Edward Taylor | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Edward Taylor


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Edward Taylor wears his pedigree on his sleeve, literally: there are photos and a biographical sketch of his father, the late Eddie Taylor, on the cover of his debut disc, Lookin' for Trouble (Wolf). The elder Taylor was renowned as Jimmy Reed's rhythm guitarist and made a series of recordings under his own name on Vee-Jay that are now considered postwar Chicago classics; on the new album Edward not only re-creates several of dad's tracks nearly lick for lick--including his signature tunes "Bad Boy" and "Big Town Playboy"--but covers a couple of Reed's for good measure. Still, he shows signs of becoming his own man. Even in the record's most earnest and imitative moments, a youthful strut comes through: on the title tune, also penned by Eddie, Edward sounds like a country boy swaggering down a big-city street with money in his pocket and sin on his mind. His own "Greyhound Blues" romps along in a jivey cadence, with a solo that tweaks the song's rootsy feel with lithe string bends and unexpectedly poppy harmonic developments. He's even bolder onstage, firing off sure-toned leads and declamatory chords and improvising with more daring than he allowed himself in the studio. For this gig he'll be joined by his mother, Vera Taylor, a minor legend in her own right who worked alongside her husband for years. She seldom performs in public these days, but her leathery vocals on Lookin' for Trouble's "Ain't Gonna Cry" make it one of the disc's most imposing tracks. Friday, 9:30 PM, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 773-342-0452. DAVID WHITEIS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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