Custom Taylor for the blues

2013-12-26T00:00:00Z Custom Taylor for the bluesBy Gerald M. Gay Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

You won’t find too many people out there thrilled about going bald as a teenager.

Blues musician Gene Taylor saw it as an advantage.

Taylor was already a skilled guitar and piano player by the time he reached high school. He learned the ropes from his musical neighbors in Los Angeles as a kid and touring around town with a friend’s family band.

In his junior year, Taylor was sneaking into clubs and sitting in with the likes of Big Joe Turner and Lowell Fulson.

“I never got carded,” he said. “I’d go in dressed in a suit. I had a mustache and a receding hairline. I looked like I belonged and I could play.”

Taylor has since called Toronto, Austin and Belgium home, but he has never stopped performing.

At 61, the keyboardist continues to bring the blues to venues across North America and Europe.

He performs the Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave., Saturday.

Songwriter and regular Tucson visitor Dave Alvin will join Taylor on the stage. Alvin and Taylor have played together on and off for decades, most notably as members of Alvin’s band the Blasters.

Taylor also has touring ties to the bands Canned Heat and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

His group will perform mostly classic blues covers, with an original song or two thrown into the mix.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Call 690-0991 for more info.

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