Feature

The Second Coming of Otis Taylor

May 2002

“Everything about White African is stellar,” raved a reviewer for Blues Revue. “The execution, the musical interpretation, the pacing, the songs themselves – to the extent that one can hardly avoid describing it in super-latives.” Devin Grant, a writer for the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier gushed, “It’s only a matter of time before his name is spoken with the same reverence as that of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker. This guy is for real.” National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air,” which featured an interview with Taylor last August, called White African, “the most on-target blues CD in recent years.”

In January, the album received four nominations for the coveted W.C. Handy Blues Awards, including Album of the Year, Acoustic Blues Album of the Year, Best New Artist Debut, and Blues Song of the Year for “My Soul’s in Louisiana.” (In May, the winners will be announced in Memphis). Meanwhile, you can hear several songs from his latest release, Respect the Dead, in the movie Behind the Badge, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Patricia Arquette. Last year, Taylor was awarded a prestigious film-composition fellowship at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute.