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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2007
I bought the album and the first track floored me with it's driving rythm but laid back style. Gary Moore adds very tasteful lead guitar throughout but doesn't dominate. Otis Taylor's voice is a perfect match for the music, gravelly and genuine. you could buy the CD just for this song!

The rest of the album doesn't disappoint and is refreshingly unique. The music is often driving trance blues, but instruments like piano, cornet, mandolin etc are subtle and never over-done.

All in all, this is a unique and unusual album. An album that will draw you in and you find yourself listening to it over and over. Absolutely fantasic!

(By the way, if you like this you should also try Michael Powers)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2010
Fantastic blues that creates real atmosphere. Excellent lead guitar playing from Gary Moore on tracks 6 & 8. Great use of unusual instruments - banjo, mandolin, cello etc. Otis's voice has real grit & emotion & is made for blues. Stand out tracks "Black's Mandolin Boogie", & especially "They Wore Blue" & "Few Feet Away" with gorgeous female vocals from Cassie Taylor. All tracks good except track 10 "Long Long Life" which for me doesn't work & is too repetitive. If you like the blues buy this cd.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2009
The sign of an artist that is keen to develop can be heard when he or she looks to expand the boundaries of their chosen field, rather than completing album after album of similar sounding songs. One such artist is Otis Taylor, who has taken a far from conventional approach to his music.

This is best demonstrated in his 2007 album Definition Of A Circle. The album features a diverse set of themes, feels and instrumentation. The instruments features on this album include electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric cello, banjo, lap steel, trumpet, Hammond organ and harmonic. The album includes some guest collaborations with Charles Musslewhite and Gary Moore amongst others, plus some superb backing vocals from Otis' daughter Cassie. This is certainly not "the same old blues", indeed as Billboard have stated "Otis Taylor is one of the most innovative, thought provoking blues artists to emerge in the last 20 years." You'd do well to give him a listen.

Definition of A Circle begins with the energetic track Little Betty. Taylor's banjo and some moody Hammond organ are backed by the sharp sound of Gary Moore's guitar which threatens to dominate the song, but thankfully never does so, instead providing some sharp guitar tones after each verse of Taylor's vocals.

The second track is even better. "Blacks Mandolin Boogie" naturally features Taylor on that instrument but what adds a fine touch is the backing cello and drum pattern which help drive the song along, much in the same way as the guitar in the previous song. The lyrics relate to the plight of gypsies in Europe, which may seem a strange subject matter for Taylor, although his success has been more apparent to date on the eastern side of the pond.

A subject matter far closer to home is apparent on the track Looking Over Your Fence where Taylor bemoan the fact his possessions and indeed his wife have gone astray and he has the suspicion they are not too far way. The song is a boogie which finishes on a threatening note, before restarting a second time. Charlie Musslewhite provide superb lead harmonica on this song, which provides further variety to the song.

A Few Feet Away is a lullaby from Taylor to his daughter Casie who features prominently in the track as a vocalist herself and the tune is backed with tasteful use of the cornet and cello from Ron Miles and Zach Miskin respectively. While Long Long Life has some very entertaining interplay between piano and cornet. They Wore Blue is a song written about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina which follows a complicated arrangement, whilst Love and Hesitation is far more simple: It features both Taylor and Moore and the overall product blurs the distinctions between blues and rock.

The lyrics on the album are simple but effective. An example of this is the closing track Lifetime to Freedom with the message that freedom is more important the material possessions.

From this release it does appear that freedom is a mantra for Otis Taylor. He has freed himself from the dangers of repetition sadly quite often apparent in the blues. Instead he has brought together a bold and ambitious set of songs, which really do demonstrate that old dogs can indeed keep on performing new tricks.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2007
This, my introduction to Otis Taylor, is a gorgeous, varied electric blues album.

Whilst the dominant feature of the soundscape is some superb, bluesy guitar playing, the variety of Otis's instrumentation and arrangements is such as to keep you hooked into this album from the first song until the very end. Piano, organ, strings, brass as well as other instruments are used to create the layer of sound on which Otis lays down a gorgeous blues beat. The addition of a female vocalist on a couple of the songs adds to the mystique of this wonderful album.

Extremely enjoyable! I will now be chasing down his back catalogue!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2009
If you're a blues fan and are looking for something with pedigree that is also new this is a good place to look. It's Otis Taylor's most accessible album to date, the hypnotic one chord riffs are still there, the subject matter equally as earnest but the music has more light and shade than his previous work - especially daughter Cassie's vocals and the introduction of different instruments and the relatively ambitious arrangements. The album kicks off with Gary Moore adding some savage guitar playing over a pulsating riff. This track alone is worth the entry price. If you like this you might like the darker yet award winning "White African" album. These albums are the real deal.
Meanwhile if Seasick Steve is the Status Quo of the one chord blues, Otis Taylor the Jimi Hendrix!
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on 22 June 2015
1,82 L for shipment is reasonable, 3,6 L is an abuse, please consider maintain the charge of 1,82 L
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on 1 July 2015
for me otis can do no wrongfeet up bottle of bourbon and this cd on nice way to start the evening
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2013
I bought this CD on the strength of the fact that I knew that I was going to be able to see Taylor perform live at the Trasimeno Blues Festival whilst on holiday in Umbria, Italy. It is an interesting if unspectacular recording with some tracks featuring the late Gary Moore on guitar. What distinguishes this recording from many other contemporary blues recordings is the sound textures employed which differentiate these songs from the standard fare.
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on 8 September 2015
Otis and Gary play the blues
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on 17 May 2015
Good blues album.
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