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  • Jonathan Widran

CRASH TAYLOR, Retired Outlaw

As we listen with rapt attention to the insanely cool phrasing and storytelling couched in the soulful, blues-tinged folk/rock energies of singer/songwriter Crash Taylor, it’s only natural we might want to learn more about this guy and just how he could come up with one of the most cleverly insightful lines ever to describe a musician’s relationship to his guitar: “My fretboard is my Ouija, I go where it leads me.”

Or from what inspiration he draws the wild travelogue (which namechecks Amsterdam, Stockholm, Santa Fe, Montreal and Miami, not in any particular order) at the heart of the hard won wisdom of the contemplative ballad “How Love Grows.” Or why one minute, he’s just frolick rockin’ wondering “Where’s My Baby,” and then lamenting why people no longer appreciate the deeper meaning of “Mona Lisa” and reflecting on the influential musical journey of his late Greenwich Village folkie Uncle Chuck on the gospel-tinged “Let Him In.”

All these fascinating pieces – wrapped with the instrumental folk/rock distorted fuzz jam “Nuptial Song” – yet it’s up to us apparently to figure out 1) How this incredibly prolific musician (the bio mentions 1000 songs in many different genres, and recording hundreds of others with great players) got his awesome stage name Crash; 2) why he called his second album (officially released only a week after his self-titled debut collection!) Retired Outlaw.

Great news is, we can contemplate these exciting mysteries while freewheeling with Crash – one minute ascending with him to a mountaintop in “Idlewild” as he tries to figure out what really moves him via a hypnotic mid-tempo rocker, and then enjoying his recounting the pure salacious pleasure of spending a day in bed wearing his “Birthday Suit.” He may not give us the simple answers, but he offers something better that perhaps offers a clue – a link to his book Pot.Dot. Com:: Tales of a Retired Outlaw, a coming of age story about a teenager weed dealer from Greenwich Village who gets involved with activists who use marijuana revenue to fund the computer revolution in the 80s and 90s.

Ever full of surprises musical and extra-musical, Crash creates a psychedelic romp in which his characters work towards discovering the true meaning of existence. The deeper he takes us, the more we want to know.


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