Otis Taylor, "Clovis People, Vol. 3"

81 Billboard Rating

For the record, Otis Taylor never recorded two other volumes of "Clovis People" albums. And while there really was an ancient civilization known as the Clovis People, none of the 12 songs here are about them. But Taylor likes to keep his listeners on their toes, and "Clovis People, Vol. 3"--a collision of roots and blues driven by his own guitar and banjo playing--is another thought-provoking entry in his canon. Taylor is at his best when he turns the right combination of chord and groove into an intense raga, which happens on tracks like the murder ballad "Little Willie," "It's Done Happened Again" and "Harry, Turn the Music Up." The song "Ain't No Cowgirl" is country blues right down to the yippee-ki-yays, and "Hands on Your Stomach" has a rolling rock'n'roll current, while the dark ebb and flow of "Rain So Hard" feels prescient of Nashville's recent tribulations. Taylor may be a proud old soul, but he never ceases to channel it in a fresh direction.

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