This "roots and trance" visionary's thirteenth recording extends the boundaries his music even further, pushing the limits. It is a blending of early Appalachia and ancient Africa delivered with Taylor's customary creativity and spot on the mark social commentary. This newest record combines and demolishes the borders between folk and blues; rock and jazz; funk and Americana; and other genres that are perhaps more obscure or hidden. This accomplished banjoist (not like many you have ever heard) and guitarist shows that there are no restrictions on his music here, except those he imposes.
The flow of this disc was inspired by Taylor's friend Mato Nanji, the guitarist of the band Indigenous, during a talk backstage at a Jimi Hendrix tribute, that the latter had played. They were talking history and Mato said in reference to his people, "My world is gone." Those 4 words carried such weight with Taylor that he knew this was the direction for his new disc. On 6 tracks Nanji plays electric and acoustic guitars, and joins Taylor on vocals for several songs. Some of Taylor's usual cohorts are on the disc such as Larry Thompson (drums), Ron Miles (cornet) and Anne Harris (fiddle) to lock down the music.
The songs are not so much about what has happened in the past, rather how what occurred is still happening, and is affecting the people now, the problems the indigenous people faced since America was 'discovered' and still have to face today. The effects these actions cause are thrust upon a people whose only wish was to continue their own way of life, and be left to their own devices. Taylor's discs always have a strong emotional impact and this one is not always easy, listen to Coming With Crosses, and yet he has a way with other songs, Jae Jae Waltz, for example, of celebrating beauty and hope and not dwelling in the negative. His music packs a heavy punch yet still leaves space to think. Taylor is a very interesting and complex musician that is constantly evolving and growing.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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