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Hughes Taylor puts his own spin on 21st Century Blues. Weaving influences of icons like Hendrix and Clapton with elements of Muscle Shoals, Stax, vintage southern rock and more, he forges his own trail to brilliant results. Modern Nostalgia, his new album, and fifth release since 2016, showcases his growth as a musician, songwriter, and producer. In some ways it's a concept album, with the title summing up the unifying thread he describes as "tapping into classic styles but doing it in a modern way." Drawn to the blues at an early age, he spent his early teenage years playing nonstop, doing paid gigs before he was even old enough to drive (legally), constantly refining his technique and developing a signature sound. Modern Nostalgia was written during the pandemic and recorded at the legendary Capricorn Sound Studios, and the music is nothing short of a modern successor to the great music that put Capricorn on the map. Playing out like a rewrite of the Blues roadmap of the past 50 years, the album's reverence for the past is undeniable. A Chicago shuffle retains all its traditional hallmarks, Texas blues retain their Lone Star signature, and a classic road song is still a classic road song. But it's Taylor's keen songwriting sense that elevates everything and breathes new life into it all. Across the album's 12 songs it becomes quickly apparent he's as adept at self-editing as he is at playing; there are no wasted notes but it all still feels loose and casual with an innate sense of precision. Taylor's vision for the blues has never been clearer, and Modern Nostalgia is a template for decades to come.



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