a “real tale set in a real prison in St. Petersburg, Russia” in which a “child grows up to become the prison guard of his evil biological father who had abused his mother.” Makes the song in which Taylor pays tribute to Rosa Parks seem kind of tame. Rating: Four namesakes of ex-Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers out of five.

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