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Hey Joe

Octave Records Direct-To-Master Series

Built in Boulder

Hey Joe Opus/Red Meat is Otis Taylor’s 14th album, originally released as a CD (and vinyl) on his Trance Blues Festival label and now for the first time available in pure full high-def DSD direct from the master recording. Joined by former Allman Brother’s guitarist, Warren Haynes, Jazz trumpeter, Ron Miles, singer, Langhorne Slim, and violinist, Anne Harris, among others, Otis has created a psychedelic suite of 10 continuous songs threaded with urging motifs, dynamic textures, and hypnotic passages interplaying with Otis’ signature lyrics and vocal style. Recorded exclusively on the Sonoma DSD Multitrack recording system and remastered by Gus Skinas for this limited direct-to-master SACD release, this single-pressing includes a hybrid stereo SACD with DSD Pure as well as a DSDDirect Mastered CD layer, playable in any CD transport. Tracks 11-20 on the SACD layer are an exclusive vinyl needle drop to DSD from the original 45 RPM DMM (Direct Metal Master) release from in-akustik GmbH. Only 1,300 SACDs will be released for collectors. Get yours before they’re gone. Ships worldwide.

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Hey Joe

Product Description

Otis Taylor is a critically acclaimed American blues artist who blends blues, rock, and trance blues – in his own words, “to take you on a journey”. His songs typically illuminate the themes of injustice, particularly racism, poverty, the darkness that gives birth to murder, and the unrelenting desire for redemption. Taylor has been performing Hey Joe—written by folk artist Billy Roberts and covered by many—during his live shows since 1995 and chose to use his own artistic version as a framework for this opus surrounding eight of his own songs which, Taylor states, “explore the decisions we make and how they affect us”. Having recorded his last five albums in Pure DSD, we know Otis is a fan of the DSD technology and has enthusiastically endorsed this reissue, particularly during these challenging times. You do not want to miss out on this limited reissue mastered for SACD, now available for the first time as a direct-to-master version from Octave Records.

Hey Joe (A)
Sunday Morning (A)
My Heart is a Muscle (used for the blues)
Red Meat
Peggy Lee
They Wore Blue
Hey Joe (B)
Sunday Morning (B)
Cold at Midnight
Sunday Morning (C)

This is one direct-to-master recording you don’t want to miss out on. Each track is a sonic treasure available as a direct-to-master exclusively from Octave Records.

Otis Taylor was born in Chicago in 1948 and was raised in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood. His father worked as a Pullman porter. Both parents were jazz fans. As a teenager, Taylor drew musical inspiration from the Denver Folklore Center, where he first heard blues artists like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. There he learned to play banjo, guitar, and harmonica and then formed a band called the Butterscotch Fire Department and later the Otis Taylor Blues Band. Taylor moved to Boulder when the 1960s counterculture movement was going strong. After a 20-year hiatus from performing to work at selling art and antiques, Taylor returned to music in 1995 and immediately began to garner attention as a unique voice in the blues genre. Press coverage in Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, NPR, CNN and other media validated him as an important songwriter and producer. He earned a fellowship to the Sundance Composers Laboratory in 2001 and followed up in 2002 with a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut. Taylor helped raise awareness of the African roots of the banjo with his collaborative 2008 recording Recapturing the Banjo. With a total of 5 Downbeat critics awards among his many honors as well as his music featured in major motion pictures, perhaps his most rewarding recognition was being included in the inaugural exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. Recently he was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. A resident of Boulder since 1967, Taylor gives back to the community with his annual Trance Blues Festival. While establishing his trademark Trance Blues style, Otis Taylor has become one of the few musicians in the world to address serious issues including racial injustice with a passionate and original voice.


Hey Joe Opus/Red Meat was originally recorded at Boulder, Colorado’s Immersive Sound, engineered and mixed by Mike Yach and mastered by David Glasser at Boulder’s Airshow Mastering. It was remastered from the original Direct Stream Digital (DSD) master mixes by Octave Records’ Gus Skinas in pure high-resolution DSD using the Octave Records’ DSDDirect Mastering process. The sonic result is an exclusive Direct-To-Master recording with exceptional presence, detail, clarity, and dynamics.
The reissue production of Hey Joe Red Meat was done using a Sonoma digital audio workstation (DAW) in pure one-bit DSD and mixed on an analog console. During mastering, the album was monitored on ATC SCM50 and Infinity IRS V loudspeakers driven by PS Audio BHK Mono 300 power amplifiers.

  • One pressing Austrian gold pressed dual-layer SACD
  • Pure DSD + PROMastered CD layers
  • Bonus needle drop from metal masters
  • One pressing two-disc virgin vinyl 45 rpm master discs
  • Pure DSD mastered by Gus Skinas on the Sonoma mastering system
  • DSD64, DSDDirect Mastered 192kHz 24 bit, 96kHz 24 bit, 44.1kHz 16 bit PCM download
  • No compression in the mastering process
  • CD layer of SACD playable on any CD player
  • Mastering monitored through the PS Audio DirectStream DAC
  • All tracks hand curated on the Infinity IRSV in PS Audio’s Music Room Two
  • Limited edition one-pressing physical media

Honoring the Music and Those Who Make It

Our mission at Octave Records™ is simple – respect musicians by paying them fairly, and respect their music by bringing it to life in the highest-quality possible.

Too often, musicians have to absorb the costs of production, leaving them little or any earnings – or even putting them in debt. And the quality of their recordings end up in last place. We at PS Audio and Octave Records are dedicated to correcting these inequities.

To support musicians, Octave™ covers 100% of all studio, mixing, mastering, production, distribution, and marketing expenses so that artists may directly share in retail sales revenues – while retaining ownership of their music.

Octave Records is dedicated to offering the highest-quality recordings in high-resolution formats including pure DSD on SACD , as well as 192kHz PCM. Located in Boulder, Colorado, Octave utilizes the world’s finest studio equipment, based around the acclaimed Sonoma™ DSD recording, mixing, and mastering system. Gus Skinas, our world-renowned mastering engineer, has hundreds of album credits and helped design the Sonoma system.

Spontaneous and exciting

Glide Magazine

When you hear the nearly eight-minute long blues guitar epic of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”, the opening track off Otis Taylor’s latest record Hey Joe Opus/Red Meat, you’ll get just a taste of what you’re in for. And when the strings and horns kick in, adding an element of fantasy to this south western noir tale, the whole thing will explode like a vibrant sunset. A mix of old and new songs and cover songs, Taylor’s signature jam-heavy, psychedelic aesthetic feels fresher than ever. A fever dream of otherworldly and old west vibes, Hey Joe Opus/Red Meat is spontaneous and exciting, but also clean and controlled. Everything is where it should be, but you don’t see any of it coming.

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Taylors’ fans will laud all over Taylor for this in its brilliance and emotion.

Chicago Blues Guide

Taylor masterfully weaves this all together with some intriguing instrumentals and creates for us a complete work of musical art. I will listen to this many more times this summer; with each listen I pick up a new twist. Taylors’ fans will likely love this and well they should. It is both captivating and musically intriguing. I enjoyed this thoroughly; it ranges from traditional in sound to psychedelic (and everything in between). It is Otis Taylor at his wildest and best. Most highly recommended!

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Breathing new life into the ancient garage-rock tune like nobody since Jimi Hendrix

That Devil Music

Hey Joe Opus/Red Meat takes the old-school concept album a step further, offering songs that “explore the decisions that we make and how they effect us” [sic], tying together the vocal tracks with mesmerizing instrumentals. Breathing new life into the ancient garage-rock tune like nobody since Jimi Hendrix, Taylor imbues “Hey Joe” with an uneasy malevolence, his anguished vocals punctuated by guest Warren Haynes’ shimmering fretwork and Anne Harris’s eerie, howling violin.

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There’s an essence of old meets new here

Psychedelic Baby

There’s always been an undercurrent and theme to Taylor’s albums, and that’s no exception here on his Hey Joe Opus, featuring the song made famous by Jimi Hendrix, and written years before by Billy Roberts. To my ears, the Hey Joe Opus sounds and comes across much like Neil Young’s soundtrack to “Deadman,” where Taylor visits and revisits “Hey Joe” twice, “Sunday Morning” three times, and filters the rest of the tracks out through the emotional embroidery these two numbers create. There’s an essence of old meets new here, a worldless dreamy atmosphere that rekindles the psychedelic aesthetics of a memory of jam within a jam within a dream, bringing “Hey Joe” back full circle, allowing it to sound even more fresh and more vital.

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Taylor’s Hey Joe Opus goes one step beyond any of his previous experimentation.

Twangville

Taylor’s Hey Joe Opus goes one step beyond any of his previous experimentation. The album’s centerpiece, the Billy Roberts classic made famous by Jimi Hendrix – “Hey Joe” – appears twice on the album. A Taylor concert staple he first recorded on Recapturing the Banjo, the song lends itself well to Taylor’s vocal style. These versions also feature searing electric guitar crescendos from Gov’t Mule’s sensational Warren Haynes. Along with “Hey Joe,” the album features no fewer than three renditions of Taylor’s own instrumental “Sunday Morning,” which serves as a companion piece for each “Hey Joe” and also closes out the album. Taylor’s other haunting originals, “The Heart is a Muscle Used to Play the Blues,” “Red Meat,” “Peggy Lee,” the instrumental “They Wore Blue,” and “Cold at Midnight” work together with “Hey Joe” as one longer statement, rather than as a collection of songs, to create a stark, beautiful listening experience.

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