Out Of My Mind
Yellow Dog Records
In the opening two-part “Ol’ Mama Dean,” Cassie Taylor tells the story of an abused woman who finally takes measures into her own hands and kills her partner. It is the extreme and she knows she will have to pay for her crime, but alas she now has freedom for her pain. It is an example of the detailed story-telling that Taylor has developed in her young life. But though she may be only 26 years old, she has already seen and worked the musical circuit for more than a decade, first accompanying her father, Otis Taylor, in his band as a vocalist and bassist, and several years on her own and touring with fellow young female artists Dani Wilde and Samantha Fish.
Cassie Taylor is a strong person and a strong songwriter. Her songs may often take on personal themes, but also like her father, she is not afraid to speak her mind or let her political stance show through. On her debut Yellow Dog Records release, Out Of My Mind, her lyrics are terrific and captivating. She also provides work on the piano, Hammond organ and theremin as well as her bass playing and singing.
Most of the songs feature just her in a trio format with drummer Larry Thompson and guitar whiz Steve Mignano, who has worked with people like Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, Jean-Luc Ponty and his own fusion band Tribal Tech. It is Mignano’s interactions with Taylor on the disc that really make each of the songs speak out loud. Trumpet player John Gray also adds the right amount of flavoring on tracks like “New Orleans” and “Forgiveness.”
Taylor does not offer blues in your traditional 12-bar manner; instead bringing forth her own take on modern methods to the genre. She states that it is more a sign of the times and the music influences that she has been exposed to. Who knows whether Muddy Waters or Memphis Minnie would have had a different sound today if they had been exposed to the diversity of electronic music, punk rock or West African psychedelic rock. This is her version of the “blues as a continuum connecting the past and the present.”
There is plenty to enjoy on Out Of My Mind. She gives her boyfriend the very open hint to “put a ring on my finger” in “No Ring Blues.” The life-long commitments that lovers make in “Lay My Head On Your Pillow.” Her sensational vocals alongside acoustic guitar and trumpet on “Forgiveness.” And closing the disc with “Alone,” featuring Taylor on piano along with guitar interplay from Mignano. The song is beautifully done and the perfect track to close out a well put together album.
Cassie Taylor continues to grow as an artist and is destined to take the forefront; as if she has not already done just that already in her brief career working with younger musicians and holding a spot on The Blues Foundation’s board of directors. A mover and shaker in the newest of the blues’ generations, expect to see Cassie Taylor remain in the spotlight for many years to come.
Total Time: 49:51
Ol’ Mama Dean (Part 1) / Ol’ Mama Dean (Part 2) / Spare Some Love / Out Of My Mind (Intro) / Out Of My Mind / Lay My Head On Your Pillow / New Orleans / No Ring Blues / No No / Forgiveness / Gone And Dead / That’s My Man / Again