Taylor follows the release of his superb, Handy Award-nominated album White African with an equally compelling record that is, unfailingly, a galvanizing listening experience.

Taylor follows the release of his superb, Handy Award-nominated album White African with an equally compelling record that is, unfailingly, a galvanizing listening experience. One of Taylor's most appealing traits is the intensity he brings to his music. He's deep in his blues, both as a writer and as a performer, and his level of engagement in his material is spellbinding. Respect the Dead opens with the ringing banjo licks of "Ten Million Slaves" and develops a driving tempo that carries into "Hands on Your Stomach," propelling the listener into Taylor's darkly-colored, compulsive, groove. Taylor's magic reaches its apex with "Shaker Woman" and "Black Witch," the latter being one of the most haunting (and haunted) blues songs tracked by anyone in recent memory. Taylor is a rare talent, and this is easily one of the most important blues albums of 2002. Distributed by Big Daddy.—PVV

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