|Respect The Dead - Otis
|The writing process for Respect The Dead began even before White African
was released. When tackling subjects such as injustice, suffering, and loss, none of which is limited to racial
issues, Taylor alas has an inexhaustible source from which to pool stories and ideas. The lead track, "Ten Million Slaves," finds the character in a situation
where, although generations removed, he is relating to the experience of being one of the ten million Africans
forced into inhumane conditions. "32nd Time"
brings to light the spirited and dangerous actions of the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights movement. And
songs such as "Baby So" and "Black Witch" deal with relationships that lead to anything
but a happy ending. The disc comprises 12 original tunes on which Taylor sings, and plays acoustic guitar, slide
guitar, harmonica, banjo, and electric banjo. Taylor's reliable band consists of Pasarelli on bass, piano and organ
and Eddie Turner on lead guitar. And, Cassie Taylor, Otis' daughter, once again provides haunting backing vocals
as she did on White African.
"Respect The Dead took a great amount of introspection," remarks Taylor. "Musically, it starts off more frantic and psychedelic like our live show, then ends up almost in folk-rock territory. But the songs are about people's demons. Everyone's demons, depression, make them react in a certain way." Blues Revue says Taylor's songwriting is "Stellar - the execution, the musical interpretation, the pacing, the songs themselves - to the extent that one can hardly avoid describing it in superlatives."