Jerry Douglas Salutes Dobro Legend Tut Taylor
While few would argue that Jerry Douglas is the finest Dobro player working today, the influential musician has helped pay homage to another iconic innovator on the instrument also known as the resonator guitar, Tut Taylor. 'Southern Filibuster: A Tribute to Tut Taylor,' out now on Koch/Entertainment One Music, features tracks performed by Dobro pickers Rob Ickes, Randy Kohrs, Cindy Cashdollar, Mike Auldridge, Phil Leadbetter, and Jerry himself, among others, each offering up a reworking of one of Tut's own tunes for the project.
Something of a follow-up to 'The Great Dobro Sessions,' the Grammy-winning 1994 album Tut and Jerry co-produced, 'Filibuster' was a surprise to 86-year-old Tut, who didn't even learn about the album until it was finished.
"Everybody loves Tut," Jerry tells the SPPS (Steam Powered Preservation Society). "And not just his personality, him being such a nice guy, but it's also the contribution he's made to the industry, in all different ways, but mainly to us as Dobro players.
"This is a tribute to Tut Taylor, I want that to be clear. It's not my record," Jerry continues. "The company the record came out on, Koch/Entertainment One, is the label I record for. But they're behind me, they believe in me, they take what I say to heart. They saw that I was really interested in doing this record and they jumped on it. They said, 'Whatever you want, we'll do this record,' and I really thank them for being behind it. Now we'll see. Now we'll give them their investment back and we'll give Tut Taylor back a small part of what we owe him. That's the whole idea, to just honor Tut Taylor, one of our pioneers."
Born in Georgia in 1923, Tut Taylor took up banjo and mandolin before discovering the Dobro at age 14. By the 1970s, he was the most in-demand player of his instrument working in Nashville. Jerry Douglas, who has been a member of Alison Krauss and Union Station since 1998, has reportedly played Dobro on some 1,600 albums throughout his career.
"The contribution of Jerry Douglas to the movement of the Dobro is humongous," says Tut Taylor. "There were many Dobro players, then here comes Jerry laying down some bluegrass stuff, just playing well. Then he began to branch out, singlehandedly bringing the instrument to where it is today. I'm mighty proud to have him as my friend."
'Southern Filibuster' is available now, and the proceeds will go directly to Tut Taylor himself.