"That ever growing group of young women that are making a splash in the blues pool has another well qualified participant. Her name is Pam Taylor. Had you not heard of her yet, give it some time... and I'm thinking a very short time, at that. Talent like this can't stay a secret too long.
Pam Taylor's a singer, songwriter and guitarist from the northern part of South Carolina who's got music in her genes. With a grandfather who wrote music and played guitar and a father who's been playing sax since the age of thirteen, it's obvious this leaf did not fall far from the Taylor family tree.
On her debut CD, "Hot Mess", Pam Taylor - who wrote nine of the discs ten tracks - is on vocals and guitar. She is joined by Mike Taylor on sax, Kyle Phillips on guitar, Rusty Gilreath on bass, and L. A. Freeman & Gerry Hagstedt on drums.
Being a huge Alvin Lee & Ten Years After fan, the opening track made me "Smile Again", as it reminded me of their version of "Schoolgirl". The track's a perfect intro to the band. Gerry and Rusty are all over the rhythm, Kyle's killin' it on lead guitar, Mike's sax leads are ear opening and Pam's flat out tellin' ya she can sing the hell out of a song. Good start.
This song describes the type of woman some of us guys may have spent some time messing around with. She's out every night, she wears her dresses way too tight, she's out on the town until the morning light and she's not living her life right.... so what exactly is the problem? Just as the women it's describing, this one's a smoker. There's no question that this fills the dance floor at the Pam Taylor Band's live shows. I'm just wondering who's the lucky guy dancing with the "Hot Mess"?
Those tiny little hairs on the back of your neck should be standing before "It's So Easy" makes it fifteen seconds into the song. That's what happened when I heard Mike's sax intro. And from there it just keeps getting better. This "Stray Cat Shuffle" sounding, song is another of many well done tracks. Strong rhythm, fierce sax and guitar leads, and sexy, sultry vocals sung with sass all highlight this one.
On "The Next Time You Think Of Cheating", Kyle's opening guitar intro had a similar effect on me that the sax did on the above track. Just because it's exactly the type of song that light's my blues fire - slow, raunchy, low down blues - this is by far the bands best work. It should be mandatory listening for any young women who want to learn how to sing the blues. Vocally and musically everyone's at discs best right here.
The only cover on the disc is a song that, I don't care how many people do, I'll never refer to it as an overdone cover. As long as it's done well - and Pam and the band nailed it - I will always welcome hearing "I'd Rather Go Blind". Pam's vocal range and emotional deliverance on this rendition are impeccable. This, as is often the case, is one of those great songs that adding a sax to makes it even greater. The flipping of the leads between dad on sax and Kyle on guitar is spine tingling. As I'm ending this part of the review it's no lie when I tell you I've already listened to this song more times than there are lines in the paragraph.
The five other tracks on "Hot Mess" are all tracks I could have easily had something wonderful to say about as well. But you'll just have to hear them for yourself. They are: "Whatcha Doin", "Not The Only One", "All The Same To Me", "I Ain't The One" and "All I Got Left".
Here I am, having not yet announced the winner of the 2012 "Blewzzy Award", and I'm already thinking this is the one to beat in 2013."
~ Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro "Mary 4 Music
If you'd like to get your hands, and your ears, on a copy of "Hot Mess" - and I believe you should - look Pam up at www.pamtaylorband.com. When you do, in addition to telling her the Blewzzman sent ya, tell her I said "WOW!"
"Listening to the new cuts from The Pam Taylor Band's new CD "Hot Mess"! Unfreakinbelievable!!! This CD is definitely going to be a must have for everyones music collection.....it's blues, it's rock, it's how a CD should sound! Not only i s this band made up of stellar musicians (a 21 year old guitar slinger [Brandon Kyle Phillips] that's a major force to be reckoned with) but it's fronted by a gorgeous woman who not only knows her way around a guitar neck but who, when she opens her mouth to sing, drops jaws all over the place. This band should offer chinstraps at the door before every show! Like their page on FB so you can make sure to get your copy of "Hot Mess" before they sell out."
- She D'Ambrosio, Daddio Radio (Nov 27, 2012)
"PAM TAYLOR BAND Local blues singer, songwriter and guitarist Pam Taylor plows through straight-up blues, to be sure, but she also can turn a trick or two with groove-laden rock. Taylor channels Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi, and while not quite up to their evolved levels, she writes original tunes that won her the Loaf’s Readers Pick for “Best Local Songwriter” this year. This is Taylor’s CD release gig for her new recording, Hot Mess, which also features sinewy sax lines weaving in and out of the tracks. As a wise man once said, support your local guitar slingers."
- Samir Shukla, Creative Loafing Magazine (Dec 19, 2012)
The Pam Taylor Band album, Hot Mess, is deadly. The band is talented and tight and Pam Taylor is incredible. She sings with her heart. I expected the album to be good, but it's levels above and beyond great. The well written tunes are not the my baby left me and I'm living under a bridge blues. They're the everyday life blues and so easy to relate to. Thanks Pam and the band for filling my ears with awesome blues.
" I have had the honor and privilege to see and hear the Pam Taylor band for a year now, and they continue to increasingly amaze and delight their fans and their audiences. This performance was an incredibly special one as Pam, Mike, Rusty, Kyle, L.A., and even Kofi, expressed their love for the music that they play in their soulful style. It was much more than entertainment, but a heartfelt exchange of love and music that will live forever in the hearts of those who experienced it. When we listen to the album on CD, we can re-live the magic that was created for us on this evening at the Double Door Inn. Pam's singing grabs your emotions, and takes control. Be careful."
- ~witness to The End Of The World Hot Mess CD Release Party
"Last night was our first time to experience, and I do mean "EXPERIENCE"!! THE PAM TAYLOR BAND, but it will not be the last... WOW, we had 10 of us that came to support Brandon Kyle Phillips, and we were the ones that got blown away!!! Again I say Wow! Bought the shirt, the CD and the ride!!!"
- ~witness to the End Of The World Hot Mess CD Release Party