Saturday, November 28, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~~ Showdown at High Noon!

Taylor Hicks always brings it!

From a cold Florida last week to a colder Wisconsin next week, he would do well to bring the heavy velvet jacket and add a cashmere scarf!

What we know he will bring is extraordinary talent to the acoustic stage at High Noon Saloon.

In late 2007, Taylor promised a string of acoustic concerts. Historically, the acoustic stage featured music raw and bare—just the singer and his music without wires and little or no backup. Performers like Elvis, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jon Bon Jovi and many others presented new versions of their hits without trappings or large production elements. It was the backlash to the big metallic techo sounds of the 1980s that had become band staples.

The concept was brought front and center when MTV launched “Unplugged” performances by rock singers, primarily known for playing electric amplified instruments . Fans wanted to see if rock entertainers could stand up to a stripped away version of their hits. The first ones to perform on the series were Jethro Tull, Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Samborie.

Eric Clapton recorded an Unplugged performance in 1992 that was both widely praised and criticized for heavily reworking many of his famous songs so they would work in an acoustic context, some to the point of almost unrecognizability. Clapton's Unplugged album went on to become the bestselling unplugged album in the U.S., with sales of 10 million. He won a grammy for Song of the Year with “Tears in Heaven” from this album.

MTV Unplugged website describes the re-emergence of the concept with today’s most successful stars who are, “…taking the stage and peeling away the trappings of their music to reveal the essence at its core. From established heavy-hitters like Korn to rising stars like R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo and the sexy, soulful Joss Stone, Unplugged remains the hallmark of intimate, exclusive concert performances that can't be seen anywhere else.”

We had a glimpse of Taylor on the acoustic stage during his 2007 Solo Tour when he would occassionally sit on a stool with only a guitar and sing an encore, such as “My Home’s in Alabama,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “Louisiana.”

The “acoustic” Taylor music should not be confused with sleepy, slow tunes. Taylor is as intense in this kind of show as when he is moving all other the stage with a full band all plugged in for a show like WorkPlay. He has two or three other musicians for backup, and he really does sit on a stool. It is the “intimate, exclusive concert performances that can’t be seen anywhere else.”

At a time when music industry bloggers are saying the biggest stars are doing “autotuned” concerts—lip syncing on stage with perfect tracks of their music going out to fans who think they are seeing their stars real on stage—it is transparently true that Taylor Hicks is real in concert and doesn’t need any “fixing.” It is real music with its flaws, but rich with heart and soul.

Taylor Hicks brings real music, and that is enough.

He brings it to The High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI, Friday, December 11, at 8:00 p.m.

For more information visit:

We’re bringing the PalTalk chatcert team to share the music showdown! Join New Found Freedom, Season of the Soul, The Official Soul Patrol and The Taylor Hicks Community for Taylor at The High Noon Saloon. Visit these boards for more information on how you can enjoy the acoustic concert from Madison on your computer. It’s the new wave of cellcerts! Don’t miss Taylor at The High Noon, wherever you are!

Sources: Portions of this blog were written for and first published in Taylorsezine, The Soul Connection.

Photo courtesty of Gypsee from the acoustic concert at The Magic Bag in Detroit, MI.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving ~~ the small moments...

Taylor Hicks shares a small moment with a small fan. He never forgets that the small moments count.

I am thankful for the small moments. This story illustrates why they are important.

“Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. It was a cowboy's life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn't realize was that it was also a ministry.

“Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, enabled me, made me laugh and weep. But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

“When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“‘Just a minute,’ answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. ‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said.

“I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It's nothing,’ I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.’ ‘Oh, you're such a good boy,’ she said.

“When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ ‘It's not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly. ‘Oh, I don't mind,’ she said. ‘I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.’

“I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don't have any family left,’ she continued. ‘The doctor says I don't have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. ‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

“For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I'm tired. Let's go now.’

“We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do I owe you?’ she asked, reaching into her purse. ‘Nothing,’ I said. ‘You have to make a living,’ she answered. ‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

“Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

“I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient at the end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

“On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Take a moment to stop and appreciate the memories you have made, the memory making opportunities around you and make someone feel special today.”

I am not sure of the circumstances in the picture above except that Taylor is talking to a child—intense in the moment. I do know that this came from his very busy 2007 tour. But there are no autographs, posing for pictures, or smiling for the audience. It is the most genuine picture into the heart of Taylor that I have seen. It is a small moment—an unaware moment.

“We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.”

I am thankful for Taylor Hicks, who balances fame and the important moments with those beautiful, small moments that touch lives!

Make the moments count. They add up to a lifetime that counts.

And watch for those beautiful, small moments that catch us unaware.

Happy Thanksgiving from TTHC!


The Cab Driver’s Story has received widespread internet exposure. This source is:

Photo credit: I have tried to find the owner of the picture above, but I have been unable to. Of all the Taylor photographs, this is one of my favorites.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~~ Fading the Distances

Are we on to something?

I did a rather light-hearted blog here when we all had our fingers clicking to the bone for a not-so-little North American Mr. Twitter Contest and THEN the expected Worldwide Mr. Twitter Contest. We were seriously engaged in supporting our favorite twitterer, Taylor Hicks.

Remember that?

Did that somewhat seemingly frivolous battle open the door to a not-so-frivolous campaign?

During The Great Twitter Battle, I said here in an August blog, “Victories”:

“Funny about victories. They can’t always be seen in the final tally. In whatever ranking Taylor finishes, perhaps the greatest victory is in The Soul Patrol’s coming together for a common purpose.”

In late September, WorkPlay was the center of the universe for the Soul Patrol. From as far away as England, fans came to Birmingham in a gathering of the faithful. Through the magic of electronics (Yeh, I know it wasn’t “magic”) fans were at home listening, chatting online and sharing the magic (Yeh, I know it was pure talent) of Taylor Hicks live on stage.

After WorkPlay in her blog here, “The Distance Between Us Will Fade,” Evancol shared her thoughts.

In part, she said:

“It isn’t the cellcert I am proud of, although I am really glad we didn’t flop! It is the admin/owners from the 4 boards, boards with different members, different philosophies and definitely different opinions, putting all that aside to bring fans together to celebrate Taylor. It is the members of the four boards who embraced the idea and supported it from the word go. It is the SPIRIT I saw in everyone who participated. … It was all the right things a fan base can be.

“I got a lot of feedback from people about how great they thought it was that the boards were working together and that it was TIME. I think it’s past time, and I hope we can keep that spirit alive going into 2010.”

“… I am proud to have been a small part of such a dedicated and enthusiastic group. I think we were all reminded how much fun it is to share the magic that is Taylor Hicks…. And Taylor was right, the distance between us DID fade away.”

Last week on, in a true outpouring of love and caring for our veterans and our troops, we shared stories of our loved ones who have served and continue today to bravely serve our country. As we proudly remembered our family and friends, Taylor showed his appreciation by giving away a download of his patriotic song “19” on various humanitarian and military websites. It was a truly inspiring day of coming together for a common cause that we could all support.

Could we be on to something? I mean this common ground thing…

Is Taylor right? The distance between us will fade...

Well, get out your mittens…the universe collides next in frigid Wisconsin. Oh wait, I’ll be sitting right here in my nice warm home. But the wonderful world of electronics will be there! Yeh, we’re connecting the universe again at Madison, WI for Taylor’s High Noon Shadow Tour on December 11th.

While I embrace the electronics that I so long avoided (Yeh, I know…)

Common ground moves to the High Noon Saloon!

For more information on the chatcert from Madison, WI on December 11th, visit Taylor Hicks fansites—New Found Freedom, Season of the Soul, The Official Soul Patrol, or The Taylor Hicks Community.

And Taylor is giving away 10 free tickets! Visit for details!

Thanks to RagsQueen for the photo of a smiling Taylor from Epcot Center!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~~ Thanks our Troops

Taylor Hicks announced on his website and on twitter late today that to celebrate Veterans Day he has teamed up with various military and humanitarian organizations to offer a free download of his song "19."

One site offering the free download is Soldiers Angels, who posted the following on their site:

Free Song for Veterans

Taylor Hicks Thanks Troops
Soldiers' Angels has long been a fan of Taylor Hicks, and he's once again proving that admiration well-placed. He writes:

"Honoring our country’s servicemen and women is something that we should all celebrate together. For Veterans Day, I’d like to illustrate my appreciation for those who have served in defense of our livelihood and country by offering a free download of my song, 19. Featured on my latest album, The Distance, 19 is a patriotic song about a soldier’s call to duty. Help me celebrate the millions of veterans who have served. Continue to support organizations that help make a difference in the lives of our veterans, current servicemen, and their families. Enjoy 19 and be sure to visit my website for more music, news, and info."
Soldiers' Angels salutes Taylor Hicks for his continuing support of the troops and thanks him for highlighting Soldiers' Angels! Visit his website today, where he is celebrating Veterans Day by featuring the stories of veterans from Americans across the country.,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=440&cntnt01returnid=15

Other sites teaming up with Taylor to honor our troops are:

The Greater Los Angeles American Red Cross who announced that:
“Singer Taylor Hicks Honors Servicemen for Veterans Day”

The State of Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs announced the
“Special Tribute to America’s Veterans” with Taylor’s download of “19”

Taylor asked that we show our support and visit these organizations.

Thanks, Taylor, for caring about our troops and for sending them a gift of music!

For more of Taylor's special salute to our Veterans, visit his website at:

Veterans Day ~~ "That's for our troops"

We can never repay our debt to them.

We join Taylor Hicks this Veterans Day for his tribute to our veterans and troops.

Since July 1, 2006, in Salt Lake City where Taylor sang his American Idol coronation song, “Do I Make You Proud,” and dedicated it to our troops, he has remembered the brave men and women in our Armed Forces.

In 2009, he first sang “Nineteen,” the emotional story of an American hero “trying to hold on to his American dream,” live on stage in San Diego with many servicemen and women in the audience.

That’s for our troops,” he told them. “Nineteen” has remained his way of remembering our troops.

This Veterans Day, Taylor is saluting our veterans and troops with inspiring stories and videos on his website.

To the men and women of our Armed Forces past and present:

Our deepest thanks for your sacrifice and service. You make us proud!

“Nineteen,” video by KarinP and Allyn was first published here on 9.11.09.

Nineteen,” was written by Jeffrey Steel, Gary Nicholson, and Tom Hambridge and recorded by Taylor Hicks on The Distance out on Modern Whomp Records.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veterans Day ~~ My brothers

Both of my brothers joined the Armed Forces as teenagers—my older brother, the Air Force and my younger brother, the Navy.

Growing up in the 50s and 60s it was every young man’s duty to register for the draft when he was 18 years old. Many of them “joined up” rather than waiting to be drafted, some dropping out of high school.

My younger brother quit high school and joined the Navy and headed for El Paso, TX. He finished his education while in the Navy and served honorably on home shores, as many do today.

My older brother joined the Air Force in the 50s and was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. Family vacations as we know them today, were rare for struggling families like ours. My folks did, however, take our entire family to visit my brother at Keesler. We enjoyed a real vacation along the beautiful Gulf Coast that I never forgot.

I had to be there in 2007 when the Taylor Hicks Solo Tour hit Biloxi. It was a sojourn for me to go back to the place of fond memories with my family in Biloxi. I drove along the same beach that I had with my folks when I was 13 years old. Then, it was a shore not yet ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

When my brother finished his Air Force duty, he returned home to the Midwest and went to college on the GI bill. One of his favorite leisure activities was going to the theatre, and he took me to my first live drama when I was a teenager. He and his wife often visited New York and saw Broadway shows. When he suddenly passed away in August, 2008, I was on Broadway seeing Taylor Hicks in “Grease” –my first trip to Broadway. My brother would have loved to have been there!

I was so fortunate that my family in the military was never in harm’s way. I cannot fathom the tragedy of losing a loved one in war. I can only offer my heartfelt thanks for all those who serve and have sacrificed so much for our country.

Words simply cannot express how much we owe them.

As we join Taylor this Veterans Day in remembering and recognizing our own, I hope veterans everywhere know that we care about them and are proud of their service to our country.

With deepest thanks to our veterans and their families…


You are invited to share your Veterans stories in videos or blogs at

Taylor will be streaming select videos on Ustream and featuring your stories on his website on Veterans Day. See instructions below or visit his website.

Remember our troops and honor their service on Veterans Day!