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Melvin Taylor

Chicago-based guitarist Melvin Taylor is a star in Europe, but it may take some time for U.S. audiences to catch on to just how phenomenally talented a bluesman he is. Part of the problem for Taylor may be his own natural eclecticism. He's equally adept playing jazz or blues, but in the last few years, he's forged a name for himself as a blues guitarist with a slew of releases for Evidence Music. Taylor may well be the most talented new guitarist to come along since Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Taylor was born in Mississippi but raised in Chicago after the family moved there in 1962. He learned guitar from his mother's brother, Uncle Floyd Vaughan, who jammed to tunes by Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, and Howlin' Wolf with his buddies. By the time Taylor was 12, he was sitting in with his uncle and other grown-ups at those sessions. Almost entirely self-taught, the young Taylor learned slide playing, fingerpicking, and flat-picking styles from his favorite recordings by B.B. King, Albert King, and Jimi Hendrix.

In his teens, Taylor joined the Transistors, a group managed by his future father-in-law, and they made their mark playing popular music of the '70s at talent shows and night clubs. After the Transistors broke up in the early '80s, Taylor again devoted his full attention to playing blues in the Windy City's West Side clubs. Shortly after, pianist Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins came looking for a guitarist for a string of European dates. Taylor joined the Legendary Blues Band for a year and made such an impact in Europe that several club and festival bookers wanted him back with his own group. Since the late '80s, he's been making regular tours of Europe, often backed by former members of the Transistors, where they opened for the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Santana, George Benson, and Canned Heat.

Aside from taking his musical inspiration from guitar heroes like Albert King, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Taylor also became enamored with the jazz stylings of George Benson and Wes Montgomery, incorporating their styles into his playing.

Taylor's recordings include two he first recorded for a French label that have since been reissued on the Pennsylvania-based Evidence Music: Blues on the Run, originally recorded in 1982, and 1984's Melvin Taylor Plays the Blues for You. Back in the U.S., Taylor continued to build a buzz around the strength of his marathon live shows at Rosa's Lounge and other venues in Chicago. Several small labels tried to sign Taylor, but they weren't successful. In 1995, Taylor was signed to Evidence Music and entered the studio with blues impresario John Snyder to record his debut for the label, Melvin Taylor and the Slack Band, which showcased his original songwriting. He returned in late 1996 to record his second U.S. album, Dirty Pool. Taylor's debut remains the Evidence label's best-selling release ever. Both records showcase Taylor's awe-inspiring guitar playing and original renderings of classic Chicago blues tunes. Bang the Bell followed in 2000, featuring racy cover art and a somewhat funk-influenced sound, but it was his teaming with Lucky Peterson and Mato Nanji on 2002's Rendezvous with the Blues that cemented his reputation as a mainstay in the American blues and roots rock scene. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Harry Nelson
Great listing i hear Stevie ray..but anoriginal as well woild love to see a show i.n the states
I'm loving the expanded blues catalog that Pandora is coming up with..A slew of amazing blues musicians I may not have otherwise heard..Keep it coming..!
Great Es Blue Singer ever. Influenced Jimi Hendrix, Steve Ray Vaughn, and the ultimate B.b king:))!
gjswinney2
Wow! Thank you Pandora; I have never heard of this extremely talented young man. I can hear Hendrix in this song Voodoo Child, both in his voice and music. Fantastic!!
thanks you pandora...Mr . Taylor is amazing, would not have found out about him other wise
Melvin Taylor still remains overlooked.. . he has 10 CD out - All available from Amazon & iTunes. Truly a remarkable genius!!!
Hit the website everyone! www.melvinta y l o r m u s i c . c o m He's been around the world many, many times. His playing is better than ever -
Rosa's Chicago in October 10 & 11
I agree, I hear Jimmy too . . . . I love this guy why hasn't Portland Oregon heard of him . . .SHAME on us :)
The more I hear the more I like ;-)
Thank you Pandora for exposing me to Melvin Taylor's music. Awesome guitarist. Love them Blues...
Nope you'll never find my kinda loving. Im loving this song
joelalford
As good as anyone I've ever heard. I here a lot of Hendrix in his style.
Nice!!!!!!
jeffery_smit h
Come to DC...please
More
Wow...Just Wow
YES. Beast indeed.
Man what a beast on that guitar
Amen! This dude is f#%*ing " Bad A**" rock on!!!!!!
seems more technical kinda like Clapton where as SRV and Hendrix were more spiritual
dude can really throw down
oldnwilling
Love the blues. From Mayall, Stevie, Walter, and this cat etc. Thanks for the variety which never disappoints.
Every time an ad interrupts the music, I take a hit off of my pipe and after an hour I'm friggin ripped. Thanks Pandora!!
I first saw Melvyn on a blues cruise 2am yo 4am on lake Michigan. Not sure of the year but I wasn`t going to forget his performance! WOW! I have since seen him several times with people I have exposed to his music....Sti l l the best & see him every chance I get!
Awesome guitarist.
My dad liked the blues alot n all this guys r the. S**t for real !!!
cool s**t
thought I knew just about all the living bluesmen..th i s guy is the real deal!!!
My soul will always miss stevie but this cat can really wail! I'm impressed beyond. Words!
Thank you for bringing Melvin's music and his voice to my life, Pandora!
Amazing!!!
joustdaddy
wow, simply wow!
patrickbryan t 5 5
I'd never heard of Melvin Taylor either but I agree with all the superlatives . Superb!
This is why pandora ROCKS, didn't know of mr Taylor. Now that I do I'll be listening for more. Very very good blues. Technical and passionate. Ain't no slack in that band:-)
I've just now heard of this musician and as I am currently listening to his version of Tin Pan Alley I have uncontrollab l e chills! I have to say I still love my Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Man I really like his version of Texas Flood I usually listen to the bluesy guitar but this version got me listening and feeling the lyrics as well.
Just like Stevie echoed Albert King heavily ..Melvin echoes Stevie a lot...Melvin has chops in excess
This Brother is the REAL DEAL!!
SRV ? no Maybe better. But not SRV. Ventures to the Jazz side more than SRV ever knew there was to blues
He must be a pool player too..
~Awesome~ !
royaldmd
Damn! This guy has it all!
All good the Cicerokid jamout my friend .good soundof the blues!!!!!
Nice to see another guy following in the foot steps of Stevie Ray! I will be listening to more often. Great leads!
The most incredible guitar sound since Buddy Guy covered Red House (before that, it seemed probably no one aside from SRV would do justice to a Hendrix tune). There are many talented musicians and voices but only a few (like the voice of Nina Simone) exude a comparable quality, like a spirit reaching out of a sound that will make you cry sans discernible emotion. Thank you, Pandora! Thank you, Melvin Taylor, for keeping that special something alive.
This guy can really play, great stuff!!
randynicks8
what the Hell
A true bluesman, the music world is truly blessed again
Love the sound
Good, Good, Stuff....... . . . . . . . . T h a n k s
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