Times Square Residency: Mick Taylor Live

May 15th, 2012 by The Professor


Renowned guitarist Mick Taylor flirts his fascination with the Blues

– by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

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Ace guitarist Michael Kevin Taylor triumphantly hosted a series of twelve performances in Times Square delivering fierce blues jams across six consecutive nights. As luck would bless those in attendance, a consensus of critical commentary has identified the first blistering set held on Saturday, May 12, 2012, as the outstanding overall appearance from MKT’s extended residency at the Iridium Jazz Club.

Taylor’s collection of stage musicians forming the musical muscle of his incendiary blues band included Jeff Allen on drums, Wilbur Bascomb on bass guitar, Arno Hecht on Saxophone, Max Middleton on keyboards, and Hamish Stuart as second guitarist. Almost half of Taylor’s choice in live material came from his excellent second studio album A Stone’s Throw issued in 2000.

No two setlists out of the twelve concerts were carbon copies of one another. Taylor decisively mixed up his selection in songs that he played for each individual show. The early Saturday crowd was treated to an impromptu rendition of “Alabama” off his self-titled debut solo album from 1979. However, Taylor’s unanticipated rearrangement of the 1968 Brian Jones bottleneck classic “No Expectations” as his singular encore was a surprise indeed.

Taylor got an early start as a star guitarist playing for John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers, assuming a lead guitarist position vacated by Eric Clapton who left to form Cream in 1966. By the summer of 1969, Brian Jones was ill-suited to continue rolling with the Stones and with Mick Jagger itching to tour the USA, a decision was reached between Jagger & Richards to replace Jones as guitarist in the R&B group.

Jagger turned to Mayall for advice on what to do and whom to choose. Mayall offered up his own 20 year old guitarist Mick Taylor as a replacement for Brian Jones. The change in Stones personnel was announced in June 1969. An unbelievable rumor suggests that Jagger phoned Ronnie Laine asking if Ron Wood would like to join The Rolling Stones with Laine responding in an affirmative ‘No’. Woody would not actually begin rolling with the Stones until their 1975 U.S. tour.

The Stones are presently idle having reached 50 years as a British Rock & Roll institution. Their cluster of albums released from 1969 through 1972: Let It Bleed, Get Your Ya-Ya’s Out, Sticky Fingers, and Exile On Main Street all featuring the fancy fret work of Mick Taylor, are considered to be the recording peak during The Rolling Stones five decade career. Many Stones fans continue to argue Taylor over Wood as the Stones better lead guitarist.

Mick Taylor appearing live in performance was an exceedingly welcome experience. Taylor’s guitar playing was both fluid and masterful. His scorching bottleneck blues jams alone were worth the price of admission to enjoy in an intimate venue. Mick’s voice was in fine form as well. Taylor exhibited exponential potential for his future musical career endeavors. Hopefully, Taylor is sufficiently encouraged to undertake a full-scale U.S. roadtrip to display his guitar gifts before an expanded American audience.

Mick Taylor, Iridium Jazz Club, New York May 12, 2012 setlist: Secret AffairTwisted SisterLate At Night * Fed Up With The Blues * AlabamaCan't You Hear Me Knocking * Encore: No Expectations (2nd set: Losing My Faith * Blind Willie McTell)




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