Cassie Taylor

Cassie Taylor

Hypertension Music – HYP 11276

By Georgetown Fats
November 2012

Most 26 year olds do not have over 10 years of professional musicianship under their belts at such a tender age, but then again Cassie Taylor’s upbringing certainly could not be considered traditional. The eldest daughter of Otis Taylor, American trance blues pioneer, clearly learned many a lesson from her father over the 11 years spent in Otis’ band - first as background vocalist and then later taking over bass and keyboard responsibilities. While it would normally be unfair to compare the daughter’s work to the father’s work due to styles and tastes potentially clashing between the generations, Ms. Taylor is up to the challenge here. By surrounding herself with a backing band of strong and versatile players - Jeremy Colson on drums, James Rooster Olson on guitars and Steve Marriner on harp - Taylor does her Dad proud by challenging the standard perception of the blues. >[?Blue kicks off with “Memphis,” an autobiographical song based on the recurring blues idiom of lost love. While the theme has been done, it is hard not to get caught up in the pop-blues groove Taylor lays down on bass with drummer Jeremy Colson. Not only does Ms. Taylor possess sultry-while-relaxed vocals, but the Taylor-penned tune clicks in at a very radio-friendly two minutes and forty seven seconds, leaving a listener wanting more. There is no requisite guitar solo, no break down, just a quick ear worm pop-blues tune with a melody that will stick in your head long after the tune is over.

On “Bought, Borrowed, Stolen,” it is hard not enjoy the fact of Taylor and band actually carving out a pulsating groove over a 12/8 time signature. While 12/8 is by no means considered “odd time,” Taylor and band take a page out of her Daddy’s book by creating a trance groove building tension throughout the track, first building up to a harp solo by Steve Marriner and then to the eventual fade out. Though drummer Colson seems a little buried in the mix, his percussive flourishes help propel the tune throughout its brief three minutes and eight seconds.

While I am not one who usually gets drawn into breezy pop contemporary blues, there is a lot to like here on Blue. Taylor’s ability to craft radio friendly, autobiographical blues rock tunes without dumbing down the music is to be commended. Cliché’s, innuendoes and formulaic songs are infrequent throughout Blue, requiring the musicians and songs to get over on the quality of the material presented and played. Taylor and band also have crafted ten solid tracks on Blue which improve with repeated listening, leading this reviewer to want to experience the act live to see where all of these tunes progress.

At 26 years old, when other musicians are attempting to equate success through reality-based popularity television contests or sex appeal, Cassie Taylor relies on her natural talent and drive to present her music in a different light. And if a daughter standing on her own two feet musically don’t make any father proud, then nothing will.

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