Like all of Eddie Taylor Sr.’s progeny, Brenda Taylor Ricci is a high energy force, a whirlwind of a performer and a motivator behind many projects. We celebrate Brenda’s newest cd “Buggy Ride” on Wolf Records here and feature her bio below.
Brenda Larrissia Taylor, President Purple Octave LLC Publishing. Born July 12th in the late 1960’s Brenda Taylor was Eddie “Big-town Playboy” Taylor Sr. and Lee Vera’s first born child. A smile of joy occupied both parents’ faces on that sunny day. They resided on the 2700 block west Madison street in Chicago, Illinois above Duke’s Place Lounge. Throughout Brenda’s youthful years she’d peer through the exhaust fan to watch her father perform.
As she grew older and more acquainted with Blues Rhythm music she became more educated how important the great guitarist her father was. Eddie Taylor played lead for Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Johnny Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf and assembly of others. Brenda’s father would coach her to sing. As an incentive she would surprisingly be mentioned during his performances and sing on stage.
After her fathers death in December 1985, she began venturing into her own Blues Rhythm music following her father’s steps. Unfortunately, after the family’s tragic loss of Eddy Sr., Lee Vera kept the family legacy functioning, raising seven children alone and performing when she could.
She performed the Chicago Blues Festival at Grant Park June 10, 1999 and recorded for Wolf Records in 1999. She later passed November 1, 1999 leaving the legacy with the surviving children. Lee Vera was unable to witness her records published and marketed. In 2004 Eddie “Big-town Playboy” Taylor Sr. received accolades for his talented Blues Rhythm in Grant Park at Chicago’s Blues Festival. His children performed during the event in remembrance of him. Brenda performed with friends, family, and collective originators like Eddie Shaw, Elmore James Jr., Billy Branch, Jimmy Burns, Muddy Waters Jr., Mary Lane, Johnny Mae Dunson, Shirley Johnson and countless others. During her autograph signing she opened for Geovonnie Samuels performing her single “Who’s this Dame.” Brenda also spoke on a lasting impact with Romonski Love from a local radio station, following kidney failure. In so doing raising awareness for her brother, Eddie Taylor Jr. “Although Blues Rhythm music are my origins, I find myself reaching out to the youth to empower them.”
– Brenda Taylor, President Purple Octave LLC Publishing
The new album “Buggy Ride” is Brenda Taylors first CD of her own and there is a great band behind her, her brothers Tim and Eddie Taylor Jr., Illinois Slim, Freddie Dixon and Harmonica Hinds. On this album you can find a great list of traditional blues songs mixed with modern blues.
For specialty coffee in homage to the legendary artist Eddie Taylor: CLICK HERE. (Yes, you read that right!)
Photo © Peter M. Hurley, November 2018, rehearsal for Women of R&B concert.
Fundraiser Alert: You Can Help!
To donate, and help legendary artist Merle Perkins with auto repairs to allow him transportation to gigs, CLICK HERE. The fundraiser is set up by Brenda Taylor Ricci.
“When a truly good person like Merle Perkins needs REAL help and you have a heart, you can’t help but feel his pain right now along with him. If you know that, you’d also know that there is a time to give (if you can) during these hard times especially.” – Brenda Taylor Ricci
Mr. Hurley is a contributing photographer and writer for Living Blues Magazine and the staff photographer for Chicago Blues Network. His recent book Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago, in collaboration with Blues historian and author David Whiteis, showcases his work in the field. His passion for blues music began with a 6th grade dance party discovery of Bo Diddley which led to Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and so on. It continues to this day. VISIT PETER’S WEBSITE HERE.