Sean Taylor,
Calcutta Grove
(independent, 2009)

Sean Taylor has lived in Kilburn, North London, all his life and started to play gigs in the major independent venues in London when he was 17. Three years later, in 2004, he recorded his first EP, and this year he releases his third album, Calcutta Grove, with nine self-crafted tracks and two covers.

Taylor recorded the album alone; he sings and plays acoustic and electric guitars, dobro, keyboards, percussion and harmonica. The only song with a guest musician is the slightly odd "Nightmares" with Gemma Fuller on trumpet, Taylor's sprechgesang, piano, guitar and percussion.

The title track starts the CD with its dreamy mood. Taylor plays acoustic guitar and keyboards and sings the blues with a whispering voice. The following "Revelations" starts off with the blues harp, organ and guitar; again Taylor's singing stands out with passionate and intense timbre and the pace gets a bit faster. Then you can hear the psychedelic instrumental "Salvo," a cover version of Mississippi blues man Skip James, and "Lost at Sea," where Taylor for the first time distinctly accelerates the rhythm. My favourite song is the Richie Havens cover "Freedom." Taylor plays a brilliant percussion rhythm and lays a striking piano layer on his rhythmic guitar playing.

The album mostly features slow and quiet songs and tunes, blues influenced by R&B, country-blues and psychedelic rock. I think it's an interesting approach and I really loved some of the songs, but don't expect to hear old-time blues.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Adolf Goriup

18 April 2009

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