Hound Dog Taylor – Release the Hound

Music Reviews Hound Dog Taylor
Hound Dog Taylor – Release the Hound

It’s 1974 at the Smiling Dog Saloon in Cleveland, Ohio. The small-but-enthusiastic crowd cheers as the emcee announces Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers. “If you came to find out about boogie, you came to the right place,” he says as the bar erupts with shuffling drums and a dirty-ass slide riff that sounds about three miles wide. This is the side of electric Chicago blues that’s still got both of its bare feet planted in the muddy Delta. Which makes sense—Hound Dog was born Theodore Roosevelt Taylor in Natchez, Miss., in 1915 and moved to Chi-town in the early ’40s. If you dig Elmore James’ style, you’ll dig this live compilation of never-before released tunes spanning from 1971-75, the last of the recordings coming just eight months before Taylor died of cancer. Despite the bluesman’s age and illness, the blistering leads, soulful vocals and raw energy of these performances make this essential listening for any blues fan.

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