Review : Otis Taylor – Worthenbury

Posted on: Monday, Oct 23, 2006

Pete writes in with his thoughts from the weekend’s gig: –

What a night last night!!!
The guitarist Jonn Richardson from Austin, Texas was awesome.I can understand how he got best unsigned guitarist for 2005 – someone should sign him quick. I’m my opinion he’s better than the self indulgent Joe Bonamassa. Anyway …full report.

Otis Taylor Band
“Goin’ Up The Country Blues and Roots Club” Worthenbury,
Sat Oct 28th

As with last year’s gig, the “Sold Out” signs went up for the return of Otis Taylor, this time with best unsigned USA guitarist for 2005, Jonn Richardson from Austin, Texas and drummer Josh Kelly from San Francisco. From the opening number the pattern of Otis Taylor’s “Trance music” was laid down with Otis providng the intricate repetitive rhythms backed up by Josh Kelly’s simple Fat Possum style drums which then allowed Jonn Richardson to display his phenomenal guitar work.

Most of the first set was taken from the new cd “Definition Of A Circle” which will not be available in the UK until February and was recorded with such luminaries as Gary Moore and Charlie Musselwhite. Stand out tracks were Little Betty, Lifetime Of Freedom and They Wore Blue which was written in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and featured a jaw dropping solo from Jonn. The closing number of the opening set was the very bluesy Hambone which featured Otis on a harmonica walkabout gaining maximum audience participation. It also heralded an invitation from Otis for Liverpool bluesman Raphael Callaghan to get up and join him in a super harp jam – all great stuff.

The second set followed the pattern of the first with Otis dipping into his vast repertoire of songs from his previous six albums but it was the two covers Hey Joe and Baby Please Don’t Go which led into his final segue of tracks Hookers in the Street and Don’t know much about Education which brought the audience in the packed little village hall to it’s feet, dancing and clapping wildly. An encore was demanded and duly delivered before something quite unknown for Otis – a second encore. The bad news is that those of you who missed the gig missed something quite amazing – the good news is that he will be back next year with a guaranteed gig at Worthenbury … “My favourite small blues club in the whole of Europe”

The whole tour has been a great success and featured Tommy Allen on the first couple of dates. Otis was very impressed and will be asking Tom to join him on further dates in the future. I went to the festival in Bristol last Sunday and Otis blew the place apart and so I am including a photo from that gig as I’d run out of space on my photo card for the Worthenbury gig!!!


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