Koko Taylor sang about life, stories and adventure though the Blues. She carried forward a long tradition of telling the tales via music. Her life as a Blues musician had to be exciting, tragic and an on-going lesson in humans and humanity. Musically, she came up on the rough side of the historical fence of the 50s, 60s and 1970’s.
The passing of Koko Taylor was spoken with a whisper compared to David Carradine um, unintentional departure. No disrespect intended. Mr. Carradine was a spirited individual who had a life filled with stories, adventure and lawd knows he was one of a kind. I don’t think you could do a movie about his actual life on the other side of the cameras. Not sure this is how he planned to go out but there you go. There is life and there is the alternative. You are working on one and the other sneaks up on you.
I first heard Koko Taylor over the radio. I was reading one of my computer magazines. This song came on the radio and forced me to put it down. The name of the tune is Insane Asylum.
“When your love has cease to be, there is no other place for me, if you don’t hold me in your arms, I’m rather be here from now on.” It was like being hit from all sides and nobody else was in the room. As soon as I could I bought her CD of her greatest hits. Pure gold each and every tune.
I’m not well versed in the history of the Blues. I have songs I like, mainly the story songs. I’m still looking for the one that goes, “my new silk pajamas are crumpled on the floor, there’s crumbs in the bed and what is wrong with you? What I want to know is, is something going on?”
I digress. It isn’t just about the song, or the delivery of the song. It is the connection with other people. Koko explains about her inspirations, like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, her process of writing and what it can do for an audience.
Tis a time for weeping but that is only a part of the Blues. You can weep and jump for joy at the same time. So lift up your glass of Cherry Coke and groove for the next nine minutes or so to a bit of Let the Good Times Roll + I’m A Woman.
Koko, blessings on your new tour and I hope you meet up with old friends and family.
Everybody else, rock on.