Dudley Taft review…May 7, 2013…

DUDLEY TAFT

DEEP DEEP BLUES

AMERICAN BLUES ARTIST GROUP

MEET ME IN THE MORNING–THE WAITING–GOD FORBID–SALLY CAN’T DANCE–DEEP DEEP BLUE–FEELING GOOD NOW–WISHING WELL–SATISFY YOU–BANDIT QUEEN–PALACE OF THE KING–SHANKS AKIMBO

Guitarist Dudley Taft’s roots are in the Midwest, altho his suitcase is probably covered in stickers from all the places he’s been.  His latest album, on his own American Blues Artist Group imprint, is entitled “Deep Deep Blues,” and he began work on it soon after moving to Chapel Hill, NC.  He’d already spent time in L. A. and Seattle, forming Space Antelope with Trey Anastasio, and immersing himself in the grunge-rock scene of the Pacific Northwest during the Nineties.

That’s the kicker on all the songs on “Deep Deep Blues.”  He’s taken his love for the blues and Southern rock and melded it with the crunching fretwork of the Seattle players, giving it a decided edge and attitude.  Check out the leadoff “Meet Me In The Morning,” a sweet Dylan cover, and “The Waiting,” with a chugging, freight-train-a-comin’ beat that recants Dudley’s tale of giving up on a lover who “kept me waiting for too long,” after “we once had it all.”

A horn section adds punch to “Feeling Good Now,” about a man who’s not afraid to be alone after being dumped, and he takes that swagger to the next level with the tale of a man whose soul purpose is to “make you forget all your troubles,” entitled “Satisfy You.”  He totally nails two more covers, with a rocked-out read of “Sally Can’t Dance,” and a tribute to Freddie King with “Palace Of The King.”

His originals also encompass a unique  cast of characters, too.  “Bandit Queen” is a blues-rock ode to stagecoach robber Pearl Hart.  “God Forbid” traces a “Union soldier in love with a Southern belle,” and the family who’d “send him straight to Hell.”   “Wishing Well” starts and ends as an acoustic tale of hope, while the title cut is a minor-key slow-blues ode to pulling oneself together after love has long gone.

Dudley Taft has put together a brilliant set of blues-rock for the 21st Century.  Never one to be something he’s not, he lets his songs and fret skills speak for themselves, and the material on “Deep Deep Blue” easily stands on its own merits.  He’s certainly discovered his blues roots, and this is a highly-entertaining listen!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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