Taylor Made

Immersive Studio launches its Seven Voices series with Otis Taylor

Accompanied by Cassie on bass, a cellist, a mandolin player and a lap-steel player, Taylor sounds as vital as ever as he steers through his songs with several different guitars and banjos. Sure, there are a few moments of imperfection and an undue amount of time spent tuning (he reportedly declined to have a guitar tech on hand), but those things only enhance the organic nature of his music. Plus, his charming dialogue more than fills up the empty space. "You know this is not in tune, don't ya'," Taylor notes, with a chuckle. "I wanted to do a concert where I tuned in front of everybody so everybody could feel my pain."

Or mine. The whole show was captured on tape, and I can't wait to see it again when Immersive issues it this May. Only this time around, bladder infection be damned, I'll be able to pause for the cause.

Upbeats and Beatdowns: Props to all the homegrown acts I caught in Austin at this year's SXSW -- The Photo Atlas, Born in the Flood, the Swayback, Dressy Bessy, D.O.R.K. , the Great Redneck Hope and DeVotchKa (not to mention Epilogue, who played an impromptu tune for me on Sixth Street, and the crazed boys of Machine Gun Blues) -- who all completely killed. No word yet on what -- if anything -- will come of this year's showcases, but I did spy Diane Meltzer -- Wind-up Records A&R -- at Born in the Flood's Saturday night gig. Morning After Records' Dan Rutherford confirms that there has indeed been a substantial amount of post-SXSW interest and says he's in talks with some prime players, though he's not willing to reveal who quite yet. Stay tuned.

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