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Respect the Dead

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 2, 2002
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RESPECT THE DEAD

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Emotional storm clouds roil over the powerful songs of Otis Taylor, surely the most important presence to emerge on the contemporary blues scene since Corey Harris. Taylor's stories of racial struggle and heartbreak ring with a near-mystical sense of portent and crackle with an elemental weight akin to John Lee Hooker's while embracing the sonic edges of psychedelic rock. This disc is even better than 2001's critically heralded White African, upping the intensity with numbers that probe the lingering ties of slavery ("Ten Million Slaves"), the legacy of the Freedom Riders ("32nd Time"), and the dark staples of suicide and murder ("I Like You, But I Don't Love You," "Three Stripes on a Cadillac").

Taylor's slightly hoarse, husky voice seems risen from the Delta mud. It's a mighty instrument, whispering and wailing--sometimes, thanks to careful mixing, sounding like a ghost slipping through the cracks of time. And he's an even better musician-arranger, whose command of slide guitar and effects makes for shivery peals that underpin the drama of his singing, and who maps out an entirely new vocabulary for electric banjo. Churning one-chord Mississippi blues, African rhythms, and electronically intensified guitar riffs all blend into a terrain no other contemporary bluesman is exploring. In fact, this may be the sound of genius. --Ted Drozdowski

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 2, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Northern Blues
  • ASIN: B000063T4W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Otis Taylor has given greater meaning to blues music than any other artist I've listened to. I have looked at the blues section of the music store, all that I could find was B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and even some artists from the United Kingdom who would play pop-culture music, only sung with bluesy black accents. Now that Otis Taylor has arrived I can drift back into a world of brightly lit shacks nesled deep in the swamps and woods at night on the outskirts of a southern town and hear the tales of the old dark skinned folks I knew as a boy that were told in song, acoustic instruments, and spirit. Being a black American who has lived in various places in the south of the states (...), I would not need no British artists telling me about blues music let alone my own culture. (No offense to them.) My personal favorites Ten Million Slaves, Hands on Your Stomach, Black Witch, and Seven Hours of Light refelect the southern world I lived and knew in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
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Format: Audio CD
Experiencing the aural whipping of'Respect The Dead'is rather like walking, with scant protection, into a howling rain. Taylor's voice has already been out there in the storm. Electric banjo and guitar drive home the point:the banjo plucked like fingers tripping over the ribcage of skeletons.This isn't subtle music. It's mantric beat and repetitive lyrics insist on what it is we should be taking with us.Deaths described are mostly caused by misadventure rather than heroics. This is one powerful disc and its tracks are hard to separate with respect to impact. Indeed, for greater effect, the songs may best be heard apart from each other as collectively they give the head a pelting.However,'Ten Million Slaves' is an awesome opener.'Shaker Woman', ' 3 Stripes On a Cadillac',and'Black Witch' have etched themselves upon my mind.
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By A Customer on November 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe the negative remarks some listeners have about this fine collection of Taylor tunes. Those are comments from reviewers who HAVEN'T SEEN THE BAND LIVE!!
This cd has everything a true blues aficionado could want. Great storytelling, tales of woe and lament, spiritual and ethereal messages, and an unreal and searing guitar solo on just about every track provided by the amazing Eddie Turner.
Prepare to be blown away by songs like Ten Thousand Slaves, Black Witch and the others. Turner's incredible strat is so damn reminiscent of Hendrix, it's spooky. I was so moved that I requested Eddie's guitar pick after the show...just for proof that what I saw was definitely real. These guys are the ultimate boogie/rock blues band from beyond.
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Format: Audio CD
I am amazed that an artist can keep up this level of achievement over three discs. Otis Taylor is, without a doubt, one of the top 5 bluesmen recording today--and the most ambitious. His songs don't just tell a story, they evoke a world, one that is light years away from the world of the average middle-class blues-CD buyer. I cannot think of any other artist who evokes so many emotions, with the possible exception of Skip James. Taylor's lyrics, coupled with his enigmatic voice, heartfelt delivery & understated music, create a work of depth that is amazing. Buy this disc; if you hunger for more, you can't go wrong with any of his others, either.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are a lover of the blues, but have a very narrow definition of what that means, then this record is not for you. On the other hand, if you have an open mind give it a try.

The haunting repetition allows me to get lost in the music. It conjures up images of long dirt roads, bayous, and the endless delta that boardered my childhood.
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Format: Audio CD
FINALLY GOT MY OWN COPY OF THIS MASTERPIECE , A FRIEND HAD IT & I COULDN'T FIND IT LOCALLY THANX. 10 MILLION SLAVES & THREE STRIPES ON A CADILLAC ARE MY FAVOURITES. CASSIES VOICE IS JUST GOURGOUS. GREAT ALBUM ALL OVER. GO OTIS
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