Eric Taylor


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Resurrect's predecessor, 1995's Eric Taylor, was a "comeback" album from a man who had never really arrived to begin with, a tentative thumbs-up delivered from the sober side of the fence. And while its very existence was a personal victory for its creator, it wasn't an especially personal statement -- a fine, impeccably assembled piece of work, sure, but one in which the author maintains a considerable distance from his subjects. By contrast, Resurrect couldn't be more intimate, the result, perhaps, of Taylor's gaining a bit more perspective on his place in life and the obsession with Texas that has consumed a good part of it. Two of its tracks -- the self-empowered breakup tune "Walkin' Back Home" and the mythic reflection on childhood "Depot Light" -- cut especially close to the bone, so it's only appropriate that they should bookend the 11-song effort, giving it a concept-like feel. "You keep that long tall pine/You take that Georgia moon/I'm going home to mine," sings the Atlanta native on "Walkin' Back Home," declaring an affinity for his adopted home state that, by now, must be seared into his DNA. That seamless jockeying between impressionistic detail and measured introspection (never too self-involved but frequently involving) vivifies Resurrect. The narratives are goaded along by Taylor's nimble production and the instrumental accents of bassist Rock Romano, pianist Mike Sumler, and percussionist James Gilmer. Also making contributions to the CD are violinist Gene Elders and horn player Dennis Dotson. The latter's muted trumpet lends a delicate melancholic tinge to "Louis Armstrong's Broken Heart," home to the disc's most indelible melody. Though the ensemble cast is impressive enough, Taylor's sturdy, resonant compositions rarely need much propping up.

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