Born in Mississippi, Taylor's parents moved to Chicago in 1962, taking him along.

He joined the Transistors, a popular music group. He switched his focus to blues music when the group disbanded in the early 1980s. He found work playing in clubs on the West Side of Chicago, often at Rosa's Lounge.

During the 1980s he joined Pinetop Perkins and the Legendary Blues Band in a year-long European tour. He has returned to Europe several times with his own group, which has opened for B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Santana.

Taylor's recordings include two albums for a French record label, Blues on the Run (1982) and Plays the Blues for You (1984). Recordings in the United States include Melvin Taylor and the Slack Band, with John Snyder, released by Evidence Music, and Dirty Pool (1997).Taylor's Beyond the Burning Guitar was recorded in Misty Creek Studios, in Fairfax, Virginia. He also recorded a cover of the Skylar GreyEminem song "Love the Way You Lie", with the rapper, Matt Christian, at Misty Creek Studios.