Delmark brings us another new CD by a Chicago blues woman, this time one whose family has deep blues roots. Demetria Taylor is the daughter of the late Eddie Taylor and her brothers Eddie Jr., Larry and Tim have previously established themselves in the blues world. With the release of her “Bad Girl,” Demetria is set to make her mark on this world as well. She is joined by her brother Eddie Jr. and Shun Kibuta on guitars; Roosevelt Purifoy on keyboards; Greg McDaniel on bass and Pookie Styx (great name) on drums with guest appearances from Big Time Sarah, Billy Branch and Eddie Shaw.
For her first album there is a pretty diverse set of tunes but is in part a homage to the folks she was raised on. In certain cases like her medley of I’m a Woman w/ “Hootchie Coochie Woman, and Voodoo Woman (with Eddie Shaw adding his growling sax), her indebtedness to Koko Taylor is clear although she doesn’t project as strongly as the late Chicago blues queen did. Her raspy voice really suits Magic Sam’s All Your Love, with her brother adding some nice guitar, while both Shaw’s sax and Branch’s harmonica (terrific solo in the Walter Horton vein) contribute to the title track, a nice swinging shuffle remake of her father’s Bad Boy, with once Eddie Jr. shining in his solo.
When You Leave, Don’t Take Nothing, taken from an Artie ‘Blues Boy” White recording, is a solid slow blues where she tells her man who has his suitcase and about to leave because not a damn thing belongs to him with terrific sax and Shaw adding some atmosphere with his sax. Its followed by a terrific rendition of Nora Jean Bruso’s shuffle Goin’ Back To Mississippi, with more strong playing from Eddie Jr., Shaw and Purifoy on piano. The band really cooks on this track.
Billy Branch returns to add his harp to Big Boss Man, with the tempo taken a bit too fast, but with Shaw back she turns a superb vocal on Luther Allison’s Cherry Red Wine, as she worries about her baby, caressing the lyric. I dare say her vocal may top Allison’s original while her brother is stellar. Eddie Jr. contributed I Can’t Take It No More, a derivation of Messin’ With the Kid, followed by a remake of Trying To Make a Living. While these are well played, Demetria Taylor doesn’t have as much vocal presence on these songs. The album closes with two Willie Dixon songs, Little Red Rooster and Wang Dang Doodle, which she shares with Big Time Sarah. These are enjoyable, although not remarkable, performances, with Billy Branch contributing some nice harmonica and Eddie doing a nice Hubert Sumlin imitation on the latter number.
Demetria Taylor’s Bad Girl has excellent performances along with some that show her potential. She states she intends to do originals on her next album and display a bit more versatility on her next recording, and after this promising debut will have many waiting to see how it turns out.
I received my review copy from Delmark.