#11. Otis Taylor – ‘Hey Joe’

Hendrix was soft.

Otis Taylor’s one of those not-quite hidden gems that you probably actually have heard before but might not have realised – he’s had a few songs in movies, which is probably how I discovered him – ‘Ten Million Slaves’ was in Michael Mann’s John Dillinger biopic Public Enemies and ‘Nasty Letter’ was in the Mark Wahlberg thriller Shooter. And was probably that movie’s only redeeming feature.

This live cut from a few years back is something else, though. Clapton/Stevie Ray Vaughan wannabes murdered blues, and Otis Taylor is probably actually Sonny Boy Williamson’s ghost, walking the earth, seeking his revenge on those heinous genre murderers. Take out Dave Matthews while you’re at it, please?

So, um, the song. Why is this, the umpteenth version of one of the most obvious blues-rock standards in existence, worth mentioning at all? It’s just killer. Blues gets boring. This doesn’t. Guitar solos are lame. Kevin Dillon’s one here is near-perfect. Violin is not rock n’ roll. Anne Harris begs to disagree. Tired old song becomes new again. I’m biased. Otis Taylor is God.


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