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Category Archives: Taylor

Get your mojo on

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I was reminiscing and perusing the archives over at Gray Charles and began re-reading the wonderful multi-part interview with Taylor Hicks in the Summer of ’06, shortly after he won American Idol. In Part 2 of the interview, Taylor says:

I’ve been doing this all my life. People have been wondering about me for a long time. Hell man, people have been watching me for a long time, studying me and observing me, even when I was 15 or 16 years old. You get good at being observed. I hired a sideman when I was 17 years old. A guitar player named Billy Earl McClelland who was Delbert Clinton’s odl guitar player. We worked together when I was at Auburn, he told him that I was a natural entertainer and I shouldn’t worry about putting on a show. I should just be the person I was and that was entertainment enough. I had never thought about it that way until he told me that. I was able to loosen up and just by me.

After I got over Gray’s atrocious very few and intellectually insignificant spelling errors and word-o’s (due to rushing to get all the scoop to everyone), not to mention the fact that it’s Delbert MCClinton, this made me ponder. On one hand, there’s this image of Taylor Hicks that’s the guy who hit the lottery and is a greenhorn at all of this. However, when you go back to this interview, you’ll find that there’s a definite “experience” to the young man. Over the past six months or so, I began to think that maybe Taylor was a novice, in over his head, not ready for prime time. I then decided to delve into this side man, Billy Earl McClelland a little further.

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Billy Earl McClelland is not a young man. Hell, he was in his mid-40′s when he worked with Taylor way back in those early Auburn days. He’s now 57 and extremely proud of his protege’. Perhaps Taylor’s new found success motivated Billy Earl to give music one more shot.

Now, Billy Earl McClelland is not light weight. He’s enjoyed a very impressive career as a songwriter and session musician in Nashville for greats like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hank Williams, Jr., Sawyer Brown and of course, Delbert McClinton. He was also a member of the staff band at The Sound Pit in Atlanta where they provided back-up for Olivia Newton-John, Paul McCartney & Wings, and the Divine Ms. M, Bette Midler.

He ended up in Delbert’s band and for a while was Tanya Tucker’s bandleader and lead guitarist. He toured with Bo Diddley, Albert Collins, the Atlanta Rhythm Section and The Allman Brothers. He even did some time as a regular in The Dixie Flyers who were mainstays at the FloraBama for years.

From the mojo:saint website:

McClelland has stayed involved writing songs and recording in his personal studio. He has been jamming with his friend Steven Seagal in Memphis and acting like a proud papa for his close friend Taylor Hicks’ American Idol success.

Point is, this guy has been a major player in Country and Blues for a very long time. So, what possessed him in 1993 to become the side man for a young punk not even of legal age. There must have been something that he saw that was “special” in the young man. While he didn’t stay with Taylor for the entire 10-year journey, it’s evident that he did teach and advise Taylor and I’m sure that he shared his music business experiences. All of this said, my brief research into Billy Earl McClelland affirms to me that Taylor isn’t just off the turnip truck and likely does have a method to his madness. As I first suspected, if left to his own devices, he’ll be just fine.

And, as for Billy Earl — just where did he go after that time spent with young Taylor Hicks?

Well, McClelland does seem to relish in the mentor role as he ended up producing the first two CDs for Big Bill Morganfield, the son of Muddy Waters. He has also produced a couple of CD compilations of Alabama Blues Artists.

However, recently, Billy Earl is back performing and you’ll never guess with who. Try Jack Hall. Yes, that Jack Hall….the bass player from Wet Willie. When I found this I about flipped. Jack Hall is a superb musician and it’s so great to see him back playing music again. These two have teamed up with drummer, David Brazeal, to form Mojo:Saint, a down and dirty blues/rock band.

 


Jack Hall, David Brazeal, Billy Earl McClelland

Here are some live performances from YouTube:

Snakebit

They Don’t Make the Blues Like They Used To

Hot Guitar Licks

Just to tie it all in, here’s Jack Hall and his brother, Jimmy, at a Wet Willie get together:

GABBA

It’s such a treat to see these guys together, playing music. From the calendar on their website, it looks like they’re touring the tri-state area of Georgia, Alabama and Florida and they are scheduled for a Mobile show at The Blues Tavern in mid-December. While I may not be able to dance yet, I can certainly show up and enjoy this delightful treat.

As for the Taylor kun-NECK-shuns, I can’t help but think that there are some deep, deep roots in blues and southern rock that will begin to manifest in Taylor’s music. I’d love to see him hook up with the old schoolers like Billy Earl and Jack Hall and get back to basics. I’d love to see him recording at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. How about a live cut from the FloraBama? However, the lights of fame in L.A. and New York burn brighter than the candles of the turf he knows like the back of his hand, me thinks. Yet, this weekend, he’s back in Alabama to perform with the Auburn Marching Band at the half-time of the Auburn/Mississippi St. game (11:30am, CDT). So, who knows? Maybe the Yabba Dabba Soul Patrol Mojo Carpet Bomb Coast-to-Coast Dive Tour has a shot, albeit a very slim one.

If you’re out and about Phenix City this Saturday Night, you might want to drop in at The Broad St. Blues Club and catch mojo:saint. Billy Earl and Jack will, no doubt, be burning it up. For the record, the club is 34 miles from Auburn….you just never know who might be looking for an old friend.

http://www.mojosaint.com/live/

By the way, I have it on good authority that Taylor’s been listening to bagpipes this week.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2007 in blues, gray charles, Taylor, taylor hicks

 

The Right Place, The Right Time…

Welcome Back to Alabama, Taylor! Hope Dothan was good to ya!

I just don’t get tired of this song. Here’s to finding the “right” place….

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 23, 2007 in Soul, Taylor, taylor hicks

 

It’s Rainin’ Men….

Ok, enough of all of the wimmin singers. My tastes in music really run to the masculine side anyway. And, there happens to be some really great male singers out there. I’ve noticed a definite “back to the basics” style of most of the boys out there now, which I thoroughly enjoy. There is real music by real musicians out there who are giving us some really great, memorable music and performances.

It seems to me that music by men is not a typical “macho” characteristic, yet most male performers are so honed in and down right good that they take music to a different level. I think that men in music make a stronger kun-NECK-shun in delivering the message of the music between melody and lyric, but maybe that’s because I am truly touched by sensitive and artistic men.

So I figured that I’d throw a few out there. Such a plethora of testosterone that is simply spectacular, and all are strikingly different.

Of course, there is the Silver Fox — the epitome of passion in music….

TAYLOR HICKS

A nice, new nugget of an old, familiar favorite:

Use Me, Taylor Hicks

Taylor is definitely “all about the music” and his love of music is readily evident and palpable.

Now, onto a few others that might not be as well known to you but are still hawt, in the musical sense, of course…

DONOVAN FRANKENREITER

It Don’t Matter, Donovan Frankenreiter

Donovan is “ungh”. He is a bit of a hippie and not you’re typical media star, but his bluesy-ness is superb. Here’s a bonus of Donovan with JACK JOHNSON.


Heading Home, Donovan Frankenreiter and Jack Johnson

 

 

MATT WERTZ

One of my music geek friends, turned me on to a relatively new artist named Matt Wertz. More to come on Matt, later…

5:19, Matt Wertz

 

 

 

CAS HALEY

Cas is a breath of fresh air from the cheesefest that is America’s Got Talent. From Dallas, TX, Cas is a dedicated husband and father and a rather unique talent. His performances on AGT remind me alot of Taylor on AI….not the “cookie cutter” pop star, he really brings some originality and huge talent. As with Taylor, however, I wonder if Cas can transcend the stigma of reality TV.

Easy, Cas Haley

Oh, if only Taylor had delivered this Lionel Ritchie classic as boldly.

 

 

 

BEN HARPER

Then, there’s Ben Harper. Flying under the radar for a few years, Ben is quite an eclectic talent. Here he is at Bonnaroo:

Burn One Down, Ben Harper

As as added bonus, here is Ben Harper with the Blind Boys of Alabama doing I Shall Not Walk Alone. I was gobsmacked when I first heard this version. Such honesty and sincerity where all of these gentlemen are obviously moved by the music.

I Shall Not Walk Alone, Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama

 

 

Likely one of the most passionate pairings on a song that I’ve seen in a while, this duo brings this classic to a new level:

RAY LAMONTAGNE & DAMIEN RICE

To Love Somebody, Ray LaMontagne & Damien Rice

Perhaps I like the acoustical nature, ala James Taylor, of these newer artists, but I also love that all of these dudes are incorporating all kinds of instruments including harmonica, slide guitars, stand up bass, etc. Here’s a funky turn from Damien Rice at Abbey Road Studios:

Volcano, Damien Rice

I have a love/hate relationship with Ray LaMontagne. While I find him eerily freakish in stature and demeanor, the man has serious chops and talent.

JAMES MORRISON

This young artist, moreso of all the others, beckons memories of Stevie Wonder to me. He also uses rich instruments…

You Give Me Something, James Morrison

 

 

GAVIN DEGRAW

While many perceive of Gavin Degraw as “commercial” but I happen to think he’s got alot of “soul”…here is Gavin pulling off a classic:

Tracks of My Tears, Gavin Degraw

and I just love this stripped piano, solo version of Chariot:

Chariot, Gavin Degraw

 

 

AMOS LEE

Of course, I love me some Amos. Here’s a recent performance of one of my favorite Amos tunes (for obvious reasons):

Southern Girl, Amos Lee

Why are we not seeing more of Amos?

MARC BROUSSARD

I can’t pass up an opportunity to talk about my “home boy”, Marc. Here’s some relatively new Marc vids:


I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
, Marc Broussard

Donny Hathaway would be proud.


Love & Happiness
, Marc Broussard (For those of you who never could connect to the Yahoo! link.

Lastly, here’s a tasty little bootleg:


Pappa Was a Rollin’ Stone
, Marc Broussard

 

 

JOHN MAYER

And lastly, there’s Johnny Boy. New Yorker, stoner, environmentalist, comedian….and damn-good musician. I have it on good authority that Mayer may actually be a stalker. (BTW, I’ve forgiven him the Jessica indiscretion.)

Talk about an artist that beckons the past….he brings it to life.


Come Back to Bed,
John Mayer with Buddy Guy & Double Trouble

While I highlighted John’s GMA performance with Eric Clapton a few weeks ago, this is a particularly lovely performance of the two guitar impresarios.


Heartbroken,
John Mayer & Eric Clapton

Clapton ain’t so bad, himself.

I’ve gone through many Mayer favorites, but right now it’s this one:


In Repair,
John Mayer

In more ways than one, Johnny Boy, in more ways than one.

So, what musical dudes in today’s music have I failed to mention?

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2007 in dudes, Taylor

 

Taylor does Marksville…

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Taylor Hicks – “Heart & Soul”

Well, I am back from my handicapped trek to Louisiana for our “Girls’ Weekend”. While it wasn’t easy, it sure was fun. We thoroughly enjoyed the getaway including: food, a little gambling, great company, some bodacious and very affordable pina coladas, and of course, the Taylor Hicks concert Saturday night.

First, let me say that the Paragon Casino in Marksville, LA is certainly “off the beaten path”. Fortunately, one of my D-i-Ls is from around those parts and got us there promptly and safely, mid-day on Saturday. We lounged around the pool and spent about an hour pouring money down a rat hole….uh, I mean gambling. After a very nice dinner where we saw Loren Gold and Brian Gallagher having their supper, my party wheeled me through the crowded casino and to the Mari Showroom, where the concert was being held.

Our seats were very good. We were about 15 rows back on the left of the stage with a big aisle in front. As it happens, even though the tickets were purchased way before my accident, we happened to be sitting on the handicapped aisle….fate, no? They were a little late getting started, but at about 9:10 p.m., Soul Finger, started and the band (all dressed in black shirts) took the stage. The stage was completed with “Little Ray” at the bottom of the drum platform, right next to the harp case and mic.

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Then, Loren Gold announces….Ladies and Gentlemen, Taaaayyyyyllllorrrr Hhhhhiiiiiccckkks.

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Taylor came out in a black button down, jeans and tennis shoes. He looked great and seemed very relaxed. He talked quite a bit to the crowd and was happy about being back in the South, even though it was hot. He talked about loving Louisiana, which immediately endeared him to the crowd.

I was very pleased to see that Taylor played quite a few songs from my suggested Set List. He started out with Soul Thing, followed by Heart and Soul. I captured some pretty good pictures with my zoom lens but the back lighting wasn’t as good as the House of Blues, so I did a little editing. Here’s one I captured during Heart and Soul.

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He followed up with Just to Feel That Way and then pleased me greatly by introducing My Friend, with a sweet little soprano sax solo by Mr. Brian Gallagher. Awesome.

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It was great. I hadn’t heard that one live yet, so I was thrilled. He was definitely having fun and looked very fit and comfortable. While he was really good at the Mobile and New Orleans concerts I attended this Spring, this was strikingly different. There was a certain air about the performance. Like a cloud was lifted and his spirit was a bit “free”-er. Whether it’s because of his AI “reign” being officially over; increased confidence from playing a successful, full tour in the Spring; his new girlfriend; or the fact that he had a week off from performing and was back in the South from a prolonged stretch up North; he looked like he was really happy to be there and was having a great time. His vocals were spot on and his trademark “passion” in the performance was certainly there, with a vengeance.

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The set list included the following, with many “tags” embedded:

Wherever I Lay My Hat
Don’t Let Me Down
The Deal
Hold On To Your Love
Heaven Knows
The Maze (with a long tag of Do You Believe in Magic?)
Gonna Move (with a special nod to Louisiana of Gov. JimmieDavis’ You Are My Sunshine as well as Smoke of a Distant Fire)
The Right Place
The Runaround

The harp was ultra-hot on the last number and the crowd LOVED it. Me too, as I love me some harp.

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Then…..the Encore. The stool came out, then Taylor. Then a guitar was brought out to him and then his harp brace and finally, the harp. What followed was simply remarkable. Taylor, by himself, playing guitar, playing harp AND singing Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927. If you’ve never experienced this gem, here is Taylor’s version from the Open Door Sessions back in 2004.

For expediency’s sake, here is a YouTube of Taylor’s Louisiana 1927 as the backdrop to a Hurricane Katrina video.

Here are a few pictures I took during that performance, as well.

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Someone captured video that can be viewed at the TMO Server – Taylor Hicks Marksville LA1927

He ended with one of my favorites, Take Me to the Pilot. A really great performance. My girls all agreed that the stage is where Taylor shines. To really appreciate Taylor, his talent and energy, you have to see him “live”.

I was very glad that I went, even though the going wasn’t the easiest. For those of you who have asked about my recovery….it’s going ok. I still have pain in the leg that I’m hoping starts to subside. Two or so more weeks on crutches and then a walking boot for a few weeks. This was certainly a great “pick me up”.

To conclude, I leave you with a couple of favorite pictures that I captured of, as one of my girls says, “The Silver Fox”.

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Shhhhhh……

 

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Share that smile….

 

 
22 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2007 in Concerts, Reviews, Taylor

 

Return of Taylor Time…

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Taylor “Black, White & Gray all over” Hicks

Well, this is the weekend. I’m actually going to make the trek to Louisiana to see Taylor Hicks, once again, at The Paragon Casino in Marksville, LA. I’m a little apprehensive to go as I’m still on crutches and in this boot. But, my daughters-in-law assure me that they will haul me around and basically “make it happen”. One is driving four hours here to pick me up (‘cuz I still can’t drive).

So, I thought that I’d put together my suggested Set List. Thankfully, the Soul Patrol has provided ample videos of virtually every song Taylor has sung or “tagged”. The only one that I didn’t find that I would consider giving my eye teeth to hear live is Grandma’s Hands.

I’m sure we’re in store for a great show, but if he really wants to knock ‘em dead I think he should perform MY setlist…I’ll have a full report upon my return.

Call Me The Breeze

Rockin’ Pneumonia/Hey Pocky Way/Big Chief

Run Baby Run

Wherever I Lay My Hat

My Friend

The Fall and Take Me to the Pilot

Heart and Soul

Somehow

In Your Time

Grits Ain’t Groceries/Can’t Trust Your Neighbor

Hold Onto Your Love

The Right Place (after a short interview)

Here is a LINK to a very nice High Def. version of this performance.  I do so love the harp in this version of The Right Place.

Don’t Let Me Down

A Day in the Life

Feelin’ Alright

Happier with Him

 
11 Comments

Posted by on July 19, 2007 in Taylor

 

YouTube-Fu Smorgashbord

Some favorites I’ve found recently while “diving”. Yes, I’ve become bored with the hinter lands of cable TV….on to the Internets.

Otis Redding, I’ve Been Loving You
From the Monterrey Blues Festival. One of my Top 10 Favorite songs.

Marc Broussard, jammin’ on the tour bus.

Ray LaMontagne, Your the Best Thing
At The Beacon in NYC.

Sam Cooke, Bring it on Home to Me
Another all-time favorite of mine….there’s just something about this music…

Joss Stone & Rod Stewart, Hot Legs

Amos Lee, Soul Suckers

Taylor Hicks, Long Train Running
A dedication to Corn Hole in Kentucky?

Stevie Wonder, Yester Me, Yester You
Yet another all-time favorite.

Barbra Streisand & Judy Garland, Happy Days/Get Happy
Two of the BEST voices of the 20th century.

Patsy Cline, Crazy
No matter how many times I hear this song, I never tire of it.

The Yardbirds, Louise
A young Eric Clapton on lead guitar.

Here’s the last one…ok, this is not music, but it is HILARIOUS….Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you PooPoo Broussard.

Lemons

Big Teeth

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 15, 2007 in Amos Lee, Artists, Taylor, YouTube

 

Dancing Queen….Bjorn Again

ETA2: Huck is right….THIS is what needs to be done on AI next week. Taylor, bring ‘em to their knees.

Sorry, that line was too good not to use.

The Abba Tribute Band

captured by Wildrosegirl76 in Seattle — last stop on the tour.

Yes, you certainly make us proud……BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Taylor receives 50 MERITS for this.

To quote a wise gentleman, “If I have to explain it, it just ain’t as funny.” But for those of you who don’t “get it”….context.

Don’t forget to watch Leno tonight….

Maybe you’ll catch something like this…..

Thanks for sharing, Gray.

ETA: Nice footage of Hold Onto Your Love in Seattle, attributable to Catchthatgroove.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on May 14, 2007 in gray charles, Taylor, Uncategorized

 

Joliet Jake…A Story of Redemption

I know I just said (like, Tuesday) that I wouldn’t be doing any more Taylor features, but I can’t pass this one up.

brc made it back from a wonderful Taylor Hicks concert experience with her 6 year old, EMC, last night. She had a couple of very positive experiences regarding Mr. Hicks that I thought were worth sharing here. While there may have been some inconsistencies of Taylor “enthusiasm” among the Meet & Greets, it apprears that Taylor has found a niche that can show his soft side, satisfy the fans, cultivate good PR and not have to “risk” too much. Concentrate on the kids…pretty simple and relatively safe. And, scores HUGE points with the Moms.

Anyway, here is the wonderful recap from brc and the Joliet concert:

I spontaneously took my daughter (we’ll call her EMC) to see Taylor Hicks last night in Joliet.

What follows is my recap (both personal and musical) of the evening:

Around 3:45pm, EMC and I head out the door to see Taylor. The day is dreary and it’s drizzling. I’m excited to see Taylor for a second time, but have low expectations. I saw him in March at the House of Blues in Chicago and the show and the venue were so great I’m pretty sure it would be hard to beat. We point the car in the direction of Joliet and off we go. We are pleasantly surprised that in spite of it being rush hour we arrive in Joliet in just 90 minutes. EMC seems enthusiastic, but really has no idea what a concert like this is all about. She is only 6 years-old and just knows that she loved Taylor on American Idol.

She asks in the car if he will sing Do I Make You Proud. I explain that he will not.

We park the car, take a few photos in front of the very beautiful theater and ask a police officer where we can eat. Apparently this area of Joliet can get seedy at night, so Officer Friendly advises me and EMC to stay close and points out a nice bar/grill across the street. Nice bar/grill is PACKED with Taylor fans. It is also filled with smoke, but we’re tough and we’re hungry, so we stay. We (the two of us) are seated at a table that can fit six people. I see the line of people waiting to eat and feel bad, so after a few minutes I suggest to the manager that we wouldn’t mind if other people were seated at our table. We are then joined by two women. One 50ish and one 70ish. The 70ish woman is wearing a t-shirt that says “You’ve Come to the Right Place” in REALLY big letters. I try to stifle my laughter and not pee in my pants. We discuss Taylor, AI and the venue. A pleasant conversation and the food was passable. Dinner is done and EMC and I move on.

I had been telling EMC about Taylor’s purple bus and promised her that we could find it and take a picture there. We easily find the bus behind the theater and we’re the only people there. Not a soul around. It is lightly raining and the wind chill is 40 degrees. I’m assuming that Taylor is not nearby or there would likely be others standing around. Brian Less comes out the stage door and heads to the door of the bus. I yell “Brian,” not knowing what I’m going to say next. He walks over…I make some chit chat about the show at the HOB and ask if he thinks this will be as good. He then states that I might be pleasantly surprised. I ask if he would pose for a photo with EMC (who has no idea who he is). He very nicely does so and even asks her her name. I tell her that Brian is one of Taylor’s best buddies. This makes EMC happy

At this point it is 7:00 and the opening act is due to begin at 7:30. It’s pretty cold and I’m ready to suggest to EMC that we go inside. Then a security guard at the stage door waves us over. He says to us… are you listening… the security guard… the man who’s supposed to be keeping people away, says to us — “Taylor is on the bus.” EMC’s eyes light up and she asks me if we can knock on the door. EMC doesn’t understand why I won’t let her. Random people go in and out of the bus. We see Loren. We say hi to Ted (alltheanswers). But, still no Taylor. I suggest several times that we should go inside, but EMC is determined to see Taylor. Just as we’re about to leave, Melanie and Josh walk out of the bus and head straight toward us. Apparently, Taylor has taken pity on us standing in the rain and has sent out an autographed photo for EMC. I’m too stunned to ask them to pose for a photo. We thank them profusely and finally go inside.

The theater is beautiful. Very old fashioned. The show is completely sold out. The crowd is very diverse… lots of men and a surprising number of children. We have wonderful seats in the 4th row. The Greyhounds have already started their set by the time we get to our seats. I decide to try to figure out the digital camera I got for Christmas. The photos I took at the HOB were not great. So I take some practice pictures of the Greyhounds. Bad camera is not cooperating, so I spend the entire break before Taylor takes the stage reading the instruction manual (yes I brought it with me). I still don’t understand how to work the settings, but do learn that the camera has video capabilities — this makes me happy (and hopefully will make you happy soon too)! EMC is fidgety and asking when she will see Taylor. It’s 8:30 now. This is her normal bedtime and the concert hasn’t started yet. Mommy starts to worry, but EMC has done a pinky-swear with me that she wouldn’t cry even if she got tired, so I’m hopeful.

Finally, the moment arrives. The show starts and Taylor comes out. Everyone stands and suddenly our 4th row seats are not so hot. EMC can’t see a thing. She and the other children around us all stand on their seats and life is good.

Taylor starts out with Give Me Tonight then moves right into Soul Thing. He is in fine voice tonight. Very clear and strong. The crowd sits down except for the woman in front of EMC. When I ask her (very nicely I might add) if she planned to sit down she emphatically said she did not. When I pointed out that several children were sitting behind her, she said “I don’t care.” This is a 40-something year-old woman! EMC moves to my lap which makes taking photos and videos a challenge. The photo thing isn’t working out anyway. Everything is blurry or too dark — damn camera.

Taylor segues into Hell of a Day. I’m groovin’ on it when I realize that he’s tagging it with Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Anyway, I think this is way cool and decide to give bad camera another shot. So, here I give you a link to my first video uploaded to YouTube.

(After I got home and saw that this worked I apologized to bad camera.)

He sings Dream Myself Awake, Heart and Soul and Wherever I Lay My Hat. They were fine but aren’t my favorites. He teased Heart and Soul with “Brown-eyed Handsome Man.” I actually liked the tease better than the song itself.

Then he said he was going to sing a really old song called “My Friend.” I hadn’t heard this before and I love hearing him sing new stuff, so I decided to try the video thing again. This was one of my favorite songs of the evening. It was very up-tempo and melodic. Simple, but very satisfying. Between wiggly daughter on my lap and nasty woman in front of us, the visual on this video isn’t great, but you can get a sense of the song

So I’m expecting another song from the album now and he launches into Run Baby Run. Fantastic! His voice sounds great. This is a totally different set than what he did at the HOB. I had seen that he was performing this in some cities but had never heard it before.

The crowd is really into it, though I have to say that the vibe in a sit-down theater is not nearly as intense as it is in a general admission place like the House of Blues.

HOTYL is next. One of my favorite Taylor originals. He starts in with the reggae teases — so cool, then he transitions into a more bluesy mode, he adds some mean harp. Well you just had to hear it. He has now done three songs in a row that were not from the current album and I’m loving it. EMC is starting to get tired and crabby now. Bad mommy is now questioning the wisdom of bringing a 6 year-old to a concert. I suggest that she curl up in her seat and just listen to the music.

Taylor sings The Deal, and Heaven Knows. I look down and EMC is ASLEEP… in her seat… in the middle of a concert. She woke up during The Right Place and perked up when he got to Runaround (I think The Maze was in there somewhere). In fact, by then she was standing on her seat dancing. He did Taking it to the Streets for an encore – he was really “on” tonight in his vocals. During the encore Taylor sat with Brian Less and played some keyboards.

Overall, the concert exceeded my expectations. He sang several songs I hadn’t heard before, he tagged and teased all over the place (there was some Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles in there somewhere). He played the harp at least 4 times, if not more. It was great. You can’t deny what a great entertainer he is. And to top it off, as he’s leaving the stage he walks down the steps and hands his harmonica to a young (maybe 10 years old) disabled boy in a wheelchair who had been rockin’ and boppin’ to the music all night. I get a lump in my throat.

I now move into supermommy mode and plan to scram outta there and get this kid in bed. As we walk toward the door EMC says “Let’s go stand by the purple bus.” Seriously. That’s what she said. It is now colder than it was earlier and raining a bit harder. But hey, if the kid wants to see Taylor up close and personal, who am I to deny her? So we walk back to the busses where there is a crowd of about 50 people. EMC being such a small thing and oblivious to concert/fan etiquette, charges her way to the front and stakes her ground, stuffed animal in hand. I’m stuck behind three rows of people. I manage to work my way to the front excusing myself but explaining that I have to keep an eye on my daughter. We wait about 15 minutes and Da Man himself walks out with pen in hand and Brian Less holding his umbrella. Brian, the keyboard player, relegated to umbrella holder. (After reviewing photographic evidence, it has been determined that Mr. less handed off umbrella responsibilities to a FOT named Bill.)

I can’t get the flash to work on bad camera. In the meantime, Taylor has made eye contact with EMC. I think he recognizes her from our pathetic wait in the rain before the show. After signing a couple of autographs he walks over to her and says “How ya doin’ darlin’?” and crouches down to her level. I’m several feet away desperately trying to get bad camera to work. He then says to her “You got something you want me to sign?” EMC is holding her stuffed animal. She doesn’t know what an autograph is. Taylor starts to sign the skirt on her animal and she says. “I just want a hug.” He then obliges and my little EMC wraps her arms around Taylor’s waist. I don’t have it on film, but I’ll never forget it. She was so happy.

joliet1.jpg

The best Bad Camera had to offer ^^^^EMC’s head

We walk to the car. EMC puts her jammies on and I buckle her in for the ride home. She quickly calls grandma on the phone to tell her she has scored a hug from Taylor and we head home. I then look in the rearview mirror and EMC is asleep. She still has a big smile on her face. It was a good night.

 
23 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2007 in Taylor, taylor hicks

 

Taylor Time…for the Last Time

I intended to have a Taylor Time feature each week to highlight some of Taylor Hicks’ music, perhaps exposing those who haven’t had the chance to experience Taylor live, to his music and capabilities.

I’m choosing not to continue these weekly features. As many of you are already familiar with his work and there are many outlets still available for all things Taylor, I don’t feel it is necessary for more Taylor “education”. However, if you are in need of Taylor news or happenings, might I suggest The Boogie Board. For the record, I’m still “for” Taylor and I think that he is one of the best stage performers this generation has offered. Everyone is certainly welcomed to discuss Taylor happenings in the comments and I may have the occasional Taylor mention, just not a weekly feature on his music.

So, for the last Taylor “spotlight”, I offer The Fall. Appropriate, I think, and also one of my favorites. One of the first songs Taylor wrote and included on his In Your Time CD, it’s an examination of a relationship gone bad with a sense of resignation and acceptance. It’s very well done here, acoustically, showing Taylor’s depth as a musician, as well as vocal performer.

The Fall – from the Boogie Board videos

It’s funny how my life changes with the snow
takes a long, hard solid state of gold
all the times I look it still occurs to me
just passing time, trying not to mind set my spirit free

There’s a place and time for everything
when the good gets going bad
and every time I try to look and hide
it leaves you lonely, feeling blue, and feeling sad

Here it comes just rushing in
the distant smile replied,
a distant grin it’s not so bad
after all I climbed the ladder,
and you took the fall, you took the fall

Light on my feet I’m walking down
my steps are heavier to lessen the frown
soon I’ll be gone so pay me no mind
there’s always the worries wasted time, and wasted wine.

Here it comes just rushing in
the distant smile replied,
a distant grin it’s not so bad
after all I climbed the ladder,
and you took the fall you took the fall

Feelings will pass and soon have to go
the colder the heart, the harder the wind blow
although you’re trying to make your own throughway
you turn your back on love with the games that people play

Here it comes just rushing in
the distant smile replied,
a distant grin it’s not so bad
after all I climbed the ladder,
and you took the fall you took the fall.

 
20 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2007 in Taylor

 

Taylor Time…Passion is No Ordinary Word

taylor-florabama1.jpg
Simpler time….

 

Rather than try to wax poetic, I’ll just come out with it. I’m sad. And, I’m disappointed.

Many of my friends and I who have followed Taylor Hicks over the last year’s incredible voyage knew that the “official” Taylor blog of graycharles.com was going away. It’s been a couple of weeks since Gray made the announcement and we’ve all been going through a little withdrawal. Our little community of snarkiness, musical awareness and sharing was riding off into the proverbial sunset. Then, this weekend, on a back page tucked away where not many could find it was one last thread. Some really great discussion began that was, in a round about way, about passion. About caring.

So, today’s post is about passion. Holding on to what you love to do while satisfying your responsibilities is tough stuff. Perhaps it’s fairly new to someone thrust into the spotlight who’s never had to really account for anything to anyone before. As the re-hash of good and bad went on in this tucked away thread, I thought of when I knew I really liked Taylor Hicks’ music, for the first time. It came to me rather quickly….it was after doing a little research into the mp3 library at graycharles.com and finding songs from the In Your Time CD and hearing On Broadway for the first time.

On BroadwayIn Your Time

At first, the squeaking of the guitar strings aggravated me, then I came to love that sound. It was “real”, pure and passionate. THAT, is what I like about Taylor Hicks. While I think that Taylor needs some marketing help and to pay attention to some of his business ventures, the stage is definitely not the place that he’s lacking passion. Problem is, that even though “it’s all about the music”, sometimes it’s all about the music business and you simply have to pay attention to it.

Now, to Gray. Some petty people took it upon themselves to try to ruin the last few breaths of graycharles.com. Sadly, jealousy causes people to do very mean things and to hurt people without provocation. I’m sorry that it happened that way and I’m sorry that my friend was hurt by it. However, he must never lose sight of the fact that HE built something that was unique and good and helpful and passionate. The people who participated were passionate. The artist and other artists we talked about were all passionate. And, the music was passionate. We followed the lead.

I am reminded of a favorite quote that addresses passion:

A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. – John Maxwell

Maybe that’s what is meant by Graham Parker in Passion is No Ordinary Word….

It worked much better in a fantasy, imagination’s one thing that comes easy
to me
‘Cause this is nothing else if not unreal, when I pretend to touch you, you
pretend to feel
Passion is no ordinary word
Ain’t manufactured or just another sound that you hear at night

We got new idols for the screen today, although they make a lot of noises
they got nothing to say
I try to look amazed, but it’s an act, the movie might be new but it’s the
same soundtrack
Passion is no ordinary word

Say how it feels, real useless ain’t it
Wait until it bites right down inside you
The world is easy when you’re just playing around
Everything’s a thrill, every girl’s a kill
And then it gets unreal
And then you don’t feel anything
You don’t feel anything

An object of desire you don’t desire to be, I bet the shop window dummies
give in just as easily
I try to top but have to make you drop down to the floor
Moaning in the darkness as we fake some more
Passion is no ordinary word
Not just another sound that you hear at night

So, it’s done. For many of us, nothing will sully the fun, friends, entertainment and education we received from a internet site dedicated to a wannabe American Idol — the frog that turned into a prince. All of the “Wayne Newton’s” have been said and the accolades given. Time to move on to a different passion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
24 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2007 in gray charles, Taylor, taylor hicks

 
 
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