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Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: James Taylor (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, background vocals); Danny Kortchmar (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, congas); John Hartford (banjo); Richard Greene (fiddle); Kevin Kelly (accordion, piano); Andrew Love (saxophone, horns); Wayne Jackson (trumpet, horns); The Memphis Horns (horns); Carole King (piano, background vocals); Leland Sklar (bass instrument); Russ Kunkel (drums, congas, cymbals, tambourine, bells); Peter Asher (tambourine, background vocals); Gail Haness, Joni Mitchell, Kate Taylor, Gale Harness (background vocals).
  • Recording information: Crystal Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/03/1971-02/28/1971).
  • For the follow up to his classic SWEET BABY JAMES, which rivals TAPESTRY's place in the boomer canon, archetypal sensitive singer-songwriter Taylor wisely elected not to stray too far from the approach that had worked so well on his previous album. He covers another Carole King tune ("You've Got A Friend,") perfects the L.A. folk-rock sound he inaugurated on his earlier work, courtesy of studio hotshots like Russ Kunkel, Danny Kootch and Leland Sklar, whose names are virtually synonymous with Taylor's '70s work. One of the most memorable tunes here, "Hey Mister That's Me Up On the Jukebox" is one of the more effective songs to bemoan the plight of the lonely balladeer, evidence that Taylor mined the introspective troubadour style long before it became a mawkish sham. In other words, don't blame the father for the sins of the wayward sons.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (6/24/71, p.42) - "...MUD SLIDE SLIM broods about James Taylor, songster and runaway phenomenon, and expresses his ambivalence and impotence in the face of it all..."

Rolling Stone (9/30/71, p.42) - "...it is a natural progression past SWEET BABY JAMES. James Taylor's emotional power derives precisely from his restraint, the absence of any form of affectation or pretension..."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Bringing all of his past experiences and failings to bear, the album was almost cathartic but retained the urge to roam and to escape his problems."
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