The daughter of Otis Taylor and the son of Gary Moore. You might have expected some Blues at the Yardclub on Monday – and you would not have been disappointed.
It seems that whilst Both Cassie Taylor and Jack Moore are looking to find their own musical styles, there’s no getting away from the fact that they both literally have ‘Blues Blood’.
Cassie Taylor has a plan. I know because after Mondays show she told me. She didn’t tell me what the plan itself was, but suffice to say there’s a confidence about Cassie that says if she wants it it will happen. It’s the confidence that had her, on a whim, get a large chunk of the audience onstage. She simply suggested that band and audience swap places and we do the singing for a change. “How about you come onstage” she said, and it happened – or as she admitted later with a dismissive flick of her luxurious red hair. “I thought, either it will work or it won’t”. being Cassie of course, it worked rather well. It’s an enthusiasm that spills over into her playing style too – sometimes stroking the bass strings gently like a lovers caress, other times hammering down on them like a lovers curse, but always with high emotion.
It was a late decision for me to come down to Cologne – especially with Dani and Will Wilde at this very same venue on the very next night. After hearing her on the Blues Caravan Tour in Bonn I keenly rushed out to get a copy of Cassie’s ‘Blue’ album last year only to be a little disappointed. The roughness and bluesy swagger evidenced during her part of the ‘Girls With Guitars’ Tour seemed ironed out on the disc – looking for a wider audience and, to my ears anyway, sounding a little bland. With notable exceptions like the bluesy ‘Spoken For’ and the funky ‘Make Me Cry’ and ‘Satisfy My Soul’ she seemed for the most part not playing fully to her real strengths.
The good news for visitors to Cologne’s Yardclub and future shows in the UK that are about to start, is that the current live set shows Taylor is still on the right route towards her Plan. A big part of the reason she’s on target is Jack Moore, the man next to her onstage this evening – and they seem almost like ‘chalk and cheese’. The ‘noisy’ confidence and ‘coming right at ya’ style of Taylor next to the young man who stands slightly awkwardly next to her. When he takes a solo on his Les Paul Moore looks almost embarrassed to be as good as he is. Of course, he HAS to be good, it’s in his blue genes – and I don’t mean the denim ones he’s wearing either. The surname and the Les Paul are good visible clues, but when Jack cuts loose on a solo the late, great, Gary Moore is I’m sure smiling down on his son with pride already.
Still in his early twenties, Jack Moore has already appeared onstage with Joe Bonamassa and Deep Purple at the Royal Albert Hall, and not so surprisingly, also put in appearances with Moore’s old bandmates Scott Gorham and Brian Downey when he played onstage with Thin Lizzy. I notice too that the Les Paul he shoulders already has his name engraved on the headstock. He might be keeping it under his cap right now, but Jack also has a plan I’m sure. For starters there is a debut disc planned for next year he tells me later – and when Jack says he knows plenty of musicians to form a band for the project I don’t doubt him for a moment.
Right now though it’s not the Albert Hall but a small hall in a Cologne suburb with a relatively small but enthusiastic audience. Cassie Taylor has every man jack (and women Joan?) of them in the palm of her hand from the off with a smouldering solo version of Nat King Coles ‘Mona Lisa’. Goose bumps already, and it’s only 8.15. When Jack and drummer Jamie Little join her for the Blues Caravan classic ‘Leaving Chicago’ it quickly becomes clear that this is a hot trio we have in front of us. Like Moore, Cassie Taylor is also looking for a musical direction that doesn’t just take her down her Fathers path – in Cassie’s case it’s Bluesman Otis. On this particular September evening though it seems as if both Taylor and Moore have no choice but to obey the ‘Blues’ blood passed on by genetic inheritance in their veins. ‘Bring it on Home to Me’ and Willie Dixons ‘Talk To Me Baby’ are surefire winners this evening. Taylor’s own material also hits home and it’s easy to think that ‘Leaving Chicago’ is a Blues classic and not a Taylor composition. Her vocal styling on the slower numbers is also impressive.
By evenings end Jack Moore seems almost to enjoy standing in the brightest area of the stage (under the ‘spotlight’ would be an exaggeration if you’ve seen the sparse lighting at Yardclub) and Cassie is ruling the roost with ease. She sits down on the stage front to sing intimately with Moore beside her, and when finally she suggests some of the audience take the stage and sing whilst she and Moore watch and provide musical accompaniment it’s a done deal. I can’t help thinking Taylors confidence and Moores relaxed style are not so much chalk and cheese as Fish and Chips – a very tasty combination indeed.