” We’re goin’ to the Roadhouse gonna have a real…good time! ” – The Doors- ” Roadhouse Blues”
When you’re the daughter of famous Chicago bluesman Otis Taylor, but raised around many genres of music, it’s good to keep in mind that ” they all come from the blues “, as Cassie pointed out on Saturday night to a crowd of aging whitebread patrons perhaps unfamiliar with the genealogy of her g-g-generation’s hip-hop and rap. So when she spliced Trent Reznor’s ” Closer to God ” together with the Etta James blues chestnut ” I Just Wanna Make Love to You “, hopefully many saw the connection. That is, if they could get over the shock of the pretty young big-haired woman singing ” I wanna fuck you like an animal “. Not that it bothered me!
So it is with the style-shifting Ms. Taylor, who glides easily between pop ( ” Satisfy My Soul”, from the Girls With Guitars project with Samantha Fish and Dani Wilde), R and B ( ” Leavin’ Chicago”), rock ( “Out of My Mind “), brassy funk ( ” New Orleans”), and slow blues ( ” Lay My Head On Your Pillow” ). Her edgy stage persona ( ” if you know her father, you know where she gets it “, according to promoter Amy Whitesell) contrasts sharply with her runway model looks ( she has her own designer label) and ordinarily soothing voice. But those sweet expressions and dulcet tones can turn to snarling growls in a heartbeat, so watch your ass!
Otis told Cassie to learn songwriting, ” because it’s the only way to make money in this business”, she says, and her set at Crystola featured precious few covers, save the Nine Inch Nails/Etta James mashup noted above. The songs on her fine new CD, ” Out of My Mind ” ( Yellow Dog Records), reflect her hard work to overcome childhood dyslexia and craft narratives reflecting her own perspective and influences. Not surprisingly, given the pride that she shared in her parents’ long-term marriage on her last visit to the Springs area ( check the archives!), themes of marriage ( ” No Ring Blues”, ” Again” ) and family ( ” Lay My Head On Your Pillow” ) recur throughout. While the CD was cut at Boulder’s Immersive Studios, sassy Cassie has recently tied the knot and relocated to Kansas City with her beau, whose own devotion is chronicled in the liner notes: ” Dedicated to My Man, who sold his car to make the album “. Talk about givin’ it up!
So it all made sense when Cassie lead in to ” Forgiveness” by asking the crowd, ” how many of you have parents?”, and hearing little reply, taunted, ” so the rest of you were raised by wolves.. Howlin’ Wolves” ! See, it really does all get back to the blues.
Mr. Phledge regrets that journalistic integrity compelled reporting the profane lyric verbatim– Editors.