Blues hero ANDRE “CAT DADDY” TAYLOR is one of the handful of survivors from the old Checkerboard Lounge’s Monday Morning Blues Jams held back in the day. “(owner) BUDDY GUY used to conduct these sessions for the old cats who would drag themselves in after a weekend of burning the candle at both ends. Guys like CAREY BELL, HOUND DOG TAYLOR and LEFTY DIZZ would show up and make a time of it,” says ‘Dre. ” A couple of us younger guys got wind of it and would join them and that’s how I learned to play the blues.” After a while, Guy would give them slots on his regularly scheduled daytime sets and what would become a long career in blues music was born.
Taylor went on to play and tour with the likes of PINETOP PERKINS, LURRIE BELL, WILLIE “BIG EYES” SMITH, NELLIE “TIGER” TRAVIS and many others. As a band leader, he even developed a comedy routine as part of his act to expand on his skill-set. “There was a lull on the blues scene that required me to use my wit and I developed a routine at the Kingston Mines that I’d use in my 3rd set. Went over well too,” said the multi-faceted Cat Daddy. “Someday I might do it again. In the meantime, during this downtime in the pandemic I’ve been working on my nylon string and wood guitar chops. I love that acoustic sound and will incorporate some into my performance when we get back in the clubs.”
Taylor’s performances are electric, charged with soul, grit and some behind-the back-flash in the tradition of T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix. “The stage feels like home to me. I’m known to pull out all the stops to take my crowd with me. I have to say, I learned from Buddy and Vance Kelly to go deep. And I have so much to share with the world.”
Keep in touch with Andre Taylor and alerted on his gigs on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andre.taylor.169067
-Peter M. Hurley
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 the Chess Studios’ sound of Bo Diddley and continues to this day.
VISIT PETER’S WEBSITE HERE.