Black Music Matters Festival

Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

The London Sessions Bootleg – 2000 (Train Wreck)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

You'd be tempted to call Chip Taylor a one-hit wonder, except that he's written at least three oddball classics - "Wild Thing," "Angel of the Morning" and "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)." The fact that this younger brother of actor Jon Voight can craft sterling examples of a psychedelic pop tune, a country classic and a blues boogie is enough to dazzle the senses. On this meandering two-disc album, Taylor adds on even more layers to his musician persona.

Armed with an electric band on the first disc, this musical maverick plows into "Head First," with drummer and bassist flailing away, and just a few songs later sounds like Jimmie Dale Gilmore on the beautiful "Annie On Your Mind." (Lucinda Williams adds wonderful vocals to each). And then on "Here Come The Animals," a 10-minute-plus selection, he sounds like Neil Young in the midst of a Crazy Horse workout.

The second disc contains a batch of acoustic numbers. There's no getting around it: This is a ragged collection of tunes with points both high and low, but Taylor is imaginative and creative enough to get you to at least consider listening from start to finish. After that,you'll probably skip around to your own favorites.