Guitarist Melvin Taylor's fluid, smartly constructed solos and understated yet winning vocals are surprises on this 1984 nine-track set recorded for Isabel. Taylor is not a fancy or arresting singer but succeeds through his simple, effective delivery of lyrics, slight inflections, and vocal nuances. His guitar work is impressive, with skittering riffs, shifting runs, and dashing solos. Organist/pianist Lucky Peterson is an excellent second soloist, adding cute background phrases at times, then stepping forward and challenging or buttressing Taylor's playing with his own dazzling lines. Ron Wynn/AMG

Reviewshi-fi+ May 2015 by Dennis Davis

 

Melvin Taylor was born in 1959, just before a generation of today’s best known blues artists were on the verge of ‘rediscovery’ by a generation of rockers who loved American blues music. In 1962, he followed in the footsteps of the prior generation of blues singers by moving from the Deep South to Chicago, where he eventually played with a pop group. By the 1980’s he had switched to playing the blues, touring Europe with Pinetop Perkins’ group, where he recorded two albums for the French Isobel label.

The second album, cut in 1984 for Isobel Records, is early evidence of one of the best kept secrets in music.

Taylor sings and plays guitar here in his usual understated and laid back style, with organ and piano solo’s by Lucky Peterson, bass guitar backing from Titus Williams, and drums by Ray Alison. For those who thought the blues had stopped being relevant by the 1960’s, this record is strong evidence to the contrary. Pure Pleasure has been mining the Isobel catalogue and it’s recent reissue of Jimmy Witherspoon’s Spoon’s Life is also very appealing. If you complain that the same ten records keep getting reissued, here’s your chance to make a difference.DD