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Otis Taylor, Chasing Edison, The Black Lillies 

When: Sun., May 27 2012
Price: Free
OTIS TAYLOR “We all got to die. But some people got to suffer before they die.” Iconic and iconoclastic bluesman Otis Taylor is stark, uncompromising and hypnotic. His “Ten Million Slaves” introduced many to his signature sound — nimbly plucked banjo melded to distorted guitar. While Taylor’s dragged-across-the-tarmac vocals are pure blues, they engage with organic trance and Indian influences as well as gospel, soul and funk. Marrying past to present, the mythic flooded levies of Son House to our contemporary dismissive attitude toward life, Taylor’s lyrics mark him as blood brother to activist poets Fela Kuti and Stephen Biko. But only Taylor would have the balls to frame the crucifixion as a “Woke up this Mornin’” blues about yet another act of terrorism. Free. U.S. National Whitewater Center. www.usnwc.org. (Pat Moran)

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