Roadhouse Album Review: Demetria Taylor does it just right on “Doin’ What I’m Supposed to Do”

Demetria Taylor — “Doin’ What I’m Supposed to Do” — Delmark

After a tough and slinky guitar intro from Billy Flynn, Demetria Taylor’s voice slides into the bluesy “83 Highway,” written by her father, Eddie Taylor Sr.

It’s just the right opening for this album of covers and originals from Taylor, who moves effortlessly through some blues, funk and R&B styles.

That’s followed by a pair of funkified tunes — “Baby Be Good” and “Bad Girl Day” — by the songwriting duo of guitarist Mike Wheeler and bassist Larry Williams, who created six of the crackling good tracks here.

“Blues Early This Morning” is a swinging duet with multi-talented soulstress Deitra Farr, written by Demetria’s mother, Vera Taylor, who was also a singer/songwriter. “Welfare Blues,” written by Eddie Taylor Jr., drives along in an uptempo blues, followed by the title track, a musical roadmap of her journey into blues with her family heritage. Most of the songs have a rhythmic R&B flavor, and Taylor’s vocals swing joyously along. And she gives tough credit to Magic Sam’s rocking “You Belong to Me” (with a tasty organ solo midway).

Taylor herself contributes two originals, the whimsically delicious romp of “Nursing My Kitty Cat,” and the autobiographical album closer, “Young Gun Taylor,” — “kicking out the rhythm and blues . . . the torch been passed down to me. . . .”

Indeed the musical torch has been passed. Taylor is not only keeping the family blues flame burning, she’s doing it with considerable style, lyrical and musical sensibility. You owe yourself a listen.

Taylor recently received the KoKo Taylor (no relation) “Queen of the Blues” Award in 2022 given by the Jus’ Blues Foundation.

Here’s the title track:

1 “83 Highway” 5:25, Eddie Taylor Sr.
2 “Baby Be Good” 4:23, Mike Wheeler/Larry Williams
3 “Bad Girl Day” 4:01, Mike Wheeler/Larry Williams
4 “Blues Early This Morning” 3:08, Vera Taylor
5 “Welfare Blues” 4:49, Eddie Taylor Jr.
6 “Doin’ What I’m Supposed To Do” 3:40, Mike Wheeler/Larry Williams
7 “Done” 5:49, Mike Wheeler/Larry Williams
8 “I’m Gonna Tell It” 4:27, Mike Wheeler/Larry Williams
9 Nursing My Kitty Cat 4:45, Demetria Taylor
10 “Stay Gone” 3:59, Mike Wheeler/Larry Williams
1 1 “You Belong To Me” 3:11, Samuel Maghett (“Magic Sam”)
12 “Young Gun Taylor” 3:26, Demetria Taylor

Demetria Taylor vocals
Deitra Farr vocals (4)
Mike Wheeler guitar
Billy Flynn guitar (1, 4)
Carlos Showers guitar (all except 1, 4)
Larry Williams bass
Brian James keyboards
Melvin Carlisle “Pookie Styx” drums

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