Chip Taylor – Yonkers NY

January 01, 1970

(Trainwreck)

www.trainwreckrecords.com

 

If Chip Taylor had done nothing more than pen a pair of hits
– “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” — he could easily have quit right then
and there and subsequently cruised on his royalties and credentials
indefinitely.  In fact, that’s what he
did for the better part of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when he went from making music to
accumulating his cash as a fulltime card shark. 

 

Taylor
returned to song craft some ten years ago, turning out a series of albums that
favored down-home designs and a casual saunter. 
In fact, his comeback has generated a flurry of new releases over the
past decade or so, elevating his profile and reestablishing him as an artist to
be reckoned with.  Bearing that in mind, Yonkers NY consolidates these gains as Taylor
reflects on his life and career through autobiographical songs interspersed
with anecdotal asides and snippets of songs that add historical context.  It’s an unusual tact, even for someone with
Taylor’s colorful back story, but the time given to self-indulgence wouldn’t be
worth revisiting if the melodies didn’t stand up to scrutiny and entertain on
their own.  “Barry Go On,” “Gin Rummy
Rules” and “Hey Jonny (Did You Feel That Movie)” merge Taylor’s
rustic ramble with his good old boy musings, a vintage Americana sound that effortlessly reflects
his formative years.  However, it’s the
softer songs that stand out – the restless and weary “Charcoal Sky” and the
hushed yet humorous “Bastard Brothers.”

 

Taylor’s
everyman accounts strike a chord in more ways than one, through both his
all-American origins and the easy accessibility of his music.  The tales about his brothers, Barry and Jon
(Voight, the renowned actor), his introduction to music, the mafia and the
mystery of his father’s occupation (he claimed he was in the FBI when in fact
he was golf pro) reflect an odd but endearing upbringing.  Yonkers NY may not be
everyone’s home turf, but given these touching tales, it’s a place everyone can
embrace.

 

Standout Tracks: “Charcoal Sky,” “Gin Rummy Rules” LEE ZIMMERMAN

 

 

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