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Chip Taylor: Songs from a Dutch Tour

Album Notes

Songwriter Chip Taylor has had a long and "interesting" career. He's one of those lucky few who J.J. Cale once mused about when he said: "Songwriting is a good gig, you can make some money at it." Taylor's made plenty from two songs in particular, "Wild Thing," the enormous hit for the Troggs, and "Angel of the Morning," that has scored for no less than three different performers and has indeed outlasted two of them. Taylor, who gave up music for a time to become a professional gambler -- horses were his game -- is under some wild impression that there are enough people who care about his unremarkable recording career to purchase this unwieldy package: a beautifully printed and lavishly illustrated trade paperback book that serves as autobiography, tour diary souvenir/scrapbook, and tongue in cheek philosophical tome. It's combined with a CD of all new material. Taylor can't sing to save his life, but he can write like some tawdry mischievous angel who soaks up all things human and divine. So there's a trade-off. The music found here is largely introspective, but it contains lots of wry humor and pathos and reminiscence. The individual tracks fall into a loopy narrative that is part good-time traveling minstrel, and part old dog looking back on a life. There's no point singling out individual tracks, they are recorded and sequenced much as the book is, a kind of emotional travelogue of places real and imagined, encountered and felt. Taylor's fans will find this irresistible as folk, country, and laid-back rock all bleed together in a steamy brew, as he's backed by a crack three-piece band of Northern Europe's finest. Though Taylor seems to think this will find its way into the hands of new fans, it's hard to see how, given the price tag and the rather insider nature of it all, but that's OK. As an artist, his story is more interesting than most so he's permitted some shortsightedness. This is one of those singer/songwriter recordings that is for the real aficionados of the genre; it will delight, amuse, and enthrall them no doubt. ~ Thom Jurek


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