The Gazette:
Band Reviews, October 29, 1997

Here's what Brad Brownlow has to say in the Colorado Springs Gazette the week of October 29 about the Joanne Taylor Rhythm & Blues Revue:

The Lowdown: Can I Get a Witness?

Recently I've come to the conclusion that a little bit of vice in one's life is not only a good thing, it is a requirement. Nothing Moses will throw the tablets at me for--I have in mind only the misdemeanors of sin. You know, coveting your neighbor's amber ale or betting the rent on the over/under of a Monday Night Football game.

To me, sin is a savior, allowing emancipation through vice. And vice, so that it may be fully appreciated, requires a soundtrack. And that soundtrack is soul music.

The union between the church and roadhouse soul music embodies the absurd contradictions that characterize our existence. Like the blues, soul speaks to our inner fears and our deepest sorrows, but, like gospel, soul remains hopeful of a source of endurance.

Created in the midst of both a beautiful and repugnant Southern culture, soul music, like vice, is simultaneously life-affirming and life-denying. Soul holds out for the possibility of love but is always aware of the fragility of such a promise. Soul is a spirited reaction to a miserable human condition. At its best, soul music, like vice, helps us to transcend this condition and subversively obliterates individual consciousness, inviting us to join the chorus.

The rhythms of soul are ancient, primordial; they, like vice, have been with us for time immemorial. The priests and priestesses of this culture have walked the earth for just as long. I'm here to tell you that a disciple of this ancient ethic resides in our midst. Her name is Joanne Taylor.

A local soul goddess, Taylor is no heretic--she is the real deal. First recorded at the age of 9 as a backup vocalist with the then 7-year-old Aretha Franklin, Taylor and her Rhythm & Blues Revue have been turning dens of inquity into barroom bacchanalia from Kansas City to the Springs for several years.

Backed by Smokin' Joe Shallow on guitar, Dallas journeyman "Magic" Dave Therault on the harp, bassist Walter "Bonedaddy" Chase and drummer "Dangerous" Doug Mortenson, Joanne Taylor and the Rhythm & Blues Revue deliver soul and blues chestnuts from deep in the pocket.

Whether vamping on one chord for 10 minutes while Ms. Taylor testifies or deftly solos on top of a watertight, 12-bar blues riff, the Rhythm and Blues Revue consistently turn out the best soul music I have had the pleasure of indulging in for quite some time.

This is the music for drinking. This is the music for sex. This is the music for those things you're not supposed to do but you do anyway, because they make you feel alive. If you have been feeling the urge to be bad, to sin, you owe it to yourself to check out this band.

Copyright 1997 Colorado Springs Gazette