> LARRY TAYLOR: Support 1st First Amendment, REAL BLUES 12/2 and 12/10

Bonni McKeown bonni@barrelhousebonni.com
Sun Nov 28 00:24:03 EST 2004

LARRY TAYLOR: Support the First Amendment and REAL BLUES

A letter from Larry Taylor Nov. 27 2004  to Blues L:

Some time ago I put out some information on the Blues L about Ramadan,
as I am a Sunna Muslim.  I was surprised to see that no one responded.

I know people have many fears about Muslims in America and around the
world. God created a world with all types of people who believe in
different things.  It's been labeled that all Muslims are terrorists,
but that's not true. Sunna Muslims in particular deal with their
religion as a private spiritual matter rather than a political crusade.
I'm not an Islamic extremist!  I was born and raised in America and so
were my parents. (I'm the only Muslim in the Taylor family.)

The historical connection between Muslims and African Americans is a
natural one.  From the days of slavery, many of my ancestors who
migrated or were brought to America from various parts of Africa were
Muslims.  If you have seen or read Roots, you know that Kunta Kinte was
a Muslim in Africa before he was captured and taken as a slave.

.I feel the failure of people to join this conversation shows fear and a
lack of concern..  In America there is supposed to be religious freedom.
I don't see a lot of people picking on Christians, Buddhists or Hindus
and calling them terrorists. Under the Constitution of this country, we
supposedly have the right of freedom of speech, and religion and
government are supposed to be separated.

I feel I am having more than the usual breaking-in adversities as a
bandleader, perhaps because I am Muslim. A 30 year heritage bluesman
like myself should be playing in every club in Chicago and major clubs
around the country and abroad. The blues is my profession. I want to be
making a living for myself and my kids.

 I am not a new artist, I have made great contributions to the blues,
having played on stage and in the studio with the greats; I have paid my
dues. With all the bigotry, racism, hatred, stereotyping individuals in
this world I hope that people in the blues (including blues societies,
promoters and historians) will be more open minded.   I do realize the
financial problems facing festival promoters and club owners, and I am
willing to negotiate my prices. All I'm asking is that people be more
considerate and courteous and treat me just like any other person or
artist.  I have the right to be whatever religion I want to be, and I
don't try to tell others what religion to be.  I am no slave to any
other human being--only to God (Allah).

I urge Blues L'ers to express your support for freedom of religion and
for traditional blues by putting out some good words about my music.
Please come to my gigs this week: Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted,
Chicago, Thursday Dec. 2; and Bill's Blues in 1029 Davis St. Evanston,
IL, Friday Dec. 10. For these shows, my brother Eddie Taylor Jr. , the
finest traditional blues guitarist in Chicago, will be joining me.
Legendary blues saxophonist Willie Young, who played with Howlin Wolf
and Elmore James and Magic Sam and others, will play; he's over 80 and
still kickin' the blues. You will not be disappointed; our West Side
blues is the real thing. Also you can buy my CD from my website under
"Larry's music"   www.larrytaylorbluesandsoul.com

Feel free to sign my guest book,send me your comments (and leads for
more gigs) to:  larry@larrytaylorbluesandsoul.com

Some people told me I'll never succeed as a bandleader because I've been
a drummer for 32 years.  That's just negative thinking from people who
tried to hold me back. I am asking for people in the blues business to
open doors for me and I'll continue to work hard and give people the
real blues. I am a true heritage Delta/ Chicago blues artist, not a rock
player.  I also do favorite west side hits of 60s-70s soul and r&b.
Look at my reviews under "Calendar and Reviews"  and see what critics
say after my first 9 months as a bandleader. The Southwest Blues Society
says I'm a "great singer with great attitude."

I want to thank Doc Pellegrino at Kingston Mines, and Bill Gilmore at
Bill's Blues, as well as Brian Fadden at Buddy Guy's Legends, who have
given me the opportunity to practice my art in their clubs. I appreciate
this very much.  Come hear some REAL BLUES   Dec. 2 at the Mines and
Dec. 10 at Bill's Blues.

Respectfully Larry Taylor

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