Dudley Taft review…May 18, 2014…

DUDLEY TAFT

SCREAMING IN THE WIND

AMERICAN BLUES ARTIST GROUP

HARD TIME KILLING FLOOR BLUES–PACK IT UP–RED LINE–SCREAMING IN THE WIND–3DHD–I KEEP MY EYES ON YOU–THE REASON WHY–RISE ABOVE IT–BARRIO–SLEEPING IN THE SUNLIGHT–TEARS IN RAIN–SAY YOU WILL

For his latest album, Cincinnati-based bluesman Dudley Taft veered somewhat from the path taken on his prior albums.  For “Screaming In The Wind,” Dudley reached out to Tom Hambridge for the production duties as well as for co-writing credits on several of the ten originals (and two covers) that make up this powerful set of guitar-based blues-rock.

Dudley’s guitar and vocals lead the way with regulars John Kessler on bass and Jason Patterson on drums.  Another added dimension for this set is that the venerable Reese Wynans guests throughout, his B-3 work giving greater depth and flair overall.

As with each of Dudley’s prior albums, every song has a meaning and is done with a purpose.  Take the blues-to-reggae riff that drives “I Keep My Eyes On You,” for example.  It is Dudley’s way of conveying to us the constant daily pressures we face in trying to separate right from wrong.  “Tears In Rain” is a dark, minor-key blues based on the end of the movie “Blade Runner,” as we learn that love, as well as life or anything else, can be as easily lost as those tears in rain.

Also, Dudley always puts a Freddie King song on every album, and the bodacious funk of “Pack It Up” appears herein, fired up nicely with Reese’s organ work and the punch of the Muscle Shoals Horns.  The McCrary Sisters add in the gospel harmonies on the album’s acoustic moment, the Latin-tinged “Barrio.”

We had three favorites, too.  “I dream in 3DHD” is a blast of high-energy blues that takes a look at the two people that often reside inside one person, with their alter-ego sometimes being closer to whom they really are.  The slow-burn of “I Wonder Why” allows Reese’s B-3 to roam freely as Dudley sings of trying to come to grips with the end of an affair.  And, the set opens with Dudley absolutely nailing that killer riff that makes Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” the classic that it is.

As one will hear while listening to “Screaming In The Wind,” Dudley Taft is not only one of the best guitarists on the contemporary scene, but his insightful songwriting will draw the listener in and give them a clearer idea of the man as a complete artist.  This is a set not to be missed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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