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Nola Blue Records signs Larry Taylor
'Generations of Blues: West Side Legacy' slated for June 16, 2023 release
By: Nola Blue Records
Born in 1923 near the banks of the mighty Mississippi River in Benoit, MS and directly influenced by Robert Johnson and Charley Patton, Eddie Taylor taught himself to play guitar. He shared his skills with many, including childhood friend, Jimmy Reed. It was Taylor who put his rhythms of boogie and "lump" behind Reed's hit songs on VeeJay Records. His distinctive guitar graces records with Snooky Pryor, John Lee Hooker, Floyd Jones, Elmore James and many more. In his biography on AllMusic.com, Bill Dahl summarizes, "When he died in 1985, he left a void on the Chicago circuit that remains apparent even now. They just don't make 'em like Eddie Taylor anymore."
Fortunately, Eddie's children are advancing the family legacy with their own talents, staying true to their heritage and musical roots. Larry is the eldest, a two-year old in 1957 when his mother Vera, a blues singer, piano player and songwriter from Clarksdale, Mississippi, met Eddie Taylor in Douglass Park on the West Side of Chicago. Vera and Eddie's first born, Brenda, who became a singer, arrived in 1963, followed two years later by brother Tim, a drummer; then singers Edna, Valicia (deceased), guitarist Eddie Jr., singer and international touring and recording artist Demetria, and baby brother Milton, an enthusiastic and supportive fan.
Big brother, caregiver and protector is a role that began early for Larry, and he remains strong as today's patriarch of the family. Inspired by the drummers on Maxwell Street, and musicians who visited their West Side apartment, Larry at age five created his first drum set from cardboard boxes and pot tops. By the late 70's and through the 90's, Larry performed and recorded with Chicago Blues royalty including John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Albert Collins, Albert King and of course, Eddie Taylor Sr. He formed his own band of West and South Side musicians in 2004 and has made it a point to bring blues back to the neighborhoods where it started. In 2020, Larry received an Esteemed Artist Award from the Chicago Department of Culture and Special Events.
Now, in celebration of the 100th Birthday of Eddie Taylor Sr., Larry Taylor presents Generations of Blues: West Side Legacy, a collection of 13 old-school songs performed by the Taylor family's second and third generation: five written by or adapted from Eddie Taylor Sr., one written by Vera Taylor, four written by Larry Taylor and three postwar blues covers/adaptations. Eddie Taylor Jr. plays on nine tracks which were recorded before his untimely death in 2019, and the late Sleepy Riley, nephew of Eddie Shaw, holds down the bass. Larry's son, Lil' Jet, raps on an emotionally compelling adaptation of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine." Guests include the late Killer Ray Allison on guitar and Matthew Skoller on harmonica.
"It is truly an honor to be working with Larry Taylor on this historic recording, released in commemoration of Eddie Taylor's 100th birthday," says Sallie Bengtson, Nola Blue Records president. "So many of the names, the places and most especially the experiences Larry has had in Chicago's West Side resonate with the stories Benny Turner told me as we worked on his autobiography. These living, breathing legacy artists carry forth the classic Chicago blues tradition and deserve our utmost support and recognition. We eagerly anticipate sharing the Taylor family's music with the worldwide blues community."
Larry Taylor says: "We've been working on this record for a while. I'm glad that Nola Blue can help us get it out for our friends and fans all over the world."
For additional information, visit larrytaylorchicagoblues.com. Follow Larry on Facebook @larry.taylor.739 and follow the Generations of Blues project news @TaylorFam100th.
Publicity and Promotion: Blind Raccoon
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