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Royal Blue
     

Royal Blue

by Koko Taylor
 
The undisputed Queen of Chicago Blues, vocalist Koko Taylor, has quite an entourage on her ROYAL BLUE outing. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's guitar shimmers like a mirage on Taylor's gritty-as-the-Sahara cover of Melissa Etheridge's "Bring Me Some Water." B.B. King plays lead

Overview

The undisputed Queen of Chicago Blues, vocalist Koko Taylor, has quite an entourage on her ROYAL BLUE outing. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's guitar shimmers like a mirage on Taylor's gritty-as-the-Sahara cover of Melissa Etheridge's "Bring Me Some Water." B.B. King plays lead guitar and shares vocals with the Queen for the shoutin' party at the "Blues Hotel." Johnnie Johnson, the St. Louis piano legend who has recorded with artists as diverse as Chuck Berry and the Kentucky Headhunters, turns the ivories into fast-flowing tears on the Ray Charles/Percy Mayfield-penned slow blues "But on the Other Hand" as Taylor growls and prowls through the tale of good lovin' in a bad relationship. Johnson also sits in for the Chicago-style "Ernestine," which Taylor penned, and Buddy Johnson's sassy "Hittin' On Me." But the real charmer of the set is Taylor's country blues love ballad "The Man Next Door," which features the singer sharing vocals with Keb' Mo' and only his National Steel Guitar and harmonica backing them. Produced by Taylor, Alligator label owner Bruce Iglauer and gospel guitarist Criss Johnson (who only leaves the church to produce and play on Taylor's recordings), the rest of ROYAL BLUE features the singer's driving Chicago sound on catchy originals and soul-blues covers with a touch of funk and occasional blasts of horns to keep it in the contemporary arena.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Campbell
Royal Blue is the first Alligator release from Koko Taylor since 1993's Grammy nominated Force of Nature. This is a mainly up-tempo set with excellent support from several guest appearances by B.B. King, Johnny Johnson, Ken Saydak, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd who contributes some scorching guitar on the Melissa Ethridge-penned hit "Bring Me Some Water." Taylor not only co-produced this release but wrote four of the 12 tracks, including the acoustic "The Man Next Door." On this track, the combination of Koko's passionate voice with Keb Mo's gritty Delta slide guitar makes you wish she would move further in this direction on future releases. Royal Blue proves Koko Taylor is still the undisputed queen of the blues.
Rolling Stone - Richard Abowitz
...Royal shows that this blues lioness still has her bite, and plenty of roar.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2000
Label:
Alligator Records
UPC:
0014551487326
catalogNumber:
514873
Rank:
115367

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Koko Taylor   Primary Artist,Vocals
Mark Colby   Tenor Saxophone
Johnnie Johnson   Piano
Kenny Wayne Shepherd   Guitar
Steve Berry   Trombone
Larry Bowen   Trumpet
Jerry DiMuzio   Alto Saxophone
Kenny Hampton   Bass
Willie Henderson   Baritone Saxophone
Criss Johnson   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
B.B. King   Guitar,Vocals
Ken Saydak   Piano
Matthew Skoller   Harmonica
Keb' Mo'   Harmonica,Steel Guitar,Vocals
Kriss T. Johnson   Drums

Technical Credits

Koko Taylor   Producer
David Axelbaum   Engineer
Jay Baumgardner   Engineer
Bruce Iglauer   Producer
Criss Johnson   Producer
Chris Steinmetz   Engineer
Woodrow Johnson   Composer

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