Truth Is Not Fiction
by Tony Engelhart
Review date: September 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Otis Taylor is not your average blues artist. Inspired delta blues, country and folk Taylor is an eclectic performer to say the least. With candid, overly political lyrics, Otis is akin to 60's folk singer such as Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie while his rapid fire pickin' style is comparable to Richie Havens. On his forth recording, Truth Is Not Fiction (his debut for Telarc) he pushes the musical envelope further than ever as he incorporates haunting electric textures to his infamous acoustic assault. Never afraid to explore controversial issues, Otis explores everything from race relations, spousal abuse and the plight of the Native Americans in the 1930's on Truth… The blues on this album parallels the style of the late John Lee Hooker as he effortlessly seems to make up the words as he goes. Otis flirts with rock and roll with an Ome banjo and distorted electric guitar with only a bass accompaniment on 'Be My Frankenstein'. Using a cello on 'House of the Crosses', Otis creates a Celtic vibe and backing vocals by Cassie Taylor adds a poignant affect to the already disturbing song. He gets back to the fundamental roots of the delta with a cover of the Big Joe Williams classic 'Baby, Please Don't Go' complete with a harmonica counterpart to end the disc.
Truth Is not Fiction is a diverse and wide-ranging recording and it proves one and for all why Otis Taylor is a W.C. HANDY award winner.
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