Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stepson of the Blues: A Chicago Song of Survival

Stepson of the Blues, the autobiography of singer/drummer Larry Hill Taylor, co-authored by Bonni McKeown, was published in 2010 by Peaceful Patriot Press. It was issued in a limited edition and went out of print at the end of 2014.

Blues, the powerful root of America’s popular music, is in danger of extinction. By telling his life story, singer and drummer Larry Hill Taylor shows you why. Larry grows up during the 1960s in the historic Lawndale neighborhood on Chicago’s rough and soulful West Side, with almost-famous parents: singer Vera Taylor, his mother; and guitarist Eddie Taylor, his stepfather. He survives family abuse and conflict, gangs, prison, drugs, and the streets. He spends 30 years on stage learning the blues from his musical elders as they change people’s hard times to good times. 
Now Larry wants to lead his own band and make a better living for his family, but finds himself slogging through a cesspool of greedy, ugly, race-ridden dynamics among musicians and promoters.

Trying to speak out, Larry finds his career shut down. But he won’t shut up!  Either singing, or talking about his vision for the blues.   His goal: open the door so he and other upcoming African American musicians can take the lead and earn their just due. Once their energy is freed, the blues can take its true place in healing a wounded world. 

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