Artist: Tasha Taylor
Album: Honey For The Biscuit
Label: Ruf Records
Release Date: 03/18/2016
If Tasha Taylor wants to tour all over Europe and the UK, go for it, Girlfriend, but come home soon. US audiences deserve to hear this supple alto voice that’s tenderly, confidently devoted to blues and soul. Her dad, Stax legend Johnnie Taylor (1934-2000), was known for #1 hits such as “I Believe In You,” “Who’s Making Love,” and “Disco Lady” (the first certified platinum single ever). But Taylor doesn’t rest on her pedigree. She’s produced her third album beautifully, spotlighting her singing with Don Wyatt on Wurlitzer piano, plus sax, guitar, bass, horns and percussion. She plays guitar and percussion herself. If that’s not enough, Taylor wrote all 13 songs, alone or with Tom Hambridge and Richard Fleming, tackling tough moments when feelings take over and it’s hard to think clearly.
The opener, “Feels So Good,” celebrates freedom after a breakup, with a classic Stax groove, a modern, electronic gloss, appealing reverb and first-rate backup vocals. A bluesy charmer, “Little Miss Suzie,” tells of a woman who seeks pleasure without a thought for the consequences. Taylor’s at her best here, modern and rootsy, edgy and comfortable. The meaty story and impassioned performance of “That Man” are a perfect blend that deserves a video.
On “Leave That Dog Alone,” a witty strut with a crisp groove, Samantha Fish’s blistering guitar and soulful backup vocals sound like a whole houseful of sisters have got Taylor’s back. Taylor will set your shoulders moving as she sings, “Better Leave That Dog Alone/ because his back ain’t got no bone.” Special guests include Keb’ Mo’ (guitar, vocals) and Robert Randolph (lap steel).
– Annie Dinerman