LA native Gene Taylor, who along with his band will be playing at Arcadia Blues Club Saturday, has gained a well-deserved reputation over the past 40-odd years as one of the best piano players in the blues business. His influences came early, as a family of blues musicians moved in next door to him when he was 8 years old. He took up piano at age 10 and soon began playing in a family band launched by the parents of a friend.
After losing his parents and a brother at age 15, Taylor committed himself to the life of a musician. He soon found work performing with such blues stalwarts as Big Joe Turner and T-Bone Walker. During that time, he also met blues legend James Harman, working with him for about a year, during which time he also met Phil and Dave Alvin, who went on to form The Blasters.
Taylor left Harman’s band and then joined Canned Heat, working with that band for about two years. He went solo for a while then joined The Blasters in the early 1980s. After leaving that band, he relocated to Austin, Texas in the early 1990s and hooked up with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, performing with them for some 14 years. He’s gone on to perform and record solo and keeps a busy touring schedule.
Music starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Call (626) 447-9349 or visit arcadiabluesclub.com.