This rough-looking gentleman sings of hittin’ the road and suchlike casual misogynies in the creamy molasses tones of label mate Boz Scaggs and sweet baby brother James with the pronounced southern drawl befitting an Lp produced at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, Georgia. The rock on this, Taylor’s debut, is of the gently southern-fried, singer-songwriter and down-home funky variety; really it’s the album I was hoping this might be. Members of the band, as well as bro, write the songs, though, interestingly, not Alex himself. Highlights include a swampy Fender Rhodes-led version of chestnut “It’s All Over Now” and an excellent extended, sixeventies take on Gregg Allman’s “Southbound”, which is both naturally dynamic and tightly controlled with a demonstrable camaraderie, subtlety, ease and intuition that make the album’s title more than apt.
Alex, like the rest of his siblings it seems, had chemical dependency issues and looking at the doughy, grim face of the then 23 or 24-year old (!) in cover the photo is to receive strong forewarning of Taylor’s alcohol-related death two decades later. Sad, really.
Another album I would likely never have heard if not for thrifting, I got Friends and Neighbors at a chaz near Canterbury’s Westgate area literally called Marge’s Charity Shop, shortly before it closed down a few months ago.