Lewis Taylor – Trout Mask Reborn


Unofficial cover art by Unkie Al

Song list:

  1. Frownland
  2. The Dust Blows Forward And The Dust Blows Back
  3. Dachau Blues
  4. [spoken]
  5. Ella Guru
  6. Hair Pie (Orchestral Version)
  7. Moonlight On Vermont
  8. Pachuco Cadaver
  9. Bill’s Corpse
  10. Sweet Sweet Bulbs
  11. Steal Softly Thru Snow
  12. My Human Gets Me Blues
  13. Hair Pie (Guitar Version)

Further info

A fascinating but, sadly, unreleased project from musician Lewis Taylor.

Overview by Derek Laskie

Troutrageous Replica!

I have recently been playing a demo CD called ‘Trout Mask Replica’, a Replica replica, single-handedly made by Lewis Taylor, a professional musician best known for his soul albums and his music for feature films.

Lewis chooses not to follow the growling vocal path of the Beefheart imitators but uses his own voice, phrasings and intonations to achieve a fresh fidelity to the spirit of the original. His musical arrangements contribute to the impression of hearing Beefheart rendered in a parallel universe.

Much chorus-work and squelchy guitar playing, a Hammond acid-jazz-with-angles version of ‘Frownland’, a ‘Dust Blows Forward’ over fairground music, a Zappa-esque orchestral ‘Hair Pie’ and a manic synthy ‘Steal Softly’ all contribute to the outrageousness of this Trout Variation.

With audacity, love and an intimate knowledge of the music Lewis completed only thirteen tracks before abandoning the project late last year.

There are no plans to make the CD commercially available, but some tracks should soon be available for download at a fan-site: http://www.lewistaylormusic.com/special

Comments from Lewis Taylor fans about tracks they’ve already heard make for interesting reading:

Lewis Taylor’s own website is here: http://www.slowreality.com

In January 2023 Lewis gave an interview on the website Moving The River and he was asked about his recordings of Trout Mask songs. (Check out the full interview – https://movingtheriver.com/2023/01/23/an-interview-with-lewis-taylor/)

Moving The River : Did you record a whole Trout Mask Replica covers album? I remember hearing ‘Ella Guru’ and being knocked out by it.

Lewis Taylor : Oh cool, I’m glad you liked that! No I didn’t do the whole album, it was a bit of an anal job. You can’t learn those songs that easily cos there isn’t a straight line going through them, well there is but it’s very, very bent. So the only way was to get the instrumental version of each song, record it onto a stereo track cos Beefheart always had two guitars panned hard left and right, then I would just drop in and overdub it phrase by phrase, erase the original then try and sing on it. I gave up after 13 tracks, couldn’t be bothered! LOL…

Help us out

If anyone is able to complete or update any of the information above, then please do get in touch.


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