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Stop The Presses: Record Reviews
Review of "SOUTHSIDEGUITAR"
from 3rd Coast Music Magazine, March 2002 issue
by John Conquest ***** (5 Stars)
3CM's standing masthead disclaimer of any pretense of objectivity comes in real handy right now because there is no way I could feign being impartial about this album, nor would I want to. These are two of my all-time favorite guitarists in the entire world, so far as I'm concerned, What's not to like? Both from Lubbock and friends for some 30 years, Taylor and Reed are both amazing players, and they're both the kind of musician who'd rather be out playing even for tips and beer than stay home and watch TV, and they're both the kind of musician who simply takes care of business, no flash, no showboating, no genius is plain bullshit. Taylor is, of course, by far the better known of the two, exploding onto international awareness in the late 70s with The Joe Ely Band, and I still say it's no coincidence that Ely's career lost, and never regained, momentum after Taylor was let go in 1981. He's played and recorded with, among many others, Terry Allen, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ely and Billy Joe Shaver, and has two blues albums under his own name, Last Night and Texas Tattoo plus Rhythm Oil with Terry Clarke & Michael Messer. Though Reed has also recorded with Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and with Doug Sahm, Roky Erickson and others, he's low profile even in Austin, virtually unknown outside, but if Taylor has no others, Reed is very mush his peer. Though they've never recorded together before and this album was cut in a matter of days, with George Raines on drums and Glen Fukanaga on bass, they unerringly found a place where Taylor's blues and Reed's country and rock and roll strengths mesh together and I'm here to tell you their twin guitars will knock your socks off. The 13 instrumentals- both men do sing, but wisely chose to stick to what they do best- include three originals, Freddie King's Sen-Say-Shum and San Ho Zay, Blind Lemon Jefferson's Black Snake Moan, A Spaghetti Western take on the Keepers' Johanna Street, The Ventures' Ram-Buck-Shush with Ventures bassman Nokie Edwards sitting in, Chuck Berry's Memphis, Lonnie Mack Style, Buck Owens & Don Rich's Cajun Fiddle, Cannonball Adderley's Sack O'Woe, Floyd Cramer's Last Date and Hank Williams' On The Banks Of The Pontchartrain. Outside of Surf, all-instrumental guitar albums have been pretty thin on the ground for a long time, but this one might convince you that it doesn't always start with a song. Now it's time to see if I can play two air guitars at the same time.
Jesse "Guitar" Taylor & John X Reed