Dudley Taft review…August 29, 2019….

DUDLEY TAFT

SIMPLE LIFE

GIVE ME A SONG–SIMPLE LIFE–I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU–IN YOUR WAY–DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY–DEATH BY BLISS–BOMBS AWAY–IF HEARTACHES WERE NICKELS–NEVER FADE–POURING DOWN–SHINE–BACK TO YOU

Dudley Taft has always been on our “favorites” radar, a no-holds-barred guitarist, singer, and composer who has a lengthy and brilliant resume’.  He mixes equal parts of grunge, the Delta, blues-rock,  and soul in everything he touches.  For his latest album, the eleven originals and one cover that make up “Simple Life” show us a somewhat “softer” side of Dudley, but he’s never forgotten from whence he came.  He attended Berklee College Of Music, spent some time as a part of the Seattle scene, and was friends with Trey Anastasio in high school!  As such, we get a taste of his myriad of influences on this album, all tempered with his deep-seated values of family, friends, roots, and music.

Powerful percussion from Chris Ellison opens the set on the leadoff, echo-washed ode to finding that one true love, “Give Me A Song.”  Next up, the title cut served as one of our favorites.  Here, Dudley chronicles the hard work he has put into his craft over his career, now longing for that “Simple Life–just my baby, my dogs and me,” and to be able to “throw my cell phone in a hole!”  This cut shows the man at some of his guitar-shredding best!  “In Your Way” is an in-your-face, chops-busting rebuke of the seemingly-endless array of bullying in today’s society, while Dudley’s days in the Seattle scene are chronicled in “Death By Bliss.”

Our other favorite was perhaps the set’s most powerful cut.  On the album’s lone cover, Dudley takes Warren Haynes’ “If Heartaches Were Nickels, I’d be the richest fool alive,” and slows it down to reveal the emotion and angst within our hero as he struggles with an uncaring lover.

Dudley Taft is a man at peace with himself, and it shows on these incredible grooves.  Heck–he put pics of his wife, his dogs, and himself all over the album cover, proving he’s found that “Simple Life” he always wanted!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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