Turning Point Review
Thanks Jim Sheridan

Hey kids,
Kevin Duda was my co-pilot for the early and late
shows at The Turning Point on Saturday night. We met
Karen L., Lisa the Taylorite, and Greg Lewis, which
was fun. Hi!
The gigs themselves were wonderful. For the first set
we sat toward the back, with one couple who were
Stones fans (the guy saw the Stones in 1972 and asked
me "Hey, what has Mick Taylor done since then?") and a
pair of Peter Karp fans. The place was pretty evenly
divided. Mick came out and played the 1959 re-issue
sunburst Les Paul until he broke a string; he then
played the soundman's Strat (purple metallic glitter),
and also his blonde Telecaster for, I think, "No
Expectations." He was using this guy's small Fender
amp. He had a glass slide.
In the second set, we sat directly in front of Mick
with our feet on the monitors. We received a lesson in
playing! He did not break a string and so he played
the Paul throughout, except for using Peter's dobro on
one song and the Tele again for "No Expectations." His
pedalboard had a wah-wah, a Boss Super Overdrive, and
an Ibanez chorus pedal of some kind that gave a
Leslie-like sound. He had a very odd slide; it looked
a ceramic lipstick tube or a personal massager; it was
purple and speckled and had no hole on top. The
soundman lavished praise on the Les Paul, showing us
its lovely burnished finish. He works at The Stanhope
House, where this band will play this Friday. He said
that there was the chance that this tour could get
extended depending on how things went.
I thought things went rather well. The description of
Peter's music as similar to early Bruce or John Hiatt
is pretty accurate; I would throw in a little Van
Morrison influence. I even heard similarities between
his band and Carla Olson's; solid rock with some blues
flavors and the ability to go in different directions.
The song "The Turning Point" made me think of Carla's
"See the Light," especially when Mick blasted off into
his solo. Peter has a great sense of rhythm, like Van
the Man in the way he phrases his lyrics and switches
things up, and also in the way he directed the band.
Lots of dynamics; he very clearly and confidently
would have the band drop down or speed up or build to
a crescendo. His guitar playing was authoritative too.
He layed down great rock rhythm and took some good
leads as well. I thought this really helped everyone
out; it can be argued that Mick's solo band lacks this
kind of decisiveness and can meander some. These guys
did not meander. Mick had someone playing aggressive
rhythm and swapping leads, even coaxing Mick into some
call-and-response playing. 
I know what Curtis means regarding the drums on
"Alabama." The drummer was keeping a steady booming
bass drum kick with no alternation. It did not have
the country funkiness that Colin Allen (right?)
offered on the studio version. It sounded more like a
marching band's bass drum. 
Peter's antics were fine with me. I really don't care
one way or the other if someone dresses wildly or
leaps around or just stares at their shoes. Hendrix
didn't have to set his guitar on fire or hump his
Strat; Duane Allman could have moved more; as long as
they play the way they play, I'm happy. When
showmanship harms one's performance (Jagger's out of
breath singing in 1981, Jimmy Page's gesticulations
making for missed notes) it is obviously a problem for
me. I have noted from my own musical performances and
concert-going that "effective" showmanship does bring
the energy level in the room up quite a bit. It draws
some folks into the music who would not get it
otherwise. Unfortunate but true. 
It was Mick Taylor who brought me to the show, though,
and he played very well overall. The Paul sounds
lovely, and the variety of songs and styles offered by
Peter's music led Mick into some playing that he might
not have done otherwise. There was one song in the
first set where Mick did some remarkable exploring on
the Strat. I will have to re-listen to check which
song it was, but he did quite a bit of "horizontal"
moving on the fretboard rather than vertical. In both
sets, he really soared on "The Turning Point."  He
also had a lot of space for adding different rhythmic
flavors, and he offered a variety of touches. Lots of
jazzy comping and sliding 7th and 9th chords;
different kinds of double-stops; angular blues comping
and chomping; quite a display. In the second set, they
did play a slow blues, a Freddie King song called
"Love with a Feeling" (?) and Mick tore into it with
passion and control with some well-composed soloing.
Again, some re-listening will provide a more specific
report. 
I'm glad Mick is with Peter, and I'm glad I saw them.
It was a needed break from the usual songs and
patterns that Mick's band has had for years; Mick
clearly had a blast, joking and smiling and moving
more than I'd seen. He was given great support,
musically and technically, and responded well to his
role in the band. It was not the jazz-rock fusion set
that I secretly yearn for, but I was not expecting it
to be!
What will this add to Mick's legacy? I think Mick's
legacy is set as it is. Few musicians over the age of
30 are going to rise much further than they already
have in the general public's eye, sadly. If I get the
chance (and my wife lets me!!!!!) I'll be seeing these
guys again. What do you say, Kevin? Jim S.