At age 26, Cassie Taylor is already a veteran musician. She’s spent a decade playing bass and singing on stage and in the studio with her father, modern-day blues innovator Otis Taylor. And now, with the May 7, 2013 release of her new album Out of My Mind on Yellow Dog Records, Cassie stakes her own claim as an artist of intelligence, power and soul.
The album finds Taylor defining her own creative identity within a dozen songs that balance passion, grace and humor with a broad embrace of sounds and musical styles consistently steeped in the blues. From Delta bedrock to the fringes of electronica to the driving spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, Taylor draws on all of her influences — which span centuries, continents and cultures — to create indelible stories like the edgy and compelling two-part drama “Ol’ Mama Dean” and the celebration of life and love “Forgiveness,” which struts over a blithe Crescent City beat. Organ, trumpet, tuba and even Theremin make cameo appearances in the mix alongside the core bass, drums and guitar sound of her trio, all supporting a voice that’s angelic, haunting, raw and full-blooded.
“I like to think I see things differently,” says Taylor, who will tour behind the album this spring. “The blues is the basis of all American music and of everything that I do. It’s a tradition, passed down from generation to generation. Some people say I’m not blues enough, but I’m a 26-year-old woman with very light skin living in the 21st century. Had Muddy Waters grown up when I did perhaps his music would sound a lot like mine. When Memphis Minnie was coming up they didn’t have electronic music or rock ‘n’ roll, and it was impossible to buy West African psychedelic rock records. I listen to everything from old blues to punk to drum ‘n’ bass to my father’s music, and it’s all become part of me.” Comfortably at home on the runway — Taylor’s stunning looks have also earned her work as a model in magazine spreads and at fashion shows — and in the studio, she was at the helm for every step of Out of My Mind: producing, arranging, performing on vocals, bass, organ, piano and Theremin, and even financing the sessions.