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Review: 'Hughes Taylor Band'
'The Roman Bath, York, 19th January 2020'   

-  Genre: 'Blues'

Our Rating:
Sometimes, bands crop up in the strangest of places. Hughes Taylor is from Macon, Georgia, and fronts a three-piece band. They’re over here supporting Heather Findlay, and having played The Garage in London, Bristol Thelka, Glasgow’s Òran Mór, and Newcastle Riverside, they’re filling some down nights with a brace of pub gigs in York, with tonight being the second after a turn at the White Swan on Friday.

It's vaguely ironic that after years and years of blues acts ranging from the pedestrian to the truly stellar being the staple of pretty much every York venue, it’s become hard to find any blues acts at all lately, so Hughes Taylor and co turn out to be plugging something of an unexpected gap. And boy, do they fill it.

To say they outclassed the venue would be an understatement. This is a venue accustomed to local covers bands churning out bog-standard pub-rock to punters who expect bog-standard pub-rock to shout over. It’s loud by the bar, and a lairy gaggle of women pile in about three songs in: I can’t tell if they’re dancing and enjoying themselves, or squaring up for a scrap. Their arrival coincides with one of the set’s softer songs, which Hughes has dedicated to his wife, who it’s about.

They play it out like absolute pros, and before long, they’ve stunned even the gobbiest of sods into silence with a blistering Hendrix medley of ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘Purple Haze’. The former strides along on a groove that’s faster than the original and the sprawling guitar solos see Hughes play the guitar behind his head, behind his back, and with his teeth. But he’s no muso poser: while he’s definitely a showman, he – and the rest of the band, for that matter – bassist Nate Lee and drummer Adriana are incredible musicians who play with tangible passion.

The covers – crowed-pleasers that draw from the greats – are split 50/50 with originals that sound like vintage classics: as a power-trio, they play the blues with proper heft, and you’ll struggle to find better right now.
  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Hughes Taylor Band - The Roman Bath, York, 19th January 2020
Hughes Taylor Band - The Roman Bath, York, 19th January 2020