Thursday, December 31, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~~ Keeping it simple

I’ve made all the usual resolutions:

Lose weight. Eat healthy. Save money.

I have even gone through the ritual of writing them down.

And the usual happened. I made a little progress and went on doing what I had been doing.

I’ve thought about this new year. What do I want to accomplish? Is "accomplishment" what my life is about now?

I read a music blogger. When I saw the subject line: “Leukemia,” I didn’t open it for a day, perplexed by that rather unusual subject line. When I did, it was stunning.

In his usual staccato style, he started with:

“I’ve got it.”

Life is never predictable. We may think so—for a while.

My music blogger is still writing about the music that he loves.

And I am reminded not to waste my time.

It’s an old story. Something happens, and we realize that we need to make every moment count. There are no guarantees.

How do we do that—make the minutes, the days count? We have responsibilities that rob us of precious time for the things we love. We are drawn into frays, unpleasantness, and stress. Life happens.

I’m not so sure how we do it, but we first have to want to. We must want to stay out of that gray funk that keeps us from seeing the beauty.

This music blogger started writing more blogs than ever, and in one made reference to the California sun setting in the West and the moon rising in the East. He sees the beauty. He listens to good music and shares his love of it.

So, I’m not going to write down any resolutions.

I do have one though. It is simple and probably one that many of you already do. I don’t. There are a lot of poor reasons why I don’t.

My resolution for 2009 is simply this:

Listen to music every day.

It doesn’t have to be the music of Taylor Hicks, although that is abundant in my home, car, and computer. What’s important is that I find time every day to enjoy music.

In a blending of generations on Christmas Eve, my son and I wrapped presents and listened to Van Morrison. It was a simple time, a happy time.

That’s what I want to change this year. I want to make time to be happy every day.

Give yourself a New Year’s present. Don’t resolve to do something that will bring stress or responsibility no matter how beneficial the results may be.

Rather, resolve to do something you love, something that will bring you joy. Resolve to be happy every day, if only for a little while! The rest of the day will be better too!

“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” Robert Louis Stevenson

I wish us all a truly “happy” new year. Let’s make it a good one!

My first musical indulgence for 2010 is "Whomp at the Warfield," by, yes, Taylor Hicks!

See more about Taylor's first live performance DVD in my blog below.

Reference and quote is from “Leukemia,” a recent blog by Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter,

Photo by RagsQueen, Taylor Hicks at High Noon Saloon, 12.11.09

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Taylor Hicks~~ Rings in the Whomp!

“Whomp at the Warfield,” the live concert DVD by platinum recording artist, Taylor Hicks, is out January 5, 2010!

In May, 2007, Taylor Hicks had been on the road touring since February 21, doing five to six shows a week. He had been to 50 cities and 15 states. His tour bus had wound its way through the South, the Northeast and Midwest, and finally, the Southwest and California. He had been sick.

If you had seen him step onto the stage at the historic Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on May 9, you wouldn’t know that. It could have been the first concert of the tour.

Taylor Hicks does not slow down or dial down the energy!

This whirlwind of music and motion is caught in the singer’s first DVD, “Whomp at the Warfield.”

Captured May 9, 2007, at the historic Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, Taylor weaves an eclectic setlist through a fun evening. From rock classics like “Badge” and Eric Clapton’s “Naked in the Jungle” to Taylor’s own lament of lost love, “The Fall,” the Warfield concert is a ramped up new sound for the old theatre near Market Street.

The energy-spiked performance brings down the Warfield—whomp style.

During Prohibition days a lively speakeasy occupied the basement of the theatrical relic. In 1939, the Warfield hosted the epic “Gone with the Wind” with a portrait of Rhett Butler hanging in the lobby.

Almost 60 years after the historic saga of the South lit up the Warfield, Modern Whomp set the stage ablaze with an eclectic setlist delivered in style—Taylor Hicks in fancy boots, with a flashing smile, screaming guitar and wailing harp, “funkin’” it up on “Medicated Goo” and declaring, “You gotta love San Francisco.”

A new-age sound resonates in the old Warfield as Taylor’s diverse performance includes:

Gonna Move
Give Me Tonight
Heart and Soul
Just to Feel That Way
My Friend
The Deal
Hold on to Your Love
Wherever I Lay My Hat
Soul Thing
Heaven Knows
The Maze
The Right Place
The Runaround
The Fall
Naked in the Jungle

One review from a concertgoer claimed that the acoustic rendition of Taylor’s own, “The Fall” and Cream’s rock classic, “Badge” would be worth the price of the DVD.

Professional production and Taylor Hicks in hi-energy and hi-def makes this one musical bargain!

Whomp at the Warfield,” live concert by Taylor Hicks on DVD is at stores January 5, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Ring in the Whomp! Pre-order now for a New Year's celebration on January 5th!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~~ Happiness is...

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha--Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

As Taylor Hicks shares his music, he shares his happiness. His holiday gift to fans is a download of his concert at WorkPlay in Birmingham, September 26, 2009.

Visit for the download link and Taylor's holiday message.

In 2006, Taylor shared his music with then President and Mrs. Bush at Christmas in Washington:
Early December in a cold Madison, WI, Taylor shared a holiday message with his encore performance of Elton John’s The Border Song which says, “Let us live in peace,” captured here by Anothertayfan on Vimeo:
However we share our happiness this holiday season~~through music, time with those we love, or gifts to others, our happiness will not be diminished but increased!

May the true spirit of the season and the light of a thousand candles warm your holidays.

And, as Taylor sang, “Let us live in peace.”

Warmest wishes for a happy and joyous Christmas from TTHC!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taylor Hicks transcends the miles...

From a cold Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday night, Taylor Hicks transcended the miles and touched hearts.

The streets were still snow packed and icy. The crowd at the High Noon Saloon had braved the weather to be there for Taylor’s Shadow Tour concert after his performance as Teen Angel in “Grease.”

Miles, and even a vast ocean away, fans gathered to listen to Taylor’s music on a chatcert. From New Zealand, Canada, Washington, Arizona, Florida, New England and many places in between, the faithful stayed up late and was rewarded with a stellar performance by a relaxed and joking Taylor.

He might have phoned in the media from his hotel this week, but he never phones in his music!

It was phoned in for fans gathered from three countries. It traveled through two phones and a little computer mic to home computers and a chat room where the Soul Patrol talked of many things. As they listened, they shared their thoughts about Taylor, our brave troops and their families, and the joy his music brings to them. It felt like a good place and time for the Soul Patrol. I was happy to be there.

Besides sharing thoughts with others, I was especially touched by two songs. “Maybe You Should” is always a favorite. I heard it live in Birmingham. Last night it was just as emotional and hauntingly beautiful as it was in Birmingham.

I have never experienced the heartfelt emotion in his voice as I did with the stunning performance of “19.” The chat turned serious as people shared their connections to the military. Some in the room had been there. It was as if Taylor was singing just for them and his heartfelt comments were sincerely thanking them for the sacrifice they make. I could feel his emotion, and I was deeply touched.

Someone in the room reminded us: This is what he means when he says it is not how many records you sell. It is about touching lives. That connection was strong last night.

How could I be so emotionally connected through all these electronics?

There are two ways to enjoy a concert. Be there and be part of the event—exciting, emotional, and fun! Over the top!

Then there is listening to just the audio. Someone shared with me the audio from one of the Shadow Tour concerts. As I listened, it was all about the music and the sounds of Taylor Hicks. And that is what he is all about…the music.

Both Taylor live or an undiluted audio are incredible experiences.

Last night just seemed to be special in an almost indefinable way. There was something in his voice…

It was a Friday night well spent for many reasons, not the least of which was the music.

“I’ve got to be honest. You can take it all, but leave me with the music.”

The music—the heart and the soul of Taylor Hicks—was alive and well in Madison last night.

Although I’ve never thought that listening at home could be as good as being there, last night sure came close!

Thanks, Taylor, for another meaningful stop on this journey! Thanks for taking us to Madison. No matter the place (or the weather) you do it right every time!

We owe you so much! Add last night to the tab!

Everyone traveling from Madison, stay warm and safe!

Outside my window, the snow is falling!

Photo courtesy of Katjusa Cisar, writer and photographer for the Capital Times in Madison, WI. Ms. Cisar also writes a spectacular and interesting review of the concert and Taylor Hicks:

Part Two: The concert and some surprises! Stay tuned.

For media and recaps from Madison, visit your favorite board today!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Taylor Hicks ~~ A Year In the Cone!

Last week Taylor Hicks and the cast celebrated one year on the road with the Broadway Across America National Touring Company of “Grease!”

When “Grease” opened in Providence, RI , December 2, 2008, our economy was sliding quickly downhill. Speculation said it was not a good time for entertainment. People would not spend frivolously to go to the theatre.

Taylor and the cast of “Grease” proved the naysayers wrong. People took “staycations” and spent money close to home—their hometown venues. In the past year, “Grease” has played to packed houses from coast to coast and in Canada.

In the communities where he visited, Taylor became a part of the local scene. He performed on TV, even in the kitchen, and mingled with the locals, from a heart-healthy basset hound in Texas to the Prime Minister and his teenage charges in Canada. He joined sports fans at ball games as he sang the National Anthem in San Francisco and Detroit. He will sing the Anthem tomorrow for the Carolina Panther and Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL game in Charlotte, NC.

It was an American Idol seeing America. Everywhere he went, lobbies were full of people waiting to meet him and have him sign his CD. I was pleased to be in those crowds in Tucson, Hollywood, Birmingham and Phoenix.

Outside the hometown audiences in Birmingham, I think the most enthusiastic crowds that I saw were in Tucson. This old Southwestern pueblo is Spanish land grant territory, beautiful desert cattle country and a Mexican border neighbor. Not Broadway theatre country you might think.

You’d be wrong. The crowds in Tucson loved Taylor and “Grease.” A lady at the stage door was there to thank them for coming to Tucson. She said many shows don’t. They all go to Phoenix. In the four performances I saw there, the crowds packed the beautiful entertainment venue, and it was probably the most pleasant theatre experience of my travels.

Perhaps this past year we decided that we wouldn’t give up all that makes us happy, no matter what the economy was doing. Perhaps it was that we needed our smiles do deal with all that we must.

“Grease” and Taylor Hicks has certainly brought a year of smiles to America!

Taylor has said that it is all about the lives you touch. From the stages to the lobbies, Taylor and the fun and talented cast of “Grease” have touched lives.

Congratulations to Taylor Hicks and all the cast on a very successful year of “Grease” on the road!

I was happy to be along for a little part of the ride!
Photo credit: Nederlander Productions