Sat May 5, 2012
Marc On The Blues

The Nine O'clock Blues: Otis Taylor

Denver based Blues musician Otis Taylor has some things in common with a pair of musical greats, Hendrix & Taj Mahal.

Like Jimi Hendrix he is half African-American and half Cherokee. Like Taj Mahal, he once avoided playing the banjo because of its Minstrel Show connections. Otis Taylor did play banjo as a child but dropped it after learning its Minstrel history, but now embraces it as a true African treasure. He left music for other pursuits including time spent as an antique dealer. 

Since returning to music in 1995 he has recorded nearly a dozen albums, been nominated for numerous awards and received a Blues Music Award for his banjo playing. His albums feature his lyrics which are heavily focused on the hard realities of life including frequent themes of murder, racism, poverty, the need for redemption and the plight of Native Americans.

Taylor not only plays banjo in award winning fashion, but could win awards for his acoustic and electric guitar, electric mandolins and electric banjo. As you might assume from those instruments, Taylor can get fairly, and I might say, delightfully way out in his approach to the Blues.

You can get a sample of his music this Saturday on The Nine O'clock Blues and really ought to get out to see Otis Taylor when he plays The Greeley Blues Jam on June 9th.

Cuban born Eddie “Devil Boy” Turner was raised in Chicago, started playing guitar at age twelve, attended the University of Colorado and has played with Tracy Nelson, the Colorado band Zephyr and was a member of Otis Taylor’s band.

Like Taylor, Turner left music for a time for other pursuits, such as working in real-estate.

Also like Taylor, Eddie can range far afield in his music, using guitar tones and rhythms seldom heard in the Blues. Among Turner’s many accolades is being chosen as “Best New Artist Debut” by The Blues Foundation in 2006. While you can experience the full range of the “Devil Boy” June 9th at The Greeley Blues Jam, this Saturday we’ll hear one of his more traditional pieces.

We’ll also hear from The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Chris Thomas King, B. B. King and many more.