DEMETRIA TAYLOR

AND TOMIKO

DIXON:

TRIBUTE TO

BIG TIME SARAH

“Big Time” Sarah Streeter was born in Coldwater, Mississippi in 1953 and raised on Chicago’s south side, singing in church. Her first attempt at singing the blues was when she sang Stormy Monday with the Aces—Little Walter’s former band at the age of 14. She sat in with others over the next few years, and one night met the genial old patriarch of the local scene at the time, Sunnyland Slim. Singing with him led quickly to an invitation to tour California, then Europe, then to record a single on his Airway label.
 

She subsequently appeared regularly at all the north side blues clubs with her band The BTS Express with whom she perfected her brash, comically feminist songs and stage routine. In 1993 she recorded Lay it On ’Em Girls, her first of three for the Delmark label. Sarah passed away in 2015 from a heart condition.

Vocalist Demetria Taylor is one of seven Taylor siblings to sing and/or play the blues (her brother, guitarist Eddie Taylor Jr., appears on today’s Front Porch stage), reflecting a musical legacy begun by her parents, guitarist Eddie Taylor, Sr. and his wife, singer Lee Vera Taylor, which still reverberates through Chicago and the blues community. Chicago’s venerable Delmark Records released her debut CD Bad Girl in 2011, which as the title suggests, pays tribute to her father and his signature composition, Bad Boy.

 

Her repertoire is weighted in favor of Chicago blues standards which she gives her spin from a woman’s perspective. Though there are strong shades of her mother’s voice and style in her singing, her vocals often bring to mind the growling, late ‘Queen of the Blues,’ Koko Taylor. The passionate ‘Bad girl of the blues’ says, “I was born to sing the blues,” and it is no idle boast. She can bring it!

Calling herself “The Grand-Daughter of the Blues,” Tomiko Dixon is the proud granddaughter of Willie Dixon. And like Dixon, she has be- come a singer/songwriter in her own right and has released a handful of self-produced projects on her Grand Blues Music label. She appeared on the star-studded Centennial Tribute to Willie Dixon at the 2015 Chicago Blues Fest at which she turned more than a few heads with her performance.

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