Otis Taylor plays a harsh and ardent kind of blues — a heady mix of socially conscious lyrics, staccato singing style, and intense, reverb-laden guitar. On Respect the Dead, his third album, he continues to explore the seedy and unpleasant aspects of our world with songs like Ten Million Slaves (about the plight of Africans), as he did on his excellent previous album, White African. But he also lightens up a bit with the funky Jump Jelly Belly and the almost upbeat Just Live Your Life. The ethereal electric lead guitar of Eddie Turner adds depth and texture to Taylor’s repetitive and catchy riffs, melding the modern with the traditional.
Otis Taylor: Respect the Dead