Eddie "Playboy" Taylor
Ready For Eddie Plus
Sanctuary (2003) 81256 - 2
14 tracks, 54 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: September 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Chicago has long been regarded a home and haven for tough guitar slingers including Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, Robert Nighthawk, Johnny Young, Buddy Guy, and far too may more to list, but one name usually missing is that of Eddie "Playboy" Taylor. Perhaps it's because of Taylor's long association with Jimmy Reed as friend, counterpart, and anchor, as Reed's recordings never really featured Taylor as the fully creative and expressive player he was. Sure, the Jimmy Reed catalog is full of charging grooves thanks to Eddie's skills as a rhythm player, but the solo spaces were generally
reserved for Reed's high register harmonica wheedling. As a bandleader, Eddie Taylor was generally passed over and neglected, but a closer look at his accomplishments shows a number of grinding efforts, the newest being this smoking fourteen track look at his abilities as a gripping vocalist, grinding guitar player, and dependable frontman. Dating from two sessions during the middle 1970s, Taylor is backed by the Blueshounds, a British band consisting of Bob Hall's outstanding piano, Bob Brunning's low end bass rumbling, and a few others, but with the focus on Taylor, we see a completely capable
and passionate artist with guitar chops many may not have been aware of. His playing is forceful and brittle on titles like his own Gamblin' Man and I'm A Country Boy, and he runs the full gamut of emotions in Avery Parrish's After Hours with deft rhythm accompaniment to his searing leads. The instrumental Ready For Eddie] is laced with blazing fills, loose chords, and a breakneck pace while You Don't Love Me rears back for more greasy playing. Highlights are many with a Willie Nix gem, Seems Like A Million Years, John Lee Williamson's My Little Machine, and Sloppy Drunk, another perennial favorite, but Taylor's strongest spot shows in the crushing Too Late To Cry where he slices off shattering leads that stand with the best of them. With far too little available by this creative talent, Ready For Eddie Plus proves, without question, that Eddie "Playboy" Taylor was just as good as any of his counterparts in
the wide open city of Chicago. Two previously unissued tracks, I Used To Have Some Friends and I Know My Baby, close the set in fine form. Sizzling and fully satisfying. www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.com or www.bigbearmusic.com will provide more info on this and a great many other items.
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