New England’s celebrated Taylor family included (most famously) James, as well as Livingston, Kate and (the lesser heard from) Alex. Out of the four, Alex’s voice was best-suited to sing the blues, and he went on to craft at least two defining statements of the early 70’s, with 1971’s With Friends and Neighbors, and ’72’s Dinnertime. He also mentored his brother James at a crucial time in the younger musician’s life, the two forming a short-lived band called the Fabulous Corsairs when James had dropped out of high school. Although the Taylor family traveled, they maintained their New England roots by summering in Martha’s Vineyard. Alex played the local circuit and eventually gained the attention of Phil Walden’s Capricorn Label from Macon, Georgia, which had just broken through on a national level in 1971 with the Allman Brothers Band. The young musician became a great friend to the Allmans, opening many of the band’s concerts and “borrowing” several of them on his first two albums, including Jaimoe on drums and Chuck Leavell on keyboards as well as the great King Curtis on saxophone just before his death. Ironically, although Taylor’s roots were New England, he is most associated with Southern rock because of this early 70’s work. He continued to release albums only occasionally, his final statement being 1989’sVoodoo in Me. Alex Taylor passed away in Florida from a heart attack on March 12, 1993.
(by Carter Alan)
Published on August 29, 2012