Stream a new song — this scrappy groover called “Sit Across Your Table” — from trance bluesman Otis Taylor’s forthcoming project My World Is Gone, due on February 12, 2013 from Telarc-Concord.
Once again, Taylor’s 13th album melds blues and folk traditions, creating a bubbling gumbo of sounds that include jazz, Americana, world music, funk and rock flavorings. But whereas he’s often mapped out a sound that has as much to do with Africa as it does Appalachia, reclaiming the black banjo tradition along the way, “Sit Across Your Table” shows what this musical alchemist can do in a more straight-forward setting.
Here, Taylor catches a nasty little groove and sticks with it — offering a song filled with unabashed passion and joy, no matter the trials and tribulations.
The theme for this new recording was sparked by a comment by friend Mato Nanji, after the Native American singer and guitarist with the group Indigenous had performed at a tribute concert for Jimi Hendrix. Nanji, a member of the Nakota Nation, was reminiscing with Taylor when he uttered the phrase that would become this album’s title.
My World Is Gone echoes both the simplicity and the devastating truth of Nanji’s words, as Taylor’s characters again bear witness to lives spent withstanding great struggle — very much in the tradition of his most recent studio project, Contraband.
That SER 2012 Top 10 album grew out of a rumination on runaway slaves who escaped behind Union lines during America’s bloody Civil War.
“I write songs about people remembering, bearing witness,” Taylor says. “I’ve learned that if you write about things that are important, people will listen. That’s one of the reasons why I wrote the songs that I did for My World Is Gone.”
We’ve already said that Taylor may well be the 21st century’s greatest bluesman. Hear for yourself.