Tuesday, July 22, 2014

INTERVIEW with BLUES KEYBOARD MASTER * GENE TAYLOR

click photo to enlarge
American born blues piano player and showman, Gene Taylor has a list of accolades and has performed with so many of the blues greats, it boggles the mind.

His powerful, foot stomping, heart pumping, dance driven syncopated boogie woogie piano playing is what everyone in the blues music world now thinks of when you mention the name Gene Taylor.

That is not to say, that Gene doesn't know how to take it slow on the keys and drive home a heart stopping blues ballad too!

There isn't a blues fan alive today in the USA or Canada - and now spreading across Europe -  that has not been touched by the music of this magic man! He is even archived in Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Taylor_(pianist)

I was very surprised and pleased to see that Mr. Taylor since 2007 has been living and working part-time in Europe spreading his brand of boogie blues to the Belgians and to the rest of Europe – even Spain. (Visit GENE-TAYLOR.COM - to see his tour dates in Spain)

Karla with Gene at the
Catalina Blues Fest 2001
Over the many years that I have been a music journalist, I have only met Gene Taylor on two occasions – once in Ontario, Canada and once in California. Both times, I felt like I had known him forever. This time was no different as I got right down to asking the questions that were on my mind.

I had to know what Mr. Taylor thought of Spain and of course how he felt about the Spanish people and musicians adopting and integrated the blues into their culture.

Gene Taylor offers some interesting and insightful wisdom into the world of blues music and its effects on all cultures reinforcing the knowledge that the blues is truly an international music format that comes from the heart and soul.

INTERVIEW 

CBBLUES: You are probably the hardest working blues musician in the world today!!! You have been travelling far and wide and I am very curious as to what you think of Spain? What parts have you seen? Do you like the culture, the wine, the food, the beaches, and the history?

  • GT: I'm certainly not the hardest working blues musician in the world (ha-ha-ha), but I do get around. I've been to quite a few of the different areas of Spain (north, south, central, the beaches, mountains, most large cities and some small towns) and enjoy the culture, food, wine and — most of all — the friendly people. 



Gene Taylor performing with Valencian blues band the Fabulouso Blueshakers

CBBLUES: I know that you have played with some Spanish musicians while on tour here. Do you find that their interpretation of the blues is different or the same? If so - how do you think it compares or is unique?

  • GT: The many fine Spanish musicians I've played with do have slightly different interpretations of the blues. I've found that the more experienced players, those who are already quite comfortable in basic blues, are able to incorporate various Latin rhythms into the music to great effect. The drummers and bass players in Spain are particularly good.

Gene Taylor performing with Valencian blues band the Fabulouso Blueshakers

CBBLUES: Does it surprise you that Spanish musicians have a keen interest and understanding of the blues? Please explain..

  • GT: It doesn't surprise me because blues, and its subject matter, is fairly simple music that the average person can relate to. I've found in virtually all countries that, despite any language differences, most people can relate to the emotion of blues music, even if they can't always understand the precise meaning of the words of a particular song. 


CBBLUES: Do you think you will back in Spain again, after this tour? If so - perhaps with some planning, you could come and meet our small but loyal blues aficionados here on the Costa Blanca :)

  • GT: I plan to keep coming back to Spain as long as the audiences want me. And I would enjoy playing for the blues fans in Costa Blanca.


CBBLUES: Have you heard about or seen the new Mel Brown tribute movie. I have only seen bits of it - as I am in Spain, but everyone says it is very well done :)

  • GT: I haven't seen it but have heard good things about the film.


CBBLUES: All the best - and hope to see you soon. Karla Darocas xx

  • GT: All the best to yourself and the blues fans of Spain.