Hughes Taylor – Modern Nostalgia | Album Review

Hughes Taylor – Modern Nostalgia

The Bent Note

12 songs time – 55:55

Guitarist-Singer-Songwriter Hughes Taylor brings an energy and creativity to his mainly rock format. It veers into blues-rock territory at times, with one strictly blues song. His music brings to mind a slew of rock and roll guitar giants such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robin Trower, Peter Green…etc.. He enlisted a very able roster of musicians to support his musical vision. His smooth but sturdy voice fits into each song like a glove. His guitar technique draws various tricks from the guitar slinger catalogue, be it wah-wah, distortion, string bending to the max and who knows what else. His mastery of his instrument is kind of amazing.

Right out of the gate the funky drum pattern of Greg Sassaman leads into a heavy funkified guitar groove on “Treat Me Right”. Hughes brings some stinging soloing to the mix. “Riffs Are Us” continue on into “Prettiest Thief” as the guitar fights it out with Tom Wilson’s tasty organ. The slower “Wicked Woman” enables Wilson to take a longer organ solo against a clear as glass toned guitar. One begins to realize by now that Hughes and his guitar are essentially one.

A bit of Robin Trower-ness pops up in “Dreamily” that also includes some piercing guitar soloing. Sean Williams adds percussion to the floating on a cloud atmosphere ala Trower. The ongoing Covid situation is broached on the Hendrix style wah-wah inflected “Quarantine Blues”. His wah-wah guitar is unleashed like a striking cobra. Showing he is no one-trick pony, he unleashes his nasty slide guitar skills on “Highwayman”.

A Hendrix vibe returns on the slower organ infused “The Refugee”, although it no less intense. The slide guitar is of a more mellow nature on “Waiting” as it is set off against electric piano and organ. Zoltan Somogyi closes out the song with his melodic whistling. “No Evil Love” begins life as a wistful acoustic number before turning to wonderfully rambling guitar that sounds like it could of been lifted from The Allman Brothers Band. Meant as a compliment.

The shuffle “She’s My Everything” features Sam Nelon’s Saxaphone as a juxtaposition to the ever-present guitaring. Heavy guitar ala Mountain leads the charge in “Trouble”, along with the usual self-assured vocals. Although traces of it pop up elsewhere, the only Bonafide blues song “Excuses” closes out the CD via solid blues guitar, a yearning vocal, piano and organ. Did somebody say organ? Tom Wilson squeezes everything out of his B-3 here. Hughes plays it out with a blistering solo.

Guitar aficionados this is your candy store. This dude can flat out play! It doesn’t hurt that the songs are well crafted and played by first rate musicians. Hughes also handled the production on this his fourth studio release. Lovers of classic rock and music lovers in general will find much to savor within.

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