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Giving the blues a Caribbean twist

New Fingerprints
New Fingerprints
By Greg "Fingers" Taylor

Appaloosa Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the Fall 1993 edition of Blues Revue Quarterly magazine (now Blues Revue).

Caribbean rocker Jimmy Buffett's longtime harp player, Fingers Taylor, turns in a straight-ahead set of electric blues on this solo outing, joined by ace guitarist Anson Funderburgh.

As a harmonica player, Taylor has a deep, throaty sound that is well-suited to the blues. As a singer, well, his voice bears more than a passing resemblance to Buffett's nasal tenor, which isn't at all bad. Stylistically, he also sings much like Buffett might if he were a blues singer.

Taylor is apparently no composer; all the songs here are covers. Although few are well-known, all are strong. Not all are necessarily blues compositions, either, but Taylor's arrangements make each into a blues piece.

The music is bar-room blues: aggressive and energetic. The band is tight and everyone gets plenty of solos, including Funderburgh, who turns in several gems.

The combination of Taylor's Buffett-influenced vocals and the generally festive mood throughout makes this release a spiritual meeting ground between the blues and Buffett's so-called parrot music – Caribbean blues, perhaps?