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      .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Click Here For The Otis Taylor Website!.. .. .... Click here to purchase ..Recapturing the Banjo...... ....Click here to order ..Clovis People, Vol. 3...... .. Be sure to check out "Public Enemies" staring John... read more

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      ..Click Here For The Otis Taylor Website!..
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      .... Click here to purchase ..Recapturing the Banjo......

      ....Click here to order ..Clovis People, Vol. 3......


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      Be sure to check out "Public Enemies" staring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale with music by Otis Taylor. The soundtrack will be released June 30, 2009 so be sure to pick up a copy! Below is the trailer.
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      ....OTIS TAYLOR WRITES HIS OWN HISTORY..
      ON NEW TELARC RECORDING
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      New album, Clovis People, Vol. 3 set for release on May 11, 2010..
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      BOULDER, Colo. — Otis Taylor digs the past. Whether it’s the songs he wrote a decade ago, or ancient civilizations that lived more than 10,000 years ago, he’s drawn to stories from another time, and he’s compelled to retell them in a way that’s relevant in the modern day. On Clovis People, Vol. 3 set for release May 11, 2010, on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, Taylor writes his own history.
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      It’s the ideal project for the architect of a sparse and hypnotic style that has come to be known as “trance blues.” Taylor has spent his career crafting songs that are wide open to interpretation — thematically as well as structurally. “I give people a starting point, and then they can take it where they want to take it,” he explains. “That’s true for the people playing my music as well as the people listening to it. That’s how art should be. A person looking at a painting should be able to interpret it in whatever way he wants. The more words you put into a song, the less freedom the listener has to decide what it means.”
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      The album title is inspired by a recent scientific discovery very close to Taylor’s home in Boulder, Colorado. Barely 100 yards from the edge of his property, archeologists dug up a cache of tools and other implements belonging to a civilization known as the Clovis people, who walked the earth briefly about 13,000 years ago and then mysteriously disappeared.
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      “I just thought it was a cool title," says Taylor. "I went back to my musical past with these songs. That’s why I called it Volume 3. There really is no Volume 1 or 2. My music only goes back about ten years, but there’s something about reaching back to an earlier time and revisiting the stories of the past from a new perspective that I find compelling.”
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      Helping to shape that new perspective is a crew of players who lend a variety of shades and voices to the mix. Among them is guitarist Gary Moore, a guest musician on two of Taylor’s previous recordings (Definition of a Circle in 2007 and Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs in 2009), who moves in and out of the tracks with a hard riff here, a subtle accent there, and just the right atmospherics wherever he appears. Also on hand for nine of the twelve tracks is pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell — a member of the Campbell Brothers, the African-American gospel group that has developed a sound commonly known as “sacred steel.” In addition, ....Clovis People, Vol. 3 ....features cornetist Ron Miles and bassist Cassie Taylor (Otis’ 22-year-old daughter).
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      The set gets under way with the haunting “Rain So Hard,” a bluesy number that employs an intriguing mix of pedal steel, cornet and theremin as the backdrop to Taylor’s unsettling lyrics about a hard rain turning to snow and falling on a scene of betrayal and deceit.
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      “Little Willy” and “Lee and Arnez” are two previously unreleased songs. The former is a fictional tale of a school shooting — a song Taylor wrote in 1990s, but then shelved in the aftermath of the Columbine shooting of 1999. “Lee and Arnez” tells the story of a couple that Taylor remembers from the neighborhood where he grew up. “They were my parents’ best friends, and they had a boxer dog that I really loved,” says Taylor. “This would have been the 1950s, which were still a difficult time for black people, but I have great memories of this couple and their beautiful dog.”
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      “It’s Done Happened Again” is built on an urgent rhythm that plays like a frantic heartbeat. “The song is about that moment when someone who got his heart broken hears about someone else who got his heart broken,” says Taylor. “It’s that moment when pain and empathy converge, and you say, ‘Oh yeah, I know where he’s coming from.’”
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      “Harry Turn the Music Up” recalls Taylor’s memories of the Denver Folklore Center, a place he frequented when he was a boy in the early ’60s. “The song follows a groove that’s deep in the pocket, and it’s really powerful,” says Taylor. “The Denver Folklore Center was a place where nobody cared if you were black or white, skinny or fat. It was a place where everyone was accepted.”
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      “Babies Don’t Lie” rides on a single chord and speaks to the profound vulnerability of innocents. But somewhere underneath the simple and recurring lyrical line is the question of how and when dark forces take hold and turn some innocents into monsters.
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      “Think I Won’t” is a showdown-flavored track that captures the moment when a mother confronts a drug dealer in a schoolyard. “There are some badass moms out there,” says Taylor. “Sometimes people don’t realize how tough black women can be. It’s a matriarchal culture, and there are some moms who’ll kick your ass in a half-second if you threaten their children.”
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      Indeed, some instincts are eternal, whether the frame of reference is 2010, 1950 or some time before recorded history. ....Clovis People, Vol. 3.... is in some respects a vehicle for Taylor — an archeologist of a different kind — to re-examine some of the truths he’s uncovered in his own era and preserve them for listeners in some future time.

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      “I went back to my musical past with these songs — all the way back to my first album,” says Taylor. “I like finding different ways to retell the old stories. They continue to mean something — to me, to the people who hear them, to the musicians who play with me — many years after I first told them.”

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      OTIS TAYLOR 2010 BIOGRAPHY..
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      Blues singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist ..Otis Taylor.. is capable of exploring any musical mood at any given time, and it’s an important reason why he is considered one of the most talented artists to emerge in recent years. “Sometimes pigeonholed as a bluesman, Otis Taylor can’t be defined by any single category,” proclaims Spin magazine. According to Ann Powers at the Los Angeles Times, “Gentle upon first listen, blending the austerity of Delta blues with the expansiveness of free jazz, Taylor's ancient-sounding, avant-garde ‘trance blues’ has a dangerous pull.” The Oxford American raves, “It might not be too early to call Otis Taylor a major talent.”
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      On Taylor’s new recording, .... Clovis People, Vol. 3...., he explores his own history. (The album is set for May 11, 2010 release on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group.) The title was inspired by a recent discovery of a cache of Stone Age tools close to Taylor’s home in Boulder, Colorado. “I thought it was cool that there were ancient people walking on my land,” he says. “So I went back to my musical past with these songs.” In addition to Taylor’s trademark haunting singing and evocative guitar riffs, the album features guest appearances by Irish blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore, pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell (of the Campbell Brothers Sacred Steel Guitars), cornetist Ron Miles and bassist Cassie Taylor (Otis’ daughter).
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      Otis Mark Taylor was born in Chicago in 1948. After his uncle was shot to death, his family moved to Denver, where an adolescent’s interest in blues and folk was cultivated. Both his parents were big music fans: “I was raised around jazz musicians,” Taylor relates. “My dad worked for the railroad and knew a lot of jazz people. He was a socialist and real bebopper.” His mother, Sarah, a tough-as-nails woman with liberal leanings, had a penchant for Etta James and Pat Boone. Young Otis spent time at the Denver Folklore Center, where he bought his first instrument, a banjo. He used to play it while riding his unicycle to high school. The Folklore Center was also the place where he first heard Mississippi John Hurt and country blues. He learned to play guitar and harmonica, and by his mid-teens, he formed his first groups — the Butterscotch Fire Department Blues Band and later the Otis Taylor Blues Band. He ventured overseas to London, where he performed for a brief time until he returned to the U.S. in the late ’60s. His next project became the T&O Short Line with legendary Deep Purple singer/guitarist Tommy Bolin. Stints with the 4-Nikators and Zephyr followed before he decided to take a hiatus from the music business in 1977. During this time he established a successful career as an antiques dealer and also began coaching an amateur bicycling team. The team included two African-American riders, and was ranked fourth in the nation. But with much prodding from Kenny Passarelli and associates, the reluctant Taylor returned to music in 1995.
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      Two years later, he released Blue Eyed Monster (Shoelace Music), which marked the emergence of a singer/songwriter who has, in his own words, “a way of saying something that seems to be more intense.” Further, he says, “You can definitely see how I was forming. There was the Christmas song about a guy that killed his parents. Definitely getting ready to go that way, you know?” In 1998, he raised more eyebrows with When Negroes Walked the Earth (Shoelace), an album replete with unapologetic lyrics, stark instrumentation and a gut-wrenching delivery. Playboy described it as “minimalist blues in the John Lee Hooker mode.” Critics and music fans took notice and Taylor’s talents as a vivid storyteller and accomplished guitar player were solidified. His gifts were further recognized in summer 2000, with a composition fellowship from the Sundance Institute in Park City, UT.
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      If Taylor’s first two recordings cast a spell on the music world, listeners were officially entranced by White African (2001, NorthernBlues Music), his most direct and personal statement about the experiences of African-Americans. He addressed the lynching of his great-grandfather and the death of his uncle. Brutality became his concern in songs that fearlessly explored the history of race relations and social injustices. With this disc Taylor was officially blazing a trail. He earned four W.C. Handy nominations and won the award for Best New Artist Debut.
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      White African was barely in record stores when he began writing the songs that would comprise Respect the Dead. Released in 2002, it made him a contender for two Handys in 2003 — Best Acoustic Artist and Contemporary Blues Album. The following year, he bent conventions again with his debut effort for Telarc Records, .. ..Truth Is Not Fiction..... Here, Taylor took a decidedly electric, almost psychedelic path, forging a sound that he describes as “trance-blues.” Music critics were indeed captivated as the disc received lavish praise from USA Today, The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, and a nod from the DownBeat Critics Poll for “Blues Album of the Year.” The Mark Wahlberg movie Shooter featured the track “Nasty Letter.”
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      He quickly followed up Truth with ....Double V...., which marked his entrance as a producer and a collaborator with his daughter Cassie, who sings and plays bass. The album scored him a DownBeat Critics Poll win for an unheard-of second consecutive year, while Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Blender, and CNN all gave their thumbs-up. But perhaps the most meaningful accolade came from Living Blues’ Readers Poll, which awarded Taylor (along with Etta James) with the Best Blues Entertainer title in 2004.
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      Telarc released .. ..Below the Fold...., Taylor’s seventh CD, in the summer of 2005. The album is a set of stylistically varied songs that point to a blues-based center but are awash with Appalachian country overtones and moody, psychedelic rock. Once again, the critics raved. DownBeat gave the album four stars, noting that Taylor “has a poet’s soul, with a deep respect for the history of blacks in America and an unshakable curiosity about the human condition.” Paste called him “a country-folk version of spontaneous, talking-blues master John Lee Hooker.” The New Yorker dubbed his sound “Velvet Underground Railroad,” and went on to proclaim that “he may drone but he never stays still, and when he moves he’s always heading toward places you haven’t seen.” At year’s end, Below the Fold landed in the 12 slot on the Chicago Tribune’s Top 20 album list.
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      In February 2007, Taylor released .. ..Definition of a Circle...., a stirring 12-song set that covers a wide cross-section of emotionally charged themes ranging from the personal to the political, and includes a diverse and outstanding cast of session players: guitarist Gary Moore, blues harpist Charlie Musselwhite and jazz pianist Hiromi. As always, Otis’ daughter, Cassie, adds a stunning layer of vocals and incredible bass work to the set.
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      Truth and history were at the heart of .. ..Recapturing the Banjo...., Taylor’s fifth recording for Telarc. Released in February 2008, the album explores the deepest roots of the banjo — an instrument that, despite its common associations with American folk and bluegrass, actually originated in Africa and made its way to the fledgling American colonies in the 1700s via the influx of African slaves. Entertaining and enlightening at the same time, Recapturing the Banjo includes performances by some of the most accomplished African-American banjo players on the current roots music scene: Guy Davis, Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Keb’ Mo’ and Don Vappie. Taylor has proven his banjo chops with two consecutive Blues Music Awards nominations (2005 and 2006) for Best Instrumentalist in the banjo category. The CD was DownBeat’s 1 Blues Album in 2008’s Critics Poll and one of their only five 5-star reviews for the entire year. The track “Ten Million Slaves” is still a consistent seller, in and out of the top five digital blues tracks.
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      Taylor’s 2009 recording, ....Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs...., throws a light on the complexities of love in all of its forms. The album also features guest appearances by guitarist Gary Moore and jazz/hip-hop pianist Jason Moran. Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs was released in the same week that two of Otis’ songs were heard by millions in Michael Mann’s blockbuster movie Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.
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      In addition to touring and recording, Taylor spearheads a Blues in the Schools program called “Writing the Blues.” Created with his wife, Carol Taylor, the program includes visits by Otis to elementary schools and universities around the country to offer advice, enlighten, and mentor students about the blues. “I start by asking them to write down what makes them sad: fears, disappointments, losses, whatever. It is just amazing to see some of these nuggets, these incredible thoughts. They are often simple sentences but so real, so sad, so true, so pure.” For Taylor, it’s an opportunity to connect with others and help others to connect with themselves and tap into their own creative ideas. It allows him to do his part in ensuring that the blues, and the ability to share life experiences, will continue in the next generation.
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      Taylor resides in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two daughters.

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      Public Enemies featuring Otis Taylor songs "Ten Million Slaves," and "Nasty Letter" Press Release Blurb..

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      Otis’ music appears in the movie Public Enemies and its soundtrack album. In the action-thriller, filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard in the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Depp), the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover's fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public. The movie’s opening, as coincidence would have it, falls on the same date as Otis’ CD street date.
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      Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs Press Release..

      ..OTIS TAYLOR EXAMINES
      THE DARKER DIMENSIONS OF LOVE....
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      Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs due at retail on June 23, 2009
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      No one ever accused blues singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Otis Taylor of overindulging in the brighter and happier aspects of the human condition. His songs are often peopled with characters whose emotional landscape – no matter how raw or dark – is laid bare for all to experience, and the story is often less than pretty.
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      But if love – in any or all of its joyous and painful variations – is somewhere amid that confusing emotional swirl, he’ll go there too. The result will by no means be syrupy, over-simplistic ballads obsessing over romantic love. Instead, Taylor’s love songs take a hard, realistic look at the relative benefits and costs of what is perhaps the most confusing and unnerving of forces within the human heart.

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      Taylor’s new recording, Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs, throws a light on the complexities of love in all of its forms. The album is set for June 23, 2009, release on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group. In addition to Taylor’s trademark haunting vocals and simple but stirring guitar riffs – a combination often referred to as trance blues – the album also features guest appearances by Irish blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore (previously heard on Taylor’s Definition of a Circle in 2007) and jazz/hip-hop pianist Jason Moran.
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      Within these songs of love are tales of tragedy and loss, misunderstanding and deception – but often a glimmer of hope as well. “That’s just my nature,” says Taylor. “I may write love songs, but they aren’t always going to be happy and pretty. Look at songs like ‘Teen Angel’ or ‘Ode To Billy Joe.’ Those are love songs, but they aren’t exactly happy. So why shouldn’t my songs be considered love songs?”
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      The set opens with the pensive “Looking for Some Heat,” the story of a man looking for some love and sunshine. Moran and cornetist Ron Miles provide enough subtle riffs to serve as counterpoint to Taylor’s more edgy vocals. “I met Jason in Germany once, but I didn’t really pay that much attention to him at first,” says Taylor. “Then I saw him in concert in West Virginia, and I was really amazed. I wanted to get him on one of my records.”
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      The melancholy “Sunday Morning” features lead vocals by Cassie Taylor (Otis’ 21-year-old daughter), backed by Gary Moore’s understated but potent flamenco guitar lines. The power of the song lies in the simplicity of the lyrics, as they draw attention to the images and rituals of what is often the quietest and most introspective day of the week.
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      “Lost My Guitar” was inspired by the tragic true story of Emma K. Walsh, whose preschool-age daughter was killed in a car accident in Boulder, Colorado, in 1974. The singer in the song laments the loss of his guitar, but “the guitar is a metaphor for the child,” says Taylor.
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      “I’m Not Mysterious,” a tale of puppy-love between two eight-year-olds, seems innocent enough, but the difference in race between the two children makes for an undercurrent of tensions. “That’s something I’ve lived, so I decided to write about it,” says Taylor, who grew up in Denver in the ‘50s and ‘60s. “When I was a little kid, this little girl sent me a note telling me she loved me. So I followed her home to see where she lived. Then one time I visited her at her house. That was when I had to stop seeing her.”
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      The hypnotic “Mama’s Best Friend,” sung by Cassie fueled by the odjembe drumming of percussionist Fara Tolno, is a glimpse into the life of Taylor’s mother – a sort of followup chapter to “Mama’s Selling Heroin,” a track from his 2004 recording, Double V. “My mother was gay, and she eventually hooked up with one of her girlfriends,” he explains. “My father left and went to California. I put these stories out there for my children.”
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      The closer, “If You Hope” is a story about a ghost who wants his lover to join him in the afterlife. “If you listen to the very end, you hear it build up beautifully,” says Taylor, “sort of like a grand finale to the entire album. It brings the various elements of my music together – the jazz, the blues-rock, all of it.”
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      Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs follows Taylor’s 2008 opus, Recapturing the Banjo, and album that celebrated the African roots of an instrument whose origins have been largely obscured by its subsequent associations with Appalachian folk music.
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      “This is a different kind of endeavor for me,” he says of the new recording. “I found myself saying, ‘What can I do after making a banjo album? What will people want to listen to?’ My answer was love songs. I’m doing things here that I didn’t have the opportunity to do on previous albums, things that people wouldn’t normally expect from me, compared to what I’ve done so far. I think it’s one of my best works because it has such unusual elements.”
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      Click here to hear Darlene McCauley interview Otis Taylor on her highly acclaimed radio show 'The Sunday Blues with Dar' on Sunrise's WKPX! .. Click Here to Listen!....

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