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Hound Dog Taylor


Hound Dog Taylor was a Chicago Blues slide guitarist heavily influenced by the music of Elmore James. He worshipped it and learned from it, then he turned it upside down and mangled it till he damn near murdered it. His jagged, grinning slide guitar-shriek is the most raggedy and over-driven sound in all of blues. The unorthodox set-up of two guitars, drums, and no bass has much to do with the primal force of his recordings. The bass parts aren't weighted down by any clunky formations, freeing second guitarist Brewer Phillips to riff along with Hound Dog, providing a fluid, spiny bottom. The tunes are almost always fast, with thunder-strike leads and explosive solos. This is life-affirmingly exuberant stuff, with Taylor's vocals as ragged and soulful as his guitar. Hound Dog played almost every night of the week all over Chicago for years, until his death in 1975.
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