Ever hunkered for sweaty, unfiltered blues from the south? Today we have another fix for you. We’re picking up from where we left off with Tomás Doncker’s ‘Howlin’ Wolf Project’ slightly over two years ago (sorry for the delay). The artist we’re shining the spotlight on is journeyman Scott Taylor, a Washington D.C. native who has devoted his entire life to music. His musical odyssey started in a youth choir in Virginia, where he grew up, before graduating into BGV roles with a slew of acts. Among the big names Scott has lent his vocals to in the past are the Cover Girls, Joyce Sims, Little Louie Vega and Barbara Tucker.
Scott’s rich tenor could not be confined to a backing role for too long. He eventually began a solo career, first as a gospel artist and then as a dance music star in the late 80s. His most notable success was the single ‘Not So Far Away’, which made a notable impression on the UK dance charts back in 1991. Now, after hopping from label to label, Scott has finally perched at Fetal Records, an outfit based in the Maryland capital, Annapolis. Here he has found his voice as a weather-beaten blues purveyor. For his first project under Fetal, ‘Blues Kitchen’, Taylor has penned a collection of tunes that are “unfiltered and straight from the gut”, in his own words. To help wring out the emotion of these 11 raw gems Scott enlisted the help of celebrated guitarist Tony Fazio and harmonica maestro Charlie Sayles.
From the first cut, ‘Painting The Town’, you have to agree that Scott and his team have achieved their objective of delivering unembellished, heartfelt music. The song sounds like it was recorded live in some smoky club where the band was performing to handful of red-eyed patrons. But there is undeniably accomplished musicianship behind every note played and every vocal inflection. ‘I’m Gonna Getchu’ is a little bit more fast-paced but no less deliberate in its execution. The creativity in the songwriting and the skill with which the harmonica and guitar are manipulated will not escape the keen ear.
If you ask this writer which among the tracks captivated him the most, he will tell you ‘Give Me Shelter’, a painful lament over a departed lover. Stream the album below and let us know which is your favorite.
Miami Based, Internationally Known