The Huffington Post

Good Listenin’, Folks! Three CDs You Need To Buy

Bluesman Otis Taylor’s release is a very early contender for Best Record Of 2008. – By Sal Nunziato, Contributor, Music journalist, active blogger, New Orleans devotee, handsome cat

01/31/2008 09:08am EST | Updated May 25, 2011

I know there’s about 7 of you out there who, like me, still buy CDs. Here are a few recommendations for you. Please go get ’em. You won’t be sorry.


As quickly as I shot down Shelby Lynne’s just released tribute to Dusty Springfield for it’s lack of passion and depth here, bluesman Otis Taylor releases a very early contender for Best Record Of 2008. A record that oozes sincerity and moves musical mountains, Recapturing The Banjo, is
NOT just 10 versions of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” Taylor’s point here is to show that the banjo and the music played on this instrument did not originate from Kentucky or the Carolinas, but in Africa.

With the help of a stellar cast of artists, bluesman and banjoists such as Corey Harris, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Guy Davis, Keb’ Mo’ and New Orleans’ “Papa” Don Vappie (There, I’ve worked New Orleans in again,) Taylor and these gentlemen run through choice material, some original and some traditional, that is both chilling and uplifting. Add to the mix, the haunting vocals of Cassie Taylor, Mr. Taylor’s daughter, which are used effectively as an instrument and not to tell the stories, and what you have is a completely original blues album, sounding nothing like you’ve heard before. The instrumentation on most of these songs is simply banjo and percussion, but jazz trumpeter Ron Miles, does add some beautiful atmosphere on “Absinthe,” and “Live Your Life,” two Taylor originals, and Miss Taylor also plays some bass. Please don’t let Recapturing The Banjo slip through the cracks. It hits the remaining record stores on February 5th.