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July 14, 2024

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Otis Taylor
Respect the Dead (Northern Blues Music)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

Otis Taylor is singing haunting blues, with a voice rough as hands made hard from labor on his Northern Blues release, Respect The Dead. His spoken word style is off centered and grabs the listener, holding us in anticipation for what he'll say next.

The music of "32nd Time" has an edgy anxiety that, with the voice of Taylor, rubs the nerves in a way that makes you jumpy as if woken from an unsettling dream to find you're behind the wheel speeding through the desert.

This album is filled with righteous blues that digs deeper and deeper into the darkest corners of the human soul, churning up primal emotions. Like a graveyard at the growing dusk you don't know what it is, but there's something about these songs, you're scared and whether you like it or not it turns you on.

Nowhere greater does Taylor create this feeling then on the fearful tale of "Black Witch." Taylor comes across like a slowed down Son House, his acoustic guitar is stark and is used to punctuate the vocals instead of using it as a canvas to lay the lyrics over.

This is a great addition to any collection, as well as a great album to cut teeth for anyone that might want to experiment with the darker side of the blues. Rating: A+

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