In the spirit of the old-time rent parties, Chicago blues musicians are throwing an Auto Pound Blues Bailout for singer and drummer Larry Hill Taylor – whose van is stuck in a city pound — at a South Side cafe on Thursday.
Barrelhouse Bonni McKeown is on piano, Joe Harrington on bass, Jerry-O on guitar and West Side Wes on drums, and lots of guests can be expected, Thursday, July 21, 6 to 9 p.m., at Favia Cafe, 1701 S. Hale, near the Beverly Hills Metra stop.
Favia’s is donating free sandwiches, coffee and soft drinks will be on sale, you can BYOB, and the donation is $10 (or more). Taylor’s CD, They Were In This House , and his memoir, Stepson of the Blues , will also be available.
Taylor is the son of blues singer Vera Taylor and the stepson of blues great Eddie Taylor. He grew up in North Lawndale surrounded by the many of the greatest blues musicians of all time, and he’s performed with Albert Collins, Otis Clay, Junior Wells, among many others, and toured Europe with Willie Dixon.
He’s struggling to keep the music going. “He’s part of a whole generation that isn’t getting the promotion,” said Barrelhouse Bonni. “And if they don’t get promoted, the younger generation won’t be inspired to take it up.”
Taylor started getting tickets on his van after his license plates were stolen, but an administrative hearing judge “ruled out any discussion of the merits of the tickets,” said McKeown, who went to his hearing. With daily charges and fines doubling, he now owes the city over $1,000, and if the van isn’t “bailed out” by July 27 it will be sold, she said.
Taylor and McKeown co-authored “Stepson of the Blues,” which depicts the world of West Side blues in the 1960s and Taylor’s tough passages through gangs, prison, and addiction to become a working blues musician. The book also presents what one reviewer calls “a full-throttle expose of the Chicago blues scene.”
“Larry Taylor is the guy who has spoken out for respect and fair pay for African American blues men and women while many others were afraid to do so,” said McKeown. “He deserves our support.”