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Chip Taylor is probably the most famous unknown songwriter in America. A recording/writing deal in the '60s resulted in several big hits, including "Wild Thing," "Angel of the Morning" and "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)," then Taylor left music to pursue other interests. In the past decade, he has re-emerged and released a series of independent recordings, featuring his own unique brand of storytelling. Experiencing a burst of creativity during a recent U.K. tour, Taylor cut a batch of new material with a full band, and then almost immediately followed up with an acoustic recording session concentrating on even more new tunes.

The London Sessions is a bit of a misnomer, as 16 of the 25 songs on this double disc actually were recorded in New York. The first disc consists of the nine tracks done in London, and feature a pick-up band that was able to cut most of the songs in one day. Even though it is described as the "Electric" disc, the music is subtle and thoughtful, and Taylor's lyrics paint poignant pictures of the down-and-outers of the world. The second "Acoustic" disc includes 16 tracks, featuring guest vocals by Lucinda Williams, fiddle by Tammy Rogers and Anton Fig on percussion. While slower and less musically dynamic than the first disc, Taylor maintains an edge in the words of his songs. The total package is an interesting view into the world of a well-traveled man, and shows that singer/songwriters don't have to be self-centered and boring.

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