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October 21, 2007

Little Johnny Taylor/Blues Bud Lenny. By:Mo (9/07)

I was at my blues buddy, Lenny's, house the other day. I visit him every now & then. I should more often, no excuse really, but I promise to more often from this point on.
You see....this guy has turned me on to so much blues I would of never discovered on the national blues scene.
Locally? I think I've done pretty good. I keep him updated on that scene for he doesn't get out at all anymore. Health problems and disabilities, seclusion, you know....life.
I just love this guy and take his friendship for granted.

He's full blood Italian, grew up in South Philly, 50 something years old, you get my point. Hard core blues fan. Some thrills from Doo-Wap too.
First time I met him, maybe ten plus years ago, he was workin' the production line, I was workin' the cafeteria.
I'm down doing something behind the counter, he's walkin' in with the lunchtime crew singin' "Boom, Boom, Boom..." and I pop up and respond, "Gonna shoot ya right down..." and that was all she wrote.
At that time I was dabblin' in the blues gettin' my feet wet on the local scene and he introduced more national stuff. He had subscriptions to all the blues magazines at that time, buys lots of CDs, religiously listens to what blues radio shows he can get......That's Lenny.
Sure wish he had a computer!!
Man, a whole new blues world would open for him.
Oh my god.....look out. You think I'm bad!
He's the one that made me what I am. It's all Lenny's fault. As a matter of fact...Lenny was the one to turn me onto Nick Moss for the first time. You want to talk about a Nick Moss fan??!!

Anyway...
We sometimes swap CDs, usually me loaning him all the local ones I pick up. He would never hear of most of them if it wasn't for me bringing them over and telling him about the shows. He don't get out anymore.
I asked him if he had any Little Johnny Taylor and I never ask him to borrow CDs.
I don't like the whole responsibility thing..... I don't know.

He looked at me strange and said, "I don't know, Mo. I don't think you'll like him. He's too soulful, a lot of R&B for you, I bet."
Kinda feeling insulted, I said, "I don't know, I just love his singing and I'm in that mood I guess".

We went back & forth about it for a few and he tried to give me Johnny Copeland and John Littlejohn saying that I would like them better. Sure I like Johnny Clyde and can't wait to become more familiar with John Littlejohn, but I was just in the mood for that voice of Johnny Taylor. There was no talkin' me out of it, although he tried.
So I got out of there with Little Johnny Taylor's Greatest Hits, (Galaxy years) and two each of Johnny Copeland and John Littlejohn. Seems to be a lot of "Johnny's" in this piece for some reason. Weird.

I don't think I've listened to the others but for a minute just yet, because I can't seem to get away from that Little Taylor. Some tasty horn arrangements and the guitar work on some of those numbers is just down-right twitter-pating!
According to the linear notes by Lee Hildebrand, who's playing on the songs is obscure. Arthur Wright, a studio guitarist, is on many I guess. Never heard of him but he's great if it's indeed him.
I'm glad I finally got the message about Little Johnny Taylor. Come to find out about him, he sang in church for many years before recording as a blues artist and playing clubs. Thus the reason I felt the need to submerge myself into his music, I guess.
For I have seen the light when this guy wails and it was healing!

Yep.... just in the mood I guess.
Funny how one's taste in the blues is forever evolving. So many shades and flavors.
I'm outta here. Gonna go read this piece on Little Johnny Taylor by Lee on the sleeve a bit better, give Little Johnny a break and blast some old Nick Moss while I paint.

Later,
Mo

Posted by Mo at October 21, 2007 07:43 PM

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