Remembering Eddie Taylor Jr.: A Legacy of Blues

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A Tribute to the Chicago Blues Prodigy
The blues community suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Eddie Taylor Jr. on March 8, 2019. Born into the illustrious musical lineage of Eddie Taylor and Vera Taylor, Eddie Jr. was not just a keeper of the Chicago blues tradition; he was a vibrant innovator whose guitar strings vibrated with the spirit of the Westside sound.

Early Beginnings and Musical Education
I first encountered Eddie in April 1995 at the Acme Recording Studio in Chicago, introduced by the legendary bassist Willie Kent. Even then, Eddie Jr. was a striking figure, wielding his father’s iconic Red Gibson guitar. His performance of “Ride’em on down,” accompanied by family and fellow musicians, heralded the arrival of a formidable talent in the blues scene. This moment marked the beginning of a fruitful and enduring relationship between Eddie and Wolf Records, spanning over two decades.

Artistic Contributions and Career Highlights
Eddie Taylor Jr.’s discography began with a heartfelt homage to his father, encompassing classics like “Bad Boy” and “Big Town Playboy.” His recordings often featured contributions from his family, underscoring the deep familial ties that grounded his music. Notably, his first album earned him the Real Blues Award for the best Chicago Blues CD of 1998, and he was later inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame as a Master-Blues-Artist.

His work extended beyond the studio, taking him on tours across Europe as part of the Chicago Blues Festival lineup alongside artists like Lurrie Bell. In the studio, Eddie was a meticulous producer, with a clear vision for the arrangements and sound he wanted to achieve.

Personal Reflections and the Chicago Blues Scene
My last meeting with Eddie was in August 2018, in the vibrant ambiance of Club Space and at Buddy Guy’s Legends, a testament to his standing in the local blues community. His sisters, Edna, Demetria, and Brenda, played pivotal roles in his career, helping him gain recognition in the competitive Chicago blues club scene.

Eddie’s music resonated with the soulful echoes of his father’s legacy, yet he infused his performances with a personal touch that included his original songs like “Worried about My Baby” and “Can’t Take It No More.” His style remained deeply rooted in the traditional Chicago blues, a torchbearer for the genre in times of changing musical landscapes.

Legacy and Lasting Impact
Though plans for another album in autumn 2019 remained unfulfilled, Eddie Taylor Jr.’s musical contributions continue to resonate. He is remembered not only for his mastery of the blues but also for his ability to connect with audiences through authentic storytelling and heartfelt performances.

In memory of Eddie Taylor Jr., we not only mourn the loss of a great musician but also celebrate the enduring influence he has left on the blues world. His spirit lives on in every note of his music and in the hearts of those who had the privilege to experience his artistry firsthand.

Thank you, Eddie, for your incredible talent and for keeping the blues alive for future generations.

Wolf Records International