When Eddie Taylor Sr.,
a founder of postwar Chicago blues and the genius behind the
famous Jimmy Reed, passed away in 1985, his red
guitar, a Gibson 355 stereo, was left sitting in the corner.
Eddie Jr., the third son in the family, had grown up hearing
blues, but his main interest at the time was the current
hip-hop music. One day he started listening to his father's
records, picked up the guitar, hooked it up to the old Fender
tube amp, and started teaching himself to play and sing.
Today, at only 36 years old, Eddie Taylor Jr. is a leader in
traditional Chicago blues. "Most people who play the blues
today don't have the old original feel. I respect all the
musicians, but there are certain musicians who give me that
true feeling that I really want", he says. Eddie's
sophisticated playing allows him to bring back some old
favorites and add his own new tunes that are a bit too tricky
for the average blues bar band to copy. Fans are sure to tap
their toes when he belts out "Cut You Loose," a Ricky Allen
tune which was a favorite of his late mother Vera. "I can play
along with a lot of different kinds of music," says Eddie,
"but when it's my turn to stand up, I play what I play. I
don't know whether the person in front of me in the audience
knows anything about Eddie Taylor Sr. or Jimmy Reed, or if
they are a jazz fan or a classical fan looking to hear
something different. But the music I play, I play like me.
That's the way I do it."
Eddie's rising star was temporarily knocked aside in 2002,
when he suffered a severe kidney ailment. His youngest brother
Milton came to his rescue and donated a kidney. With the
support of family and fans, Eddie has regained his
strength-and it shows on the bandstand. Like his father, he
lays down a great rhythm line for harmonica players, appearing
on CDs by traditional harpists Little Arthur Duncan and
Easy Baby and backing up Easy Baby in the Chicago 2003
Blues Festival. Eddie's Wolf Records tribute to his father,
"Lookin' for Trouble" features outstanding musicians such as Eddie
Shaw on sax, Johnny B. Moore on guitar, and Martin
Lane on harmonica. His own new Wolf release "Worried
About My Baby" has five of his own compositions. Both Wolf
records feature his brothers Larry and Tim on drums.
Eddie kept on recording through the 2000’s, his last recording
From the Country to the City is an unplugged session
with Harmonica Hinds and Tré. Today Eddie
Taylor jr. is one of the few guitarists left who can still
play the original Chicago Blues style. He sings both his own
songs and the songs of his father. Every year, Eddie plays at
the Chicago Blues Festival. This Festival will take place at
the Grand Park and be attended by more than 300.000 visitors.
Additionally, Eddie Taylor jr. was part of the Chicago Blues
Festival that toured Europe two years ago.