Thursday, December 30, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ The Top Ten for 2010!

2010 was a good year for Taylor Hicks from his kick ass Summer Tour to raising money for cancer research to singing for Clint Eastwood.

I said I wouldn’t do it. It’s that tradition—looking back before we look forward.

I did reflect on the past year, however, and decided on a Top Ten List.

My pick of the Top Ten Taylor Hicks Experiences of 2010:

10~ Closing of successful National Tour of “Grease”
Teen Angel’s portrait hangs in the lobby of the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, CA
(Photo by san)

After almost two years in the ice cream cone as Teen Angel, Taylor’s last performance in Cleveland, Ohio, as the mentor for beauty school dropout, Frenchy, marked a closing and a new beginning. He got back on the road that started this journey…his own brand of unique music and stage performances.

9~~New connections with fans
A laid-back Taylor answers “fly-by” questions from fans on UStream.
(Screencap by Cath from UStream)

With an increased social networking presence and behind the scenes video productions, Taylor upped his connection with fans. He became a consistent twitter presence, staged several UStream online live chats, and produced “Riding Shotgun with Taylor Hicks” taking fans behind the scenes of his travels and appearances. His most frequent tweet: “In the twair!!!”

8~~Hometown Holiday Show at WorkPlay for fans and Toys for Tots program
Taylor shares a “dream of a lifetime” with young Carson James, opening for him at WorkPlay. (photo by ABC TV Birmingham)

Billed as Taylor’s Hometown Holiday Show, a sold out WorkPlay was also an effort on behalf of the Marine’s Toys for Tots program as fans brought a mountain of toys to the show. The concert opened with an outstanding performance by teen-aged Carson James, and fellow Birmingham Idol, Ruben Studdard joined Taylor for a funky duet of “Woman’s Got to Have It.”

7~~Six shows in two days at Epcot Center to diverse audience
Taylor and the band make Epcot a magic kingdom for six shows.
(photo by san)

In a kind of last hurrah for the 2010 concerts, Taylor didn’t disappoint fans who traveled from as far away and the United Kingdom to see six shows in two days at the Disney venue in Orlando, Florida. Every show was a little different. Most fans happily returned for all six shows and Park visitors were treated to the unique talents of Taylor Hicks.

6 ~~New music on the set list

Taylor and band kill it with “Bulletproof” that debuted at The Highline Ballroom in New York City. (Photo by Joe Marzullo)

What seemed like a most unlikely choice at first listen, “Bulletproof” blasted onto the stage at the opening of the 2010 Summer Tour in New York City and never backed off its instant popularity. “Scarlet Begonias” made its debut at Epcot Center. “Back to Louisiana,” “Stay With Me,” “Love the One You’re With,” “Not Fade Away,” and “Running on Empty,” were only some of the additions or tags in 2010.

5 ~~“Kick ass” tour band
With rock star glam and sound, Taylor and kick ass band rock FOX and Friends plaza in NYC. (photo from FOX and Friends)

Old friends and new joined the Taylor touring band of 2010. Brian Less, long time friend and band member, became his music manager. Brian, Jeff Lopez and Sam Gunderson were part of the pre-Idol Taylor Hicks Band. Brandon Peeples, Leif Bondarenko, and the late Matt Kimbrell rounded out what Taylor himself described as a “kick ass” band. They lived up to the name.

4~~ A voice for the Gulf Coast aid in concert and promos

A photo shoot on the Alabama beach produces stunning pictures of Taylor in the sand. (Photo from taylorhicks.ning)

Taylor Hicks became the voice of Alabama tourism and gained national attention with interviews and a blog on Larry King Live blog. He made a promo from the beach in Alabama for the return of tourism and appeared in a huge star-studded free concert at Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, MS for Gulf Coast aid.

3~~Performance of “Gran Torino” for Clint Eastwood at Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival

Taylor performs Gran Torino: “…Beats the lonely rhythm all night long.”
(photo from MJSBigBlog)

It was a one night charity appearance honoring film makers, particularly Clint Eastwood on a Sunday evening. Then a somewhat excited tweet from Taylor said he had been asked by Clint Eastwood personally to sing the title song from his highly acclaimed movie about a troubled Detroit, “Gran Torino.” It quickly became a night to remember. Someone in the audience tweeted the next day: “@TTHC @TaylorRHicks one of the highlights of the night, he owned the song, and the audience.”

2~~ Charity appearances for good causes
Taylor supports cancer research at Dawn of a Dream Gala for cancer research
(photo by RagsQueen)

Taylor met children who had little to smile about, but he entertained them and raised money to help their plight. He supported ten different charities with appearances and performances. He spoke often this year about how blessed he was. In giving back to causes and communities, Taylor went beyond the music and shared his name, his time, and his heart in making a difference. This should perhaps be Number 1 on this list!

1~~ 2010 Summer Tour
A set up stage waits in Laughlin, NV
(Photo by san)

It was the little tour that started quietly and grew into a big road trip that rolled across the country to 25 cities in many sold out venues in about two months ending with the appearance at Epcot Center. On “the monster” of a tour bus, Taylor and band opened in New York City at the Highline Ballroom on July 25th. They crisscrossed the country from New England to the gold hills of California and the beach in Florida.

An integral part of each concert was his tribute to our military with his song, “19.” He spoke for all of us in thanking our troops and received standing ovations for this emotional story of “an American hero.”

New music, new band, and the “same old” Taylor Hicks passion for his music made the shows of the Summer Tour Number One on our 2010 events to remember list!

Taylor Hicks once again pushed the entertainment envelope with new music, new connections, and new possibilities. His TV appearances on Celebrity Ghost Stories and Don’t Forget the Lyrics (for charity) led to talk of further TV and movie work.

His “voice” reached new audiences and entertainment communities, championed new causes, and honored our military men and women. He became a serious spokesperson and fundraiser.

He was always a serious musician!

2010 was a good year.

2011? Taylor Hicks will find a way to push the envelope more, launch new endeavors, and make 2011 even better than 2010.

This IS a marathon…one year at a time!
Taylor at Epcot by a little smart phone that was smart enough to know who to take a picture of!
(photo by san)

While I’m sure not everyone will agree with my choices or their order (I couldn’t agree with myself and even changed the order at the last minute!), I looked at the possible effect on Taylor’s career and what he perhaps considered important, and also how fans seemed to react to the events. There were certainly other memorable moments—he sang the National Anthem, returned to the American Idol Finale, visited the White House, and watched snow pile up and flood waters rise. It was an interesting year!

What’s Number One on YOUR 2010 Top Ten list?

Our very best wishes for a happy, healthy and music-filled New Year!

The Taylor Hicks Community

For a complete Timeline of Taylor events in 2010, visit out Timeline of the Journey on Connections Anthology:

Our boards began this Timeline in 2006 and several people have worked to maintain it as a chronological history of the Taylor journey. Thank you for reposting only the link to it.

Thanks to all who share their photos!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Taylor Hicks~~Just for Fun!!! Take our 2010 Favorites Poll!!

2010 with Taylor Hicks was a fun year!!! Take our poll of "important" questions about your favorites!!!

It's unscientific, randomly chosen answers. It's our first ever TTHC blog poll!

It's only for FUN!

Speak out about your choices!! What was your favorite Taylor shirt? I know...there was also the white linen on the beach...the brown checked many choices, so little space!

Here are the links to some of the choices if you want to take a look:

Favorite tweet pix: Never a dull moment on Music Row!! I'm at Mar-a-Largo at a wedding. This Don and I in his bar!! Joe Cocker ! It was an honor! What a great event! Benefitting an amazing museum.

Favorite Food Display Rock Shrimp Tempura, NOBU, LA Best Drink Ever !! Gates in KC !! Dinner! Coarsegold, CA

Favorite performance by Taylor
(randomly chosen video of performance)

"19" at Bay City MI

"The Fall" Bay Shore, New York

"Bulletproof" Highline Ballroom, New York City

“Back to Louisiana” Bay Shore, New York


Thanks to Cath for helping to compile poll and links.
(Tell her if you find "bugs"! )


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ The Perfect Tree...

From his autobiography, “Heart Full of Soul,” Taylor Hicks writes:

“My first memory is picture-perfect—like a postcard I wish someone had sent me.

“It was Christmastime, and I remember that my mother and I were visiting for the holidays with my aunt Katherine and Uncle Dan at their farm in Cullman, Alabama. At the time I must have been four years old. Aunt Katherine and Uncle Dan were family on my mother’s side, and they lived out in the country in a big old white farmhouse. The place was peaceful and welcoming, surrounded by a pretty peach orchard and more cattle than I’d ever seen before.

“…that December the farm had the look of a real-life winter wonderland. Strangely, though, it’s not our Christmas morning I vividly recall—or whatever presents Santa happened to leave under the tree.

“Instead, the thing I’ll never forget is the complete thrill of searching for our family Christmas tree a few days earlier. The air was frigid that day and the snow was falling gently and quietly. I recall my mother bundling me up in a winter coat. Then—along with the rest of the family—the two of us went running out into all that snow. I remember how thrilling it felt to heading off into the gorgeous frozen pine forest, which was now totally draped in white—all of us in hot pursuit of the same thing, the absolutely perfect tree.”

I remember country Christmases. My older brother once wrote about trudging through the snow—see, it does snow in Kentucky but not a lot—with our father to cut a tree. There were few pine forests, so it was some kind of indescribable evergreen. He told of my mother standing on the porch with disbelief, and perhaps a little disdain, in her eyes as they dragged behind them a tree that could only be described as the “first Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”

Hickory nuts were collected for a Christmas fruit cake. There were large peppermint sticks which I still insist that my children and grandchildren get in their stockings. I’m sure there were some presents but I don’t remember them except for one…a metal clown bank. When you pressed on it, its tongue stuck out to collect coins (pennies, I’m sure) and drop them in the bank. I remember going around to all the relatives for a few pennies. A real treat were oranges sent from an aunt in Michigan.

Christmas is all about family.

I wish you the perfect Christmas tree—the Taylor kind, or the Charlie Brown kind!

They were both perfect!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and those with whom you share this beautiful time!

The Taylor Hicks Community

“Heart Full of Soul” by Taylor Hicks, Random House, 2007.
Available on

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Taylor Hicks at WorkPlay~~Paying the Dream Forward...

Funny how things come together in a day.

I was having an online conversation this morning about angels unaware and when and where they may be.

And Elizabeth Edwards died.

We knew it was coming. The evening news had just said that her treatment was no longer working and she would only have weeks.

She only had hours.

But this is not about dying. This is about living.

In reviewing her life and words, the evening news quoted her as saying when she knew this was terminal that she would “own the days until then.”

She spoke candidly: “The days of our lives for all of us are numbered.”

Then I saw the unexpected interview from Birmingham with Taylor and Carson on ABC3340.

The young musician and cancer survivor, Carson James, will open for Taylor Hicks Thursday night at WorkPlay. ABC3340 called it “The chance of a lifetime to play along side an Idol,” for the Pelham, Al, teenager.

Taylor spoke about his own struggle in being heard:

“I know what it feels like to try to get your music out there, and I also know how hard it is to get your music out there and have it heard.”

Carson, who is battling stage-four bone cancer, stays positive:

“I’m just feeding my soul and playing music and making the most of my life that I actually can.”

Battles lost, battles won…

When the 22-year-old Taylor Hicks met the angel in the yellow dress which he recounted recently on Biography Channel, his life was ahead of him. And it was his to live.

Question was, how would he live it?

Which brings me to WorkPlay, 2010!

Taylor Hicks has come a long way since the first time he played at WorkPlay. Carson James is just starting his musical journey. But they share the stage and share a dream…that their music be heard!

It seems to me like Taylor Hicks is paying the dream forward!

If the message of the angel in the yellow dress was for Taylor to make changes, he made some good ones. He continues to live the dream…and share it!

I wish that I could fight my battles with the smile and grace of Elizabeth Edwards.

And Carson James.

Battles lost, battles won…

Safe travels to all going to Birmingham for WorkPlay! Enjoy it like it is the last one—it might be in that building.

And know that you are sharing a dream…and a battle won!

May we all fight our battles with a smile and with the sound of good music!

Taylor and Carson, you all ROCK!

Know that my heart will be in B’ham!


ABC3340 Interview with Carson James and Taylor Hicks:
Screencap by Cath2008.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Lady in the Yellow Dress

Who knows where Angels tread or life changers dwell?

Taylor Hicks said he met a life changer in the middle of the night in an eerie Savannah home in 2002.

It is not the event; it is what we make of it.

Taylor told his haunting story on Celebrity Ghost Stories on Biography Channel Saturday night. He said the strange disturbance in the middle of the night was a life changer for him, and the Lady in the yellow dress was a Guardian Angel looking over him sending a message to start making life changes.

It was because he made it so.

Gary Zukav says in “Seat of the Soul,” “Feel not what your mind tells you, but what your heart tells you. Rather than serve the fake gods of your mind, serve your heart.”

Serve your heart.

Taylor knew where his heart was. It was “music or the highway.”

It may be that the haunting is not important but what he did with what came to him is.

What do we do with what life gives us? Good or bad.

What do we do with negativity? Does it consume us?

What do we do with joy? Do we revel in it or let something creep in to destroy it?

Do we serve our mind, or do we serve our heart?


It was three years after Taylor’s meeting with the Lady in the yellow dress that he auditioned for American Idol. Life changers don’t happen overnight. They may start overnight, as this one did in Savannah.

They have to start somewhere, sometime. WE have to start them.

WE make life changers…just as Taylor Hicks decided to.

After the fretful night, that New Year’s morning Taylor made a choice…

“And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
~~Robert Frost

And that has made all the difference.

We choose our roads every day.

Where will your road take you today?

It makes a difference.

The Lady in the yellow dress is real if we make her so.

Just musings here on a Sunday morning…

Gypsee’s capture:

Taylor Hicks_Celebrity Ghost Stories_12-4-10 from TTHC_Media on Vimeo.

Quote from: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, Mountain Interval, 1920.
Taylor Hicks on Celebrity Ghost Stories Screencap by Gypsee44.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Americana Music

Some time ago, a friend sent me music by Irma Thomas including a beautiful version of “Loving Arms,” one of my all time favorite songs. I had not heard her music—Miss Irma, New Orleans’ Soul Queen. I liked her rich, soulful sound. “Break Away” is one of her own songs, and “I Wish Someone Would Care” is a soulful jewel.

She is representative of the great artists out there who aren’t charting hit makers or mainstream pop culture icons. But they have a loyal following because they are good.

Music blogger, Bob Lefsetz, has said that he’s not a fan of hits, but a fan of music and that we need a “filter” to find the good music out there—there is so much of the other kind. He thought someone could make money by presenting really good music and artists, not just performers with deep pockets.

Musical talent was discovered in a somewhat unusual way in the 1930s.

It was the Thirties’ version of a government stimulus package—part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

This is from an intriguing history, “Highway 61 Revisited The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, Rock, & Country Music,” by the master sax musician, Gene Santoro.

“Under the New Deal, the government sent out squadrons of researchers, writers, artists, and collators to document and disseminate local American folkways and history. This was part of the broader push to put to work the armies of unemployed, but it also reflected a country awakening from the social elite’s Eurocentric cultural dominance, partly thanks to emerging mass media…”

John and Alan Lomax were part of this unique effort.

“Alan Lomax worked with his ex-banker father, John A. Lomax, from age 17, crisscrossing the South making irreplaceable field recordings… adding oral histories and interviews that nest among the jewels of the Library of Congress.

“The biggest prize the Lomaxes snared on their 1933 Library of Congress trip to Louisiana’s Angola State Penitentiary was Huddie 'Lead Belly' Ledbetter. …
He carried in his head a fathomless bag of Americana.”

The Lomaxes were enthralled by Lead Belly and were able to get his release. He was turned over to Moses Asch, an independent label head with a small studio just off New York’s Time Square.

“Asch is one of those independent label heads who played vital roles in postwar American music. At Folkways, Asch recorded culture that was vanishing beneath urbanization and the growing mass media. He ran his several labels on love and a shoestring.”

“Lead Belly was the first folk artist Asch recorded, and his songs fed a powerful underground stream into folk and rock music of the 1950s and 1960s: songs he claimed to write…include 'Goodnight Irene' and 'Cottonfields,' which were covered by everyone from [Pete] Seeger to Creedence Clearwater Revival, and defined others like 'House of the Rising Sun.'"

I was fascinated by an “under the radar” DVD, “Deep Blues, a Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads,” by Robert Palmer and others, captured much in the same way as the Lomaxes did—recorded in tucked away roadhouses, bars, and front porches in the Deep South. It is “real” blues and soul music that is about as far away from mainstream as one could get.

It made me realize that there are live music places, much like the ones where Taylor Hicks “cut his musical teeth” all over the country in out of the way byways and housed in old buildings on busy city streets where good music is humming. Raw talent is performing on Wednesday night hoping just to get a Friday or Saturday night gig.

It makes you want to go out to the local bar or club and check out the talent. Support live music!

If you are lucky enough to be in or around New Orleans, one of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever had the privilege to visit (yes, to see Taylor Hicks), Irma Thomas has an impressive musical resume and is appearing there in December.

And she is good.

From Rounder Records: "She remains one of America’s most distinctive and classic singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music who remains as compelling and powerful as ever..."

Check out Miss Irma, New Orleans’ Soul Queen:

If music is your passion or your diversion, Gene Santoro’s comprehensive history of 20th century Americana music is outstanding. As a non-musician, I didn’t understand much of the music lingo, but the histories of great musical legends from Woody Guthrie to Bruce Springsteen were fascinating. It is an in-depth study of the people and influences that create the basis for our Americana music scene today. It is not just about Southern roots, but also the legacies of the West Coast, New York City, and Detroit.

All of these musical treasures are available on Amazon!

Miss Irma’s soulful albums
“Deep Blues, A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads” by Robert Palmer and others “Highway 61 Revisited The Tangled Roots of American Jazz, Blues, Rock, & Country Music,” by Gene Santoro, Oxford University Press
Taylor Hicks’s music, “Taylor Hicks,” “Early Works,” “The Distance,” and “Whomp at the Warfield,” live performance DVD.

And all are wonderful presents for the music lover on your holiday gift list!

Final Reflection:
The music I have discovered in the past few years, not only from Taylor Hicks, but from friends and online communities has enriched my life anew. I have always loved music—sang in church choirs as a teenager, studied a little bit of it in college, and then I got busy with life. Except for an occasional concert, popular vinyl album, or a radio in the background, I missed a few decades of music.

The last four years has been a reconnecting with music from the past and good music of today.

I am forever grateful to Taylor Hicks for that!


To subscribe to The Lefsetz Letter, visit:

Photos: Miss Irma Thomas from; Taylor Hicks at Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Karma, dancing, and thanksgiving...

I am forever thankful for a beautiful family, caring friends, a good job and warm home.

I am also thankful for the balance in my life.

As winter blew in last weekend with cold, wet snow, I went out to bring in the cushions on the front porch chairs. I shook the covers to be sure I didn’t bring an outside creature inside. Unexpectedly, something did fall out.


I laughed and then felt sad as I realized I had destroyed the winter cache of a small critter, perhaps even the winter home!

I knew about acorns. They house Karma.

One winter I thought they would be a nice decorative addition on my coffee table and naively picked up many little piles of them, under leaves, tucked away. They did look pretty in the flat antique basket. Overnight they warmed up, and Karma came crawling out all over my coffee table and into the carpeting.

What they say about Karma is true!

The world is a serious place. Sometimes there is little to laugh about, let alone dance about.

I was stunned last week when I read:

“I thought the world couldn’t be any colder and emptier. Now it is.”

He had lost someone dear to him and then learned of the death of Matt Kimbrell. But she had lived just as Matt had. They all danced at midnight.

Taylor Hicks has said it is not about how many records you sell. It is about how many lives you touch.

I am thankful for those who still dance at midnight—those who make the music and those who dance.

I was happy to read last night that a "party of 10" was on the way to the airport to welcome home their Marine.

I am thankful that some of our troops will be having dinner at home with their families today!

And I am forever grateful for the service of our brave men and women in the Armed Forces who spend this day far from home.

God bless our troops and keep them safe wherever they are this Thanksgiving!

A blessed and Happy Thanksgiving from...

The Taylor Hicks Community

Don’t pick up the acorns!

Photo from

Monday, November 15, 2010

Taylor Hicks "...owned the song" as he performs "Gran Torino"

It was an impressive gathering by any standards. So was the guest of honor.

The best and brightest turned out Sunday evening in Los Angeles for the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival Gala honoring Clint Eastwood. California Governor, Arnold Schwarzennegger, attended along with award recipient, Eli Wallach, Rabbi Marvin Hier, and British director and producer of “Iron Cross” recipient of the Rembrance Award, Joshua Newton. The ceremonies were hosted by comedian and TV host, George Lopez with special musical guests Taylor Hicks and Michael Grimm.

Taylor Hicks performed the title song, “Gran Torino,” from Eastwood’s award winning movie set in a troubled Detroit. Loren Gold, who toured with Taylor in 2007 as his musical director, accompanied Taylor on the piano. A signature touch of the American Idol from Alabama was harmonica lines woven into his performance of the poignant lyrics.

“Gran Torino” was requested by Mr. Eastwood and obviously well received. @RabbiYonah posted on twitter this morning:

“@TTHC @TaylorRHicks one of the highlights of the night, he owned the song, and the audience.”

Taylor tweeted after the performance: @TaylorRHicks: “Was a great honor performing for Mr. Eastwood.. What an honor! Busy night…”

Congratulations to all who bring the entertainment world and good causes together!

Truly, it is the lasting work of the business.

Photo credits: Group gathering from MDouglas47 via twitter: L to R: Eli Wallach, Nina Josephs, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taylor Hicks, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Clint Eastwood, Tom Scott, Arnold Schwartzennauger, George Lopez; other photos from and

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Taylor Hicks to perform "Gran Torino"

“…heart locked in a Gran Torino”

Detroit was the home of the muscle cars in the 1970s. New models rolled out in the fall with champagne-infused evenings for the car-lovin’ populace in and around Motor City.

Been there, done that.

Detroit was also the home of violence, intolerance, and urban decay. The auto capital of the world has come a long way since then. It fought through its intolerance. It built the Renaissance Center that spawned a rebirth of the city and its culture.

It is the auto industry that is in trouble now.

Taylor Hicks, long-time touring musician and American Idol turned Broadway star, presents a musical backdrop for all of this as he performs “Gran Torino,” from the movie of the same name—the creation of the legendary filmmaker and its star, Clint Eastwood. “Gran Torino,” the movie, is a stunning portrayal set in Detroit of Walt Kowalski as he is embroiled in the turmoil that rocked many cities in those days—the turmoil on the streets and the turmoil in our hearts.

Taylor performs the intricate title song at the request of Clint Eastwood!

He tweeted: @TaylorRHicks: Truly honored 2 B asked by Clint Eastwood 2 sing Gran Torino ths wknd. rlly cool...

The Alabama native appears as a special guest performer at the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival in Los Angeles this Sunday evening. He entertains for the inaugural event that honors Clint Eastwood in a special tribute and recognizes film legend, Eli Wallach. George Lopez hosts the gala, and America’s Got Talent winner, Michael Grimm, appears along with other musical guests.

“Gran Torino” was written and performed by Jamie Cullum for the movie. It is a complex weave of lyrics and nuances that invites the singer’s interpretation.

"Gran Torino"
Realign all the stars
Above my head
Warning signs
Travel far
I drink instead
On my own
Oh, how I've known
The battle scars
And worn out beds

Gentle now
A tender breeze blows
Whispers through a Gran Torino
Whistling another tired song
Engines humm and bitter dreams grow
Heart locked in a Gran Torino
It beats A lonely rhythm
all night long

These streets are old
They shine with the things I've known
And breaks through the trees
Their sparkling

Your world
Is nothing more
Than all
The tiny things
You've left behind

So tenderly
Your story is
Than what you see
What you've done
Or will become
Standing strong
Do you belong
In your skin
Just wondering

Gentle now a tender breeze blows
Whispers through the Gran Torino
Whistling another tired song
Engines hum and bitter dreams grow
A heart locked in a Gran Torino
It beats A lonely rhythm
All night long

May I be so bold and stay
I need someone to hold
That shudders my skin
Their sparkling

Your world
Is nothing more
Than all
The tiny things
You've left

So realign
All the stars
Above my head
Warning signs
Travel far
I drink instead
On my own
How I've known
The battle scars
And worn out beds

Gentle now a tender breeze blows
Whispers through the Gran Torino
Whistling another tired song
Engines hum and better dreams grow
Heart locked in a Gran Torino
It beats a lonely rhythm

All night long

It beats a lonely rhythm
All night long

It beats a lonely rhythm
ll night long

Taylor Hicks does interpretation very well. He will give his own touch to Sunday night’s “Gran Torino.” Like a new model rollin’ off the line, he will own this “Gran Torino” as surely as Walt owns the shiny one in his Detroit driveway.

For the music and the cause that champions our quest to live peacefully together, may the night…

…hum and better dreams grow.

Heart locked in a Gran Torino
It beats a lonely rhythm
All night long

It beats a lonely rhythm
All night long
It beats a lonely rhythm
All night long

Jamie Cullum’s “Gran Torino” …

Thanks to RagsQueen for the photo of Taylor at the Dawn of a Dream gala, Minneapolis, 11.6.10.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Thank our Troops!

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month…

Two years ago on my way through an airport, I was in line at a Starbucks. A young soldier was behind me. In a shaky voice I told the cashier to put his food on my bill. He seemed surprised and mumbled a thank you. I replied with a choked voice, “No… thank you. It’s the least I can do.”

Taylor Hicks spends a lot of time in airports. Early one morning in March he sent these poignant tweets:

“Good morning. 30,000 feet above you all. Beautiful sunrise... Reflecting.” Mon 29 Mar 03:47 via twitter for Blackberry

“Don't ever be too shy. To tell a soldier ‘Thank You’ while you are in the airport.” Mon 29 Mar 05:37 via twitter for Blackberry

A few weeks ago I was boarding a plane on my way to the happiest place on earth. I was stopped in the center aisle waiting as those in front of me stowed their carry ons. I stood next to a young soldier in uniform seated on the aisle. I remembered Taylor’s suggestion with a knot in my throat. I wanted to thank him, but I wasn’t sure I could find my voice.

I didn’t.

I was glad when a man coming behind me put out his hand to the soldier and said, “Thank you for your service.” He was the only one. Everyone passing by that soldier should have thanked him. I VOWED that I would next time.

FOUR soldiers from my home state come home this week aboard their final flight.

I cannot forget the opportunity I had to thank that young soldier.

Now, it is too late for some.

Today is a time to remember our veterans and thank our troops!

Find your voice!

“19” is Taylor’s tribute to our troops, and it always receives a standing ovation from an emotional audience. I think that it should be here today:

Those we remember and thank today are our real heroes!

God bless our troops!

Happy Veterans Day!

Thanks to AnotherTayFan for "19" from Springfield, IL.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ For the Children...UPDATE!!!

UPDATE: 11-7-10
From @childrenscancer late last night: "Woot! We exceeded our fundraising goal by $100,000! We raised $925,000 tonight. Thank you donors & sponsors for your generosity!"

That says it all!!!

Sometimes it’s more than a night out. It’s more than a show. It’s more than music.

Sometimes $500 is much more.

Taylor Hicks brings the show and the music with his Southern soul and rock band. “Dawn of a Dream” celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund with a black tie and pearls night out at The Depot in Minneapolis Saturday evening. The gala supports the passion of Children’s Cancer Research:

“...a world free of childhood cancer.”

Sometimes $500 funds a dream.

“Just before 13-year-old Katie Hageboeck died, she asked her parents to take the money she had saved for a 10-speed bike and donate it to a fledgling group formed to fund cancer research.

“That was 1979. Since then, Katie's $500 savings has snowballed into $75 million worth of cancer research at the University of Minnesota, thanks to the Children's Cancer Research Fund launched by her parents.”

Sometimes the young lead the way.

It's been heartwarming the last few days to watch the twitter messages of support for this weekend’s celebration. It was a caring community in Minnesota and online coming together to celebrate and support a dying child’s legacy to help others.

News from @childrenscancer this week said they were “packing it to the rafters” with over 1,000 party goers out on the town for a good cause. The event is sold out~~as well it should be!!!

In town for a concert at the Maplewood Performing Arts Center Friday night, Taylor Hicks tweeted on Friday:

“@TaylorRHicks: Just had a great visit at Children's Hospital at U of M Medical Center!! And to think we have strength...”

Sometimes the young surpass us in ways we may not see.

What Taylor saw most in the young cancer patients was their strength!

If $500 has grown to $75 million in the last 30 years, what can $75 million + do in the next 30 years?

Congratulations to the Children's Cancer Research Fund for the success of the past three decades! Bless all those who see a need and do something about it…like Katie did.

Here’s to reaching that dream in the next 30!

Rock those rafters at The Depot! Party for the best of reasons…

For the children!!!

Read more about the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and find out how you can help make this dream come true at:

“My mom says I was special because I had cancer when I was a baby. She still says I'm special. I think it's because I'm a princess.” Sydney S. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia Survivor

God bless the children.

In the Taylor Hicks community, we are proud to be a small part of this effort. Thanks for allowing Taylor to perform for such a worthy cause.

It’s one of those special times when music is so much more!

The Border Song, Maplewood Performing Arts Center, Friday night; thanks to MN Sue!

Border Song, Maplewood, MN 11-5-10 from MN Sue on Vimeo.

Thanks to Wonder for a stunning photo of Taylor Hicks at Epcot Center, 10.10.10.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taylor Hicks at Epcot ~~ And the kid in all of us!

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Auerbach

I was taking my dust and going to Epcot Center to see Taylor Hicks.

Even airports are quiet and uncrowded at 3:30 in the morning. I’m not sure why I had to book a flight that LEFT at 5:00 a.m. That meant a 2:00 wake up! But 18 hours later, it would justify the “it’s-been-a-long-day” pomegranate and peach punch cocktail at dinnertime.

The sun coming up outside an airplane window is always beautiful especially when you are flying to the happiest place on earth. Even from way out West and with a connecting flight, it was clear that this flight was going to Disney World.

There were happy children everywhere! So many that they did not board those with children first. The hard-working airline counter person said, “They’ll be all over the place.” He needed more Starbucks.

Delta is not the only one. There was a delay in Houston on Continental! But it was short, and we were soon over the Gulf of Mexico and approaching the western coast of Florida.

Orlando is a town owned by the mouse. He’s on the busses and the favorite graphic everywhere is the pair of black circles—the famous ears! I remember the Mouseketeers! I was feeling good about myself when I stepped onto a crowded transportation bus that said “VIP” on the front. Apparently a lot of important people were going to my hotel.

I wanted to take pictures of Taylor in concert with my new fancy phone and send them out to the world, so I started practicing on the bus. As we passed a Disney World sign I snapped it and looked at the plain green bushes I had captured. I heard an uproarious laugh from the seat next to me. I turned around and this nice looking lady, who obviously had been watching my failed efforts, was laughing! I laughed too and told her, “That’s not very nice.” She said she guessed my camera wouldn’t take pictures from a moving object. No kidding. Well, how was I suppose to capture a moving Taylor target on stage? I did finally capture an Epcot sign and turned to the laughing lady who was now talking on her phone. I put my picture right in her face determined to show off my final success.

The Evening News doesn’t play here. I mean there is no sign of recession or cares of the world. This is like being dropped into the world’s most beautiful and happiest playground for the young and not so young. As I stood in line to check in, young, happy staff people were painting pink hearts on young faces. I swear, I thought about getting my face painted. I mean, why NOT? I was in Disney World!

After airport and airplane food, I was looking for something better when I ran into that pomegranate and peach punch. I knew “punch” would mean a tall, cool glass. It HAD been a long day. It also ENDED my long day quickly when I returned to a very comfortable hotel bed.

Pictures don’t do justice to the Epcot Experience. I knew with the Taylor Experience starting in the afternoon, I would only have time to see one park. On the first day we only made it as far as the American Experience, which was our destination anyway. There was a wonderful patriotic drum and fife corps presentation outside and a stage diorama inside depicting our nation’s history. In front of the American Gardens Theatre was the placard for “Eat to the Beat” concert series with “Taylor Hicks.”

I‘m not good at standing in lines except to get good seats at a Taylor Hicks concert. The food lines were endless in the international pavilions. I was delighted to find no line at the American Experience and inside, barbecued pork and iced tea! It was also a chance to sit down for a while. Then it was time for THE line. There are those who are always first in line for any Taylor Hicks concert, and they were. There is a “line culture” where you meet people for the first time and see others you haven’t since the last line. It was fun and a respite from the sun and heat of Epcot on this day. It was all worth it for front row seats near center at the first Saturday show.

Three shows take you from bright sunshine on the stage at first to bright stage lights after dark. It makes for interesting pictures with the changing light. Taylor did his Epcot leap onto stage made famous and captured last year in a memorable photo by hootiegal. I didn’t catch it! I scarcely caught a few good shots of the moving target for which I had so diligently practiced on the bus.

The theatre seated approximately 1,000 and was packed for all six shows. On Sunday evening they asked everyone to move to the center so that more people could be seated. We sat different places to get a different camera angle, but with my limited photography talent, it didn’t make much difference!

The minute that Taylor stepped off the stage from one show, and as quickly as we could politely push our way through the crowds, we headed back to the line for the next show.

Six lines, six shows, 48 hours—I’d do it again this weekend!

We got an earlier start on Sunday and made the circle around to all the international pavilions before the first concert. We had time to do some shopping and even got into France’s pavilion for lunch. The circular vision of Canada’s presentation was beautiful and breathtaking. It was as close as you could get to being a bird. The wares of Morocco were enticing, but I passed on the belly dancing attire. Too much bling.

Back in the concert line on Sunday, we happened to be behind a very nice couple from the area who were Taylor “first timers.” She had seen Taylor on American Idol and wanted to see him in concert. We gave them the Birmingham-Broadway-Epcot Taylor history as we chatted and waited for the first show and assured her that “this won’t be anything like American Idol!” The Taylor fans actually made up a small part of the crowds each night. He reached out to a large number of potential new fans in two evenings at Epcot. He entertained the park’s visitors on this holiday weekend with a new American Experience…and it wasn’t American Idol!

It was a fast, fun-filled forty eight hours! One more experience remained—the tradition of my friend who must always have a large—make that extra large—soft ice cream cone when she goes to Epcot. A late dinner place happened to offer soft ice cream. She ordered “extra large” and I went along with it. This was the largest ice cream cone I had seen since the last time I was at “Grease!” Ice-cream pimpin’ Teen Angel would have been proud!

Flavor of the night: the swirl!

A final reflection:
Taylor said after Epcot: “See you next year!” and many of us vowed to return. If Taylor is there and I possibly can, I will go back.

Life is fleeting…uncertain. We were reminded this week that each day should be lived!

Matt Kimbrell will always be a part of our Epcot experience, and although he can’t be there next year, we will remember his music.

It was fitting that his last performance was in the happiest place on earth. He was doing what made him happy. It is his legacy…

Do what makes you happy!

I should have gotten my face painted...


Thanks to Mouser and Wonder for the two stunning photos of Taylor at Epcot!

Here's my "Epcot Elvis" ...

For my take on the music of Epcot, see below, “Taylor Hicks at Epcot” Part 1.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We Remember Matt Kimbrell...

Matt Kimbrell, percussionist with the Taylor Hicks Summer Tour Band, passed away early Thursday morning. He was only 51.

Matt Kimbrell brought 28 years of experience to the drum chair. He didn't learn his techniques overnight - his father: pianist, vocalist and arranger, Henry Kimbrell, gave Matt his first paying gig at the age of 12 and Matt never left the stage or studio. He fronted a couple of successful indie-rock bands in the 70s and 80s, Jim Bob and The Leisure Suits and The Ho-Ho Men. The Ho-Ho Men matured into Mambo Combo, a band that enjoyed 10 years of success in and around Birmingham, Alabama, during the late 80s and into the 90s. During that time Matt was a sideman in several new-wave, pop, roots, and party bands. These bands included: Tim Lee, The Sugar La-La's, Bud Green and The Hurlers. Working with these bands, Matt played in every state in the union and Canada.

Matt was involved with the band Levee Breaker for about a year and half and proved to be more than a reliable time-keeper for the band. Not only was he said to be the best meter in Birmingham, but he also had a terrific sense of melody and the ability to play great parts. Because Matt listened to great music, he played great music.

With the kick-off of Taylor Hicks’ Summer Tour in July, Matt joined the band in a 25-city tour from coast to coast. His final performance was this past weekend with Taylor and the Band in Orlando, Florida, at Epcot Center’s “Eat ToThe Beat” concert series Saturday and Sunday with three shows each evening.

It was my pleasure to watch Matt walk onto the stage with a smile and a wave to the crowd for each show at Epcot. He was an integral part of the immense musical talent and magic that bought down the American Gardens Theatre last weekend.

His drums rocked Epcot!

Matt Kimbrell did not go quietly into that dark night!!!

God speed, Matt Kimbrell. You will be greatly missed.

Our deepest sympathy go to Matt’s family and friends.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Thanks to RagsQueen for the great picture of Matt Kimbrell at Epcot!

We share more about Matt here:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Taylor Hicks at Epcot!!!

Taylor Hicks knows he has a good band behind him. He just didn’t know HOW good until Sunday night when they brought down the house—literally.

As the band’s energy and vibes on “Hold On To Your Love” hit the stratrosphere, the three plexiglass panels around Drummer Leif Bondarenko toppled forward and hit the floor. A stunned audience saw Taylor’s shiny red guitar knocked over and buried, but breathed relief as the plexis just missed Taylor who was front stage at the mic.

Brian Less laughed, but the band played on and never missed a beat. As if freed from his cage, Drummer Leif continued his “I-can-drum-my-way-out-of-here” solo. An unaware Taylor finished the number, then turned around and stepped back to gawk for a moment. The usually glib but stunned Taylor quipped, “How about this band!!!” An astute fan yelled out, “You brought the house down!”

Mickey, the entertainment icon, had met his match! The mouse had been whomped!

When I remember Epcot, I have to remember the music first. The American Gardens Theatre was packed for every performance. Visitors to Epcot joined the throng of Taylor fans and the American Experience at Epcot took on a whole new meaning!

If someone told Taylor that there were many fans there that would stand in line for one show and then rush out to stand in line for the next show for SIX times, he listened. He made every show different except for appropriately repeating “19” as a tribute to the troops. It always received a standing ovation.

The varied setlist seemed like a thoughtful gift for those returning for six shows in 48 hours.

There was another present—a brand new song on the Sunday night setlist, “Scarlet Begonias,” a Grateful Dead song from 1974.

“She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls.”

One fan appropriately reviewed it with: “Scarlet Begonias kicked ass. Well done.” I listened to the Grateful Dead version in the airport on the way home and have to say that Taylor and the band do covers better than the original! But we already knew that, didn’t we—Takin’ It To The Streets, Love the One You’re With…Bulletproof!!!

My favorite musical moment (besides the ever-memorable “Bulletproof” which he introduced by saying he wasn’t going to, but someone offered him $100 to do it. And then, “I’m still THAT guy!”) was a tag of “Running on Empty.” It is a stunning change inside the ever-raucous “Seven Mile Breakdown.” Suddenly, you are taken away from roadhouse honky tonk with the beautiful lyrics of Jackson Browne…

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I’m running behind…”

“Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned onto the road I’m on

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind

I was mesmerized. Taylor has called them little “songs within a song.” The tags are another layer of the amazing music that makes up the Taylor Hicks live show. “Running on Empty” would be a great cover—not just a tag.

Taylor also remembered the passing on Sunday of Solomon Burke with a tribute tag of “Cry To Me.” He gave accolades to Rod Stewart as a “mentor” in introducing Sunday night’s closer, “Stay With Me.”

It is always all about the music! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you for the music, Taylor, Brian, Brandon, Leif, Matt, Jeff and Sam!!!

You truly do keep raising the standard for what the live performance is all about. And we are lucky enough to be a part of it.

You brought down the house in more ways than one!

Until the next Epcot… or Workplay…

You didn’t think I was finished, did you?

In Epcot~~Part 2, I’ll share more of my own journey from the promegrante peach punch cocktail on arrival to the Sunday finale with an enormous ice cream cone that would make any ice cream pimpin’ Teen Angel proud! I had a blast!

For the complete setlists from all six shows visit our tour forum at:

For more information about “Scarlet Begonias” and The Grateful Dead’s version:

Quote: “Scarlet Begonias” kicked ass. Well Done.” By WonderSOS via twitter.
Thanks to Mouser for her prompt research on “Scarlet Begonias” and diligent notes during concerts for the setlists.
Photos from Epcot by San.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Trip Around the Sun

Taylor Hicks began this past “trip around the sun” the same place he will begin the next one—Epcot Center in Orlando, FL.

Minnie Mouse should start bringing him a birthday cake.

One of the projects that TTHC created and has maintained for the last four years is a log—Taylor’s Journey~~The Timeline. Starting with his audition in Las Vegas in 2005, it chronicles the milestones along the way.

Here's our latest additions to The Timeline as Taylor's journey continued—starting at Epcot!

November 1-2, 2009 – Entertaining the visitors at EPCOT CENTER in Disney World – Orlando at the "Eat to the Beat" concert series

November 11 – Remembering our veterans by providing a free download of "Nineteen" on the Alabama Veterans Affairs, The LA Red Cross, and Soldiers’ Angels web sites.

December 6 – Honoring our country by singing the National Anthem at the Panthers/Bucs game in Charlotte, NC

December 11 – Taking the stage for an acoustic performance at The High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI

December 29 – Ending this DECADE with "Do I Make You Proud" being in the #39 spot on the Singles Sales chart

January 6-7, 2010 – Entertaining at the Pep Rally and enjoying the festivities at the BCS National Championship Game between Texas and Alabama

January 16 – Attending the Adoption Exchange Karaoke Benefit in St. Louis with other “Grease” cast members

March 18 – Building a house for the Habitat for Humanity Project in Birmingham, Alabama

April 11 - Singing the National Anthem at the Inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

April 19 – Recording "Save My Body, Save My Soul" for the SOS Children's Villages charity tour

May 11 – Opening the NBA Playoff Game 5 between the Cleveland Cavs and the Boston Celtics to sing the National Anthem

May 13 – Teeing off at the Region's Charity Golf Tournament at Ross Bridge, Hoover, AL

May 21 – Judging and performing at the "Sing Your Way to 100 K" Talent Contest at The Windstar Casino in AL


May 26 – Appearing on the Red Carpet and onstage at the American Idol Season 9 Finale with all previous Idols singing a tribute to the departing Simon Cowell

June 4 – Giving a private performance at closing night at a Golf Event in the Bahamas.

June 9 – Lending his voice to support the Alabama Department of Tourism by taping advertisements inviting people to "Come on Down" to Alabama to vacation

June 13 – Previewing the Summer Tour and new music with a concert with full band in tow at the Syracuse Balloonfest at Jamesville Beach Park

June 18 – Voicing his support for the Gulf Coast in an appearance on MSNBC with Chris Jansing talking about the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill

June 21 – Writing a piece for Larry King Live's Blog about the Gulf Oil Spill, pointing out ALL the issues and encouraging people, especially the media, to see the relief effort through until the problems are solved

June 25 – Jamming on the harmonica with Ivan Neville and the jam artists at the Rocky Mountain Power Jam in Denver, CO ~”Love the One You’re With” debuts!

June 29 – Releasing Genevieve Rose's song "Save my Body, Save my Soul," on which Taylor performed the vocals, at and iTunes for the international charity, SOS Children's Villages.


July 25 – Waking up early for Sunday morning with Fox & Friends, New York City, introducing the Tour Band and performing live outside the studio.

July 25 – Opening Summer Tour 2010 playing to a sold-out crowd at The Highline Ballroom in New York City with tour bus waiting ~”Bulletproof” debuts!

July 27 – Performing for another sold-out venue in Ogunquit, ME

July 29 – Rolling with the “kick ass” band and new music into the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA

July 30 – Rocking it out at the Crocodile Rock Cafe, Allentown, PA

July 31 – Mixing it up at the Mexicali Live - Teaneck , NJ

August 3 – Streaming webchat for fans and sharing his thoughts on the inspiration behind his music.

August 3 – Enjoying the stage at the Ram's Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD

August 6 – Taking the band and bus to the Fat Fish Blue, for a great evening of music in Cleveland, OH

August 7 – Sampling the wonderful food and performing at Veterans' Memorial Park -Bay City, MI

August 9 – Rocking at the big city’s Reggies’ Rock Club, Chicago, IL

August 10 – Singing in the Heartland at the Sangamon Auditorium, Springfield, Il

August 11 – Taylorizing his music set to fit the bluesy atmosphere of the Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis, MN

August 12 – Entertaining the intimate crowd at The Annex, Madison, WI

August 14 – Giving the sold-out crowd at Knuckleheads in Kansas City, MO a night to remember

August 15 – Unveiling of his Alabama Tourism PSA debuted at the Governor's Conference by Lee Sentel, Director of Alabama Department of Tourism with ads now airing in the Gulf area .

August 17 – Appearing on stage for taping of a Free Concert at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for Gulf Relief airing on August 25th on the CW Network.

August 19 – Traveling west for a scenic concert at the Mesa Theatre Grand Junction, CO.

August 21 – Burning up the stage for a large enthusiastic crowd at the Aquarius Casino on the river in Laughlin , NV ~ Rick Carter guests on “The Weight”

August 22 – Hitting the West Coast with a critically acclaimed show at The Anthology in San Diego, CA.

August 24 – Brewing up a memorable experience for concert goers at the Downtown Brewing Company in San Luis Obispo, CA

August 25 – Dazzling the dinner guests and music lovers in the elegant Rrazz Room at Hotel Nico in San Francisco, CA

August 26 – Answering questions for enthusiastic fans with a pre-concert USStream Web Chat

August 26 – Striking gold for music lovers in the beautiful foothills of Yosemite on stage at the Chukchansi Gold Casino, Coarsegold, CA

August 27 – Airing of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Concert on CW Network with rebroadcasting on September 1 and throughout the year

August 28 – Honoring veterans at the Ft. Walton Veteran's Appreciation Day Celebration at the "Bull Ridgon" Fairground in Ft. Walton , FL.

September 11 – Lending his talent and charm to the charity gala for LIFE CHANGING LIVES in Laguna Niguel, CA, benefiting Wounded Warriors and The Susan G. Komen Foundation

September 14 – Talking it up on the Wendy Williams Show and singing "Seven Mile Breakdown"

September 15 – Returning to the East for a ramped up popular show at the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro in Norfolk, Ct.

September 16 – Presenting his usual 150% performance in Tarrytown New York at the Tarrytown Music Hall & Bistro

September 17 – Excelling with vocals and doing it all at The Boulton YMCA Performance Hall in Bay Shore, NY

September 18 – Sporting Vermont plaid and owning the stage at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland , VT.

September 20 – Shooting his segment for the American Idol Season 10 TV Show in Birmingham with Golareh Safarian

September 25 – Gifting his fans with a grand performance at the 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim, WA

I have always wondered if Taylor were choosing a few milestones each year for a Timeline, what would they be?

I’m not going to speculate.


We wish you many more “kick ass” years like this one!!!

A wonderful birthday video was created in 2008 by KarinP, a great fan from Canada:

Taylor's Trip Around the Sun 2007-2008 from KarinP on Vimeo.

Have a great birthday!

See you at Epcot!!!

Thank you, KarinP for Trip Around the Sun and Mouser for The Timeline 2009-2010!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our first business--being a fan!

My first business here is being a fan of Taylor Hicks.

Sometimes life gets in the way of life. Business gets in the way of business. We blog, post, tweet, PM, DM, and take care of the business of fandom.

Not the business of being a fan…

I love the road. I hit the road early this morning for a professional meeting over three hours away. The road is my time…just me and, yes, my Taylor music! I had not even loaded my new fancy phone with new Taylor music. Besides, I still like the CD in my hand, sliding it in, and hearing those first exciting sounds. I hadn’t heard The Distance for a long time. It quickly reminded me of what this is all about.

Caution: The exciting sounds and pounding beats of music like “The Distance” can make your foot grow heavy. I was cruising through Arizona’s high country just about to sharply descend in to the beautiful Verde Valley when I glanced down at my speed. Yipes! 80 on a winding two-lane! Taylor and I were flyin’ off that mountain!

Perhaps it was that I was running away from the Google Alert that I had read first thing this morning. You know, the usual one with someone lamenting about the unsuccessful career of Taylor Hicks. Well, it seems about the same time Taylor and I were flying off the mountain, Taylor in reality was flying to the West Coast for talks about TV and film matters and then on to Washington State for a Saturday Night concert!

Take that Google!

I reacted like a fan angry that people don’t see the successes that are building a career, creating a loyal fanbase, and never forgetting that it is about the music.

I could recount the successes, but we know about them, and we know how Taylor measures success. Taylor has simply summed up his success like this:

He is a working musician.

Which brings me back to summing up my business here:

I am a fan.

Today, I got back to that. Okay, so, flying off the mountain with Taylor music wasn’t as exciting as walking to his live concert in Laughlin a few weeks ago. But it made me realize that I am first a fan. And I was really in fan heaven today when I realized that the CD I had in my car had the bonus track, “Indiscriminate Act of Kindness,” just about my all time favorite recording by Taylor!

I hope we haven’t forgotten that we were, and are, fans first…before the boards, Facebook, twitter, and blogs! I hope we all take time to be fans and that that is our first business.

And that’s what Taylor needs first…fans who will be there every day staying connected to the music that brought us here and supporting the man AND the music that keeps us here.

Together, we can be that fanbase that gives Taylor what he wants the most—a long career as a working musician.

And that’s the business of a fanbase.

So, take that Google!!!

It was fun being a fan today!!!
Thanks to RagsQueen for the cool fan photo of Taylor in Vermont.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Taylor Hicks ~~ Meet the Tour Music!

Taylor Hicks introduced a ton of new music in his National Tour, 2010.

It included a cornucopia of covers whose original artists hail from classic rock and roll to British pop. There was a heavy infusion of sounds from the Fifties, Seventies, and beyond.

Here’s our look at Taylor’s covers that rocked the stage from coast to coast.

“Not Fade Away”
Performed by Taylor on American Idol and first debuted on tour in New York City at the Highline Ballroom.

The rock and roll classic has been covered by artists from the Rolling Stones whose 1964 version was their first US single to the Grateful Dead, James Taylor, The Supremes who recorded it in 1964 but released it in 2008 on an album collection, the Everly Brothers, to The Beatles, who being avid fans of Buddy Holly recorded an unreleased version of “Not Fade Away.”

“Not Fade Away" is a song credited to Buddy Holly (originally under his first and middle names, Charles Hardin) and Norman Petty (although Petty's co-writing credit is most likely a formality) and first recorded by Holly's band The Crickets in Clovis, New Mexico, on May 29, 1957.

It was one of the first pop songs to feature the "Bo Diddley" sound, a series of beats (da, da, da, da-da da) popularized by Diddley, The song's rhythm pattern is one of the classic examples of the Bo Diddley beat, which itself was an update of the so-called "hambone" rhythm, or "patted juba" from Western Africa. It is also known as the "shave and a haircut, 2 bits" and "hambone beat". Willie and the Hand Jive, Louie, Louie, Help Me Rhonda are but just a few other songs with clave, the basis of Cuban music, "salsa" and Latin jazz as well as other Caribbean music.

“Love the One You’re With”
First made the Taylor setlist in Denver at the Rocky Mountain Power Jam and on tour in New York city at the Highline Ballroom.

This is a 1970 single by folk rocker Stephen Stills. The first release off his first solo album Stephen Stills, it rose to the top twenty of the pop singles chart, peaking at #14.

Stills wrote the song after being inspired by the tag line -- "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" which was a frequent remark by musician Billy Preston. Stills asked him for permission to use the line in a song which Preston immediately agreed to.

The most notable cover came in 1971 from The Isley Brothers, whose unique gospel-driven cover of the song sent it to the charts again. It was also covered by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their live album Four Way Street, Aretha Franklin on her album Aretha Live at Fillmore West, The Supremes along with The Four Tops on their album Dynamite, Engelbert Humperdinck on Live At The Riviera, Bobby Goldsboro and Les Humphries Singers.

In a recent review by Alan Segal at the San Diego Reader, he said Taylor’s performance “put Stephen Stills to shame.”

“Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody”
A funky Brick (The Band) tune first hit Taylor’s setlist at The Highline Ballroom in New York City.

Brick was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 from members of two bands - one disco and the other jazz. They coined their own term for disco-jazz, "dazz". They released their first single "Music Matic" on Main Street Records in 1976, before signing to the independently distributed Bang Records. “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” was released in 1978 and rode the charts at #92 Pop, and #7 R&B.

Taylor’s “electroBama” sound of “Bulletproof” first blasted onto the stage at The Highline Ballroom in New York.

Taylor gave a preview to this setlist favorite when he tweeted a link to LaRoux and said this was the best on radio, when he first heard it in Denver.

“Bulletproof" is a song by the English electropop* duo La Roux from their self-titled debut album, La Roux (2009). Written and produced by both members of La Roux ( Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid ), the song was released in the United Kingdom on 22 June 2009 as the album's third single in digital and physical formats from two labels, Polydor and Kitsuné Music.

"Bulletproof" was well-received by music critics, and also debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. It was also a sleeper hit in the United States, peaking at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and has as of June 2010 shifted more than 862,000 downloads in the U.S.

* Electropop (also called technopop) is a form of electronic music that is made with synthesizers, and which first flourished from 1978 to 1981. The genre has seen a revival of popularity and influence since the late 2000s. "Electropop" is the short form of "electronic pop".

The term was used primarily during the 1980s to describe a form of synthpop characterized by an emphasized electronic sound — often described as cold and robotic — and by minimal arrangements. Electropop songs are pop songs at heart, often with simple, catchy hooks and dance beats.

Taylor Hicks took the electronic sound, cold and robotic, and put it on keyboard, guitar, drums and sax and created a new “electroBama” sound.

Stay With Me
The “simple rock and roll formula” song was introduced by Taylor at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.

“Stay with Me," written by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, was first recorded by their band Faces for the 1971 album A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse. The song has also appeared on various Faces compilations and on albums by both songwriters. The lyrics describe a woman with "red lips, hair and fingernails" he "found... down on the floor"; the singer proposes a one-night stand on the condition that she must be gone when he wakes up. The song starts with a breakneck intro that settles into a steady groove - a simple rock & roll formula at a time when music was becoming more complicated. Faces was formed in 1969 by members of the Small Faces after Steve Marriott left that group to form Humble Pie. The remaining Small Faces - Ronnie Lane (bass guitar), Ian McLagan (keyboards) and Kenney Jones (drums & percussion) - were joined by Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Rod Stewart (lead vocals), both from The Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up was renamed Faces.

Although they enjoyed only modest success compared to contemporaries such as The Who and The Rolling Stones, the Faces have had considerable influence on latter-day rock revivalists. Their good-natured, back-to-basics (and frequently liquor-laden) concerts and studio albums connect them with such bands as The Damned and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols. Bands representing an assortment of genres, ranging from The Replacements and The Quireboys to You Am I, Guns N' Roses, The Black Crowes, Oasis and Pearl Jam have all acknowledged the Faces' musical influence.

Taylor continued to add more covers and musical guests to the tour as he crisscrossed the country in 2010 and connected with old fans and some new ones.

Part 2 ~ More Tour Music Covers!

“The Real Buddy Holly Story,” White Star Studios,;;;

For more information and media on the covers and artists with embeds of original artists and Taylor’s cover versions, visit our forum and media board:

Thanks to the Mouser for the research and compilation of the Tour 2010 forum and to RagsQueen for the photo from Tarrytown NY 9.16.10.

ONLY THREE concert appearances remain!

September 18~Paramount Theatre, Rutland, VT, 8:00 p.m.

September 25~7 Cedars Casino, Sequim, WA, 8:00 p.m.

October 9 – 10 ~Epcot Center “Eat to the Beat Concert Series, Orlando, FL, 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 p.m.

See Taylor Hicks live in concert while you can!!!

Happy Weekend!