“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Eddie Taylor, the man that made all the great Jimmy Reed records, all the John Lee Hooker records, and all the Eddie Taylor records,” gushes the emcee. “Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest guitar player in the world.”
As preserved on Still Not Ready for Eddie, recorded live at Antone’s the year of its GOAT’s demise on Christmas Day 1985, the club owner’s not lying. Musketeered by three additional axe-grinders (Hubert Sumlin, Luther Tucker, Jimmy Rogers) and electrified by Snooky Pryor’s harp and pianist Sunnyland Slim’s pedigree (Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter), Taylor burns. Nearly all band members belonging to the blues’ postwar migration from Mississippi to Chicago, the Antone’s Records release blisters open atop “Bad Boy,” gets randy with “Knockin’ at Your Door,” and beams bright lights via “Bigtown Playboy,” all three Taylor tunes matching covers of Muddy Waters and Elmore James.
Famously jamming with the talent, Clifford J. Antone returns from the beyond to promote this centennial. Six of Taylor and wife Vera Burns Hill’s eight children became performers, so the five survivors reunite Friday to reignite, plus guest John Primer. “That was Eddie Taylor, big town playboy,” concludes Austin’s giddy host. Ghost notes courtesy of Antone and his esteemed heavenly comrade.
Fri., Jan. 27, 8pm