Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Otis Taylor

  • White African [Northern Blues, 2001] ***
  • Respect the Dead [Northern Blues, 2002] **
  • Truth Is Not Fiction [Telarc, 2003] *
  • Recapturing the Banjo [Telarc, 2008] *
  • Otis Taylor's Contraband [Telarc, 2012] ***
  • My World Is Gone [Telarc, 2013] **
  • Hey Joe Opus: Red Meat [, 2015] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

White African [Northern Blues, 2001]
problems in the interrelations of guitar dynamics and racial pride ("My Soul's in Louisiana," "Saint Martha Blues") ***

Respect the Dead [Northern Blues, 2002]
country blues from the other end of the Underground Railroad ("Ten Million Slaves," "Just Live Your Life") **

Truth Is Not Fiction [Telarc, 2003]
The kind of blues where spiritual intensity vanquishes cultural pain ("Past Times," "Walk on Water") *

Recapturing the Banjo [Telarc, 2008]
Conscious-blues hoedown featuring Alvin Youngblood Hart, Guy Davis, and a tol'able Keb' Mo'--everybody but Corey Harris and his MacArthur ("Ran So Hard the Sun Went Down," "The Way It Goes"). *

Otis Taylor's Contraband [Telarc, 2012]
Colorado bluesman finally figures out how to split the difference between gravity and taking yourself too seriously ("Yell Your Name," "Blind Piano Teacher") ***

My World Is Gone [Telarc, 2013]
Conscious bluesman's dolor is always earned, but that doesn't guarantee that it's always compelling, and sometimes it's enough already ("Blue Rain in Africa," "Jae Jae Waltz") **

Hey Joe Opus: Red Meat [, 2015]
Never a tunesmith, always a master of blues atmospherics, he knows just how to deconstruct the folkie-penned sexist classic. ("Hey Joe [B]," "Sunday Morning [A]") ***