Otis Taylor’s Banjo on Octave Records

With “Otis Taylor’s Banjo on Octave Records”, Taylor’s compelling trance blues and pull-no-punches lyrics are powerfully delivered with state-of-the-art high-resolution DSD sound  

Boulder, Colorado, February 13, 2023 – PS Audio’s Octave Records announces the release of Banjo… by blues master Otis Taylor. One of the most compelling blues artists working today, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Taylor is the winner of five DownBeat awards, and Living Blues, W.C. Handy, and other awards. He has spent a lifetime creating his signature trance blues style, rooted in blues and blues/rock yet reaching far beyond with mesmerizing grooves and deep improvisations.
Banjo… features six new songs and five reworked versions of old favorites. The album embodies Taylor’s powerful musical style and unflinching lyrics. “This is not a ‘banjo’ album,” noted Taylor. “The banjo is just a name for the attitude. The history of the banjo follows the history of African Americans in this country, coming over on the slave ships with the banjo and playing in the fields, and playing the blues. I just report stories.”
On Banjo…, Otis Taylor sings and plays acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic and electric banjo, harmonica, and other instruments. He’s accompanied by his long-time bandmates: J.P Johnson (lead guitar), Nick Amodeo (electric bass, mandolin), Brian Juan (Hammond organ, piano, and Chuck Louden (drums). While tipping its hat to what’s gone before, Banjo… isn’t a standard 12-bar blues album – Taylor isn’t shy about letting a one-chord John Lee Hooker-style groove take hold, or use unconventional instrumentation, like the surprisingly effective Moog synthesizer on “Travel Guide” or the cellos (courtesy of guest musicians Beth Rosbach and Joseph Howe) that underpin “Little Willie.”

Banjo… was recorded in pure DSD 256 at Octave Studios in Boulder, Colorado. Octave’s facility utilizes its recently-upgraded recording chain, based around a Pyramix digital audio workstation. The album was produced by Otis Taylor and associate producer Joe Kessler, recorded and mixed by Jay Elliott, and mastered by David Glasser.
Otis Taylor delves deeply into past stories and current concerns. “Write a Book About It” offers a grandmother’s advice to her Black grandson: watch what you do. “Travel Guide” finds a world traveler wanting to bring his lover home to New Orleans.” In “12 Feet Under,” which showcases Taylor’s acoustic guitar and banjo playing in stunningly clear, up-close-and-personal sound, a good man sits down with the devil.

“Resurrection Blues” is devastating: Taylor puts himself into Jesus’s shoes, while J.P. Johnson rips up the guitar. Though the album is at times harrowing and always intense, it ends on a wise note with “Live Your Life”: enjoy what you’ve been given and take time to laugh.

Banjo… features Octave’s premium gold disc formulation, playable on any SACD, CD, DVD, or Blu-ray player. It also has a high-resolution DSD layer that is accessible by using any SACD player or a PS Audio SACD transport. In addition, the master DSD and PCM files are available for purchase and download including DSD 256, DSD 128, and DSD 64, DSDDirect Mastered 352.8 kHz/24-bit, 192 kHz/24-bit, 96 kHz/24-bit, 44.1 kHz/24-bit, and 44.1 kHz/16-bit PCM. (SRP: $19 – $39, depending on the format.)
If you would like Banjo… for review, or to purchase, please contact Frank Doris at frank@psaudio.com or 631-645-5668


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