ok, so the 3rd time is the charm. or maybe it’s just the 3rd time. anyway, ol’ gravel voice himself will be at little pub tonight pickin’ and a’ growlin. no rain, no snow, no award shows, no bronchitis, …no excuses.
From the New Haven Advocate:
Shawn Taylor, Free (self-released, shawntaylortunes.com). Shawn Taylor plays his acoustic guitar Delta style, reminiscent of Mississippi John Hurt: country blues. He even does a speeded-up tribute to Hurt on “Pallet,” Taylor’s update of Hurt’s “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor.” On “Dime and a Bottle of Wine,” an original tune, Taylor is accompanied only by Billy Bileca on upright bass, and you can hear his smooth command of the difficult finger-picking style. Free also features Jim McKeeman and Chris D’Amato on acoustic guitars and Nick Longo and Mike Marble on drums. The band drops in and out as needed, making for a good variety of feels. Anchoring the whole thing is Taylor’s voice. Described as “wonderfully damaged” by the Advocate’s own Dan Barry, it is worn but not frayed, a smoky tenor that exudes confidence and authority. This kind of command comes from live performances — not just in clubs and coffee bars, but in living rooms and on front porches as well. Taylor gigs a lot in Connecticut and the Hudson River Valley area, solo, or with various members of his band. It’s easy to imagine him weaving his own tunes flawlessly together with folk-revival classics like “Jack-A-Roe” (also covered on this CD) in his live sets. —James Velvet