Taylor Rorrer: Playing Poole
For those who don’t know, Taylor Rorrer is the great, great nephew of Posey Rorrer who famously played with Charlie Poole in the North Carolina Ramblers between the wars. Taylor himself has worked his way through the ranks of the family band, The Hungry Hash House Ramblers, until here he is fronting his own record.
This is, actually, an HHHR record by another name and as such, certainly sounds as sweet as any of its predecessors. Taylor’s dad, Doug, contributes his familiar guitar playing, as does Edwin Lacy on banjo. Taylor’s mum Kathy also puts in an appearance and there’s a few guests along for the ride, notably Jim Watson providing some old style singing on a couple of songs.
The songs, five of them, are sprinkled through the set to leaven the mix of instrumental numbers and Edwin Lacy takes the vocal on “Took My Gal A’Walkin’ ” which is familiar from when I saw these guys one memorable night at the Carnegie Hall (Clashmore, Sutherland), and is an enjoyably laid-back take on the song.
Overall, though, the sound is pure North Carolina, instantly recognisable when you get to know it and sounding pretty much like the 1930s without the hiss and crackle. These guys are comfortable playing entirely within the tradition they’ve grown up in and Taylor himself is a fine runner with the baton for a fourth generation of this music.
- Milwaukee Blues 3:05 Sound bite
- Ragtime Annie 3:08 Sound bite
- A Mother’s Plea for Her Son 3:09 Sound bite
- Mountain Reel 2:46
- Lynchburg Deal 3:07
- Sweet 16 3:02
- Whose Baby Are You? 2:47 Sound bite
- June Apple 3:28
- Took My Gal A’Walking 2:22
- New 5 Cent Piece 3:22
- Walking In My Sleep 2:50
- Moving day 2:22
- Yellow Rose of Texas 3:20