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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

My Soul's in Louisiana

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

By Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor (1948) is a blues, soul and roots musical artist. He is an amazing multi-instrumentalist musician and a socially conscious song writer and performer. He is one of my favorite contemporary blues artists. His music has often been called "trance blues" which I can understand by getting very quiet and just listening to his music. It can inspire, lifting one out of ordinary awareness into greater heights or taking one to greater depths. The song here - My Soul's in Louisiana appeared on his White African album in 2001. It is a song about the common experience of Black people, indigenous people, Latinx people, anyone of color and women in the USA for 400 years down to the same old racism, sexism and madness of today. I hear in the song the wanton, casual view of the murder of Black people and marginalized people throughout our history. His use of the train sounds coming and going at the beginning and end of the song, seem to mark the on-going ordinariness of this horror story. A Black man is killed out of injustice and hatred, the trains keep rolling on, as if that is all that matters. I believe the song addresses both racism as well as the assumed, almost religious nature of capitalism in this country - anything for a buck as long as the trains keep running, life is cheap. I hope you will give him a listen. Any of his albums are good but my favorites are White African or Fantasizing about being Black.

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