Monday, June 15, 2009

Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor at the Iron Horse on Tuesday, August 4th

When I think Mick Taylor, I think visceral, I think Bitch. Every Rolling Stones fan who dropped the needle on Side B of Sticky Fingers - was promptly split in two by the razor sharp 2 note riff that defines that song. It was 1971 & Taylor’s first stint as a full time Stone in the Studio & his contributions to that classic recording cannot be overstated - from his fuzzed out assaults on Can’t You Hear Me Knocking to his articulate acoustic slide playing on Wild Horses. It was clear that the “World’s greatest Rock n Roll band” was flawlessly transitioning into the 70’s with master cylinder Mick Taylor spitting out one amazing riff after another all with incredible attention to tone & fluidity. Mick’s contributions to the band until his departure in 1974 are nothing less than heroic, he was a master architect of style, subtlety, & structure (as much as possible) during a time when Keith Richards’ drug problems & sloppy playing could have possibly destroyed the band.

This was no happy accident per se but rather a well calculated move by Mick Jagger to replace (original guitarist & LSD poster child) Brian Jones with a true “hired gun”. Mick Taylor had already established himself (at 18!) having served as the successor to iconic guitarists Eric Clapton & Peter Green in John Mayall’s Bluesbreaker’s . His approach to the guitar was vastly different than any other Stone past or present & even on their trainwreck/masterpiece; Exile on Main St. he was able to keep his distinctively melodic style intact while the rest of the band (with the exception of drummer Charlie Watts) seemed to be imploding. I recall reading Taylor once quip that Exile “sounded like a bunch of addicts trying to make a Rock album” – a very odd remark to make about a recording & a lifestyle he was so inextricably involved with at that time. But also a very telling comment reflecting the seriousness & honesty Mick Taylor took & has always taken to his craft as a guitarist.

Mick never seemed terribly fond of being a Stone, let alone an ex-Stone & always challenged himself musically -as early as 1973 he was lending a hand playing with Mike Oldfield performing Tubular Bells live- he also has worked with artists as diverse as Herbie Mann & the prog-rock group Gong. The list is endless…

It is nothing less than thrilling to have this rare opportunity to see Mick & Co. perform the meaty material from his tenure with The Stones & The Bluesbreaker‘s live & in an intimate setting…a artist unafraid to call a spade a spade & throw down a heaping helping of hair splitting guitar playing with seriousness, style & irrepressible panache. NOT to be missed. -Dan Kandel

Tickets Here

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