Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Hound Dog Taylor: Release the Hound [Alligator, 2004]
Live and redundant--six of 15 titles also on best-of, almost all on the three studio albums. But none on his 1976 live set. And who do you prefer when it comes to redundant--the laid-off prole who gets the job done night in and night out or the college-educated goon who pronounces him excessed? Taylor had less class than a metal-shop teacher in a finishing school, and he always believed that making music was the same thing as having fun. Few artists in any genre, most certainly including the dogged bar blues he inspired, have generated such effortless enthusiasm or made ruder noises with an amplifier. His studio legacy is pretty rough. But live he was even rougher, and with him that means better more often than not. A-