Saturday, March 26, 2011

Taylor Hicks -- "West Texas Sky"

“West Texas Sky” was written by Taylor Hicks before he also was…

“… driving away these miles
So far away from your southern home
Takin' your charms and dreams to the Golden State
Make your way, seal your fate"

following those same miles taking his dreams to Hollywood for American Idol in 2006.

This is a bittersweet song that weaves layers of colors and images as beautiful as the West Texas sky. It is laid against the sounds of the Southwest and evokes feelings as lonely as the vast open spaces that stretch for miles.

“West Texas Sky” is about an ending where

“Nobody wins and nobody loses
Just a handful of sorrows
And too many excuses”

and the beginning of someone’s dream

“…to walk beside the ocean,
Oh, and stand beside the sea”

There is something synonymous with dreams and the West. It is a poet’s place that promises hope and a bright shining new life—as Jackson Browne said, where we are, “running into the sun.”

“West Texas Sky”
By Taylor Hicks

So you're driving away these miles
So far away from your southern home
Takin' your charms and dreams to the Golden State
Make your way, seal your fate

That's when you're gone away
Where no one will hear you cry
When you're late
For that west Texas sky

When you left home, I didn't think twice
Oh, I knew, you had to roam
I knew that life was getting you down
You always feel alone when there's no one around

But who gets cut when the knife is dull?
And who gets lost when the map is full
Nobody wins and nobody loses
Just a handful of sorrows
And too many excuses

You wanted to walk beside the ocean
Oh, and stand beside the sea
And now you can't wait until tomorrow
There's so much to do
And so much to see

So you're driving away these miles
So far away from your southern home
Takin' your charms and dreams to the Golden State
Make your way, seal your fate

That's when you're gone away
Where no one will hear you cry
When you're late
For that west Texas sky

When you're late
For that west Texas sky
When you're late
For that west Texas sky


When you're late
For that west Texas sky

“West Texas Sky” was first recorded by Taylor Hicks on Under the Radar, an indie pre-Idol album, and later released on Early Works in 2008, the first album for his own record company, Modern Whomp Records.

The beautiful backdrop and images of “West Texas Sky” were interpreted in video two years ago by KarinP and Allyn. With Taylor Hicks in Texas this weekend for the Ride 2 Recovery Benefit Concert, it is the perfect opportunity to feature “West Texas Sky” and their stunning video:

Many thanks to KarinP (MagnoliaBreezes) and Allyn (WhisperingPines) for their beautiful interpretation of “West Texas Sky” and for permission to share it here. (Don't ask where Taylor is singing; Allyn can put him anywhere in her graphics.)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Taylor Hicks~~"Down on the Bayou III" Keeping the Music ALIVE!

It is funk with a cause.

The musical lineup is stunning. The cause is most worthy.

In a city that runs on music and diverse culture, The New Orleans Musicians Clinic is a place that is keeping it healthy.

“Our goal is to keep New Orleans music and culture ALIVE!”

It’s no wonder a stunning lineup of headliners, including JoJo Hermann and his Mardi Gras Band , Col. Bruce Hampton, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Irma Thomas, and Taylor Hicks, is turning out for “Down on the Bayou III” May 5, at Howlin’ Wolf in what has been called by Jambase.com8 Hours of Funk for a Good Cause.” It plays during Jazz Fest, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, April 29 to May 8.

Besides Taylor Hicks, who inspires this web place, for me another name stood out in the Bayou lineup: Irma ThomasMiss Irma, New Orleans’ Soul Queen. Her music was a gift from a friend and her soulful sound struck a chord. Rounder Records, where she records, says of the New Orleans First Lady of soul:

"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..."

She was featured here in “Music Americana” a few months ago. (Link below)

If you go, don’t miss Irma Thomas and hope that she sings “Loving Arms!”

If you don’t go, you can still support this “medical home” for the legendary musicians and “tradition bearers” in New Orleans.

“Since 1998, the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic (NOMC) has been dedicated to keeping New Orleans’ performers alive in body, mind, and spirit by providing comprehensive health care and mental health/social services. As the “medical home” for more than 2,000 local musicians and tradition bearers, the NOMC's Culture of Caring Model provides cost-efficient access to high quality healthcare and wellness programs for our patients, regardless of their ability to pay.”

The new charity struggled in its infancy and in 1999 brought together over 100 musicians and supporters in the community to record an amazing CD, “Get You A Healin’.”

Now, after more than a decade with hurricanes, Gulf oil spill, and failing economy, NOMC still struggles. In August, 2010, when most of their government funding was cut off, they went back to the board. “—the sound board, that is—with a special anniversary digital only re-release of “Get You a Healin’” on iTunes, Rhapsody, and a variety of online music stores.”

It was a daunting challenge with the original master tapes lost in Katrina’s flooding and many of the musicians having left New Orleans, but the NOMC came back stronger than ever.

“Get You a Healin’” features Dr John, Funky Meters, BB King, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Guardians of the Flame, Blu Lu Barker & more!

NOMC still needs the support of the music community. Enter “Down on the Bayou III,” returning for the third year with many of New Orleans’ legendary musicians to perform “8 hours of live funk to benefit The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation.”

This is when music is more…

Get your tickets for a funky “Down on the Bayou III”

And support all those who are keeping the music ALIVE!


Tickets for “Down on the Bayou III”

Miss Irma Thomas in “Music Americana:”

Read more about “Down on the Bayou III:”

Read more and purchase “Get You A Healin’” digital re-release:

Quotes and information from websites and New Orleans Musicians Clinic site:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Two Years and Still Going--The Distance!

On this day in 2009, Taylor Hicks released The Distance, on his own Modern Whomp Records label, with stellar collaborations of songwriters and producer, Simon Climie. Stellar, too, were the back up musicians—from Eric Clapton’s band!

One record, so much music!

What’s Right is Right” was the first pre-release single with the beautiful retro-chic Chicago-on-a-snowy-night music video by New York filmmaker, Jake Davis.

As The Distance hit the streets, fans were packed for Roxy’s where in just a few days, we would experience the real music of The Distance—Taylor’s first live concert after its release. He bounded onto the stage that night to the striking notes of the title song.

Taylor Hicks at Roxy's March 18, 2009, after release of The Distance (photo by San)

The eclectic music of The Distance would come to many stages in so many places as it went along on the National Broadway Tour of “Grease.” Taylor sang “What’s Right is Right” and later, “Seven Mile Breakdown,” as an encore on the “Grease” stage after every performance. It was the “cutting edge” for releasing a new album onto the music scene.

I took an initial look at the tracks in “The Distance…first impressions” the day following its release:

And reaction to the music grew and evolved.

I Live on a Battlefield” was not a favorite at first. “Talk about a dark horse coming on strong.” It has become the most pounding, energetic track on the album. In concert, it is unparalleled for getting the heart pumping.

Maybe You Should” was the heartthrob song with pure Taylor voice. There isn’t anything not to like about the beautiful lament of lost love. Taylor has said on several occasions that “Maybe You Should” is on hold for a major country singer.

Nineteen” took us out of ourselves and gave us all the opportunity to honor our heroes, and Taylor began an effort to always thank our troops whenever we see them. The poignant story and Jeff Lopez’s “Dixie” flute line at the end took us out of the music and made it something much more.

“Seven Mile Breakdown,” the second single release, was raucous delta rock with country down laid on top! And a music video from Oregon film maker, Spence Nicholson, was miles and miles from the first snowy Chicago one. Delta country went to the California hills and the two married very well in a fun music outing that was No. 1 on the AOL and MuVids music video charts for months.

And “Seven Mile Breakdown” took Taylor Hicks back to the American Idol stage that year for one delta-rocks-with-attitude evening! Delta down was up that night. Way up. Taylor Hicks brought it!

Taylor Hicks rocks American Idol, 2009, performing "Seven Mile Breakdown" (screencap by Gypsee)

The Distance has seen glorious days and rocked out stages in two short years.

A good run—but it’s not over.

Taylor Hicks always mixes it up. With his unique performances and infusion of new covers, The Distance concert that first played at Roxy’s in 2009 is as new and vibrant today as it was then.

There is still an opportunity to enjoy The Distance music on tour before it is, at least slightly, eclipsed by a new and exciting album from Taylor Hicks slated for “late fall,” that he describes as country soul.

Taylor has said that you have to live with the music you record for a long time.

Fair enough. We can live with the music on The Distance for a long time!

Check out our TTHC Discography for music from The Distance.

Check out the Taylor Hicks 2011 Concert schedule for The Distance music LIVE…the best way to go… The Distance!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Taylor Hicks talks to Rick and Bubba ... Songwriting, Acting, & New Restaurant

Taylor Hicks made a surprise visit today to Rick and Bubba's, the popular morning tomfoolery show in Birmingham, Alabama, and discussed everything from TV acting roles, to songwriting in Nashville in between the belly guffaws over a plethora of topics.

Songwriting ~
He described the songwriting process in Nashville as getting up in the morning and writing music until lunch and then having soul food and going back and writing music until 5:00 p. m. He indicated this was now his preferred brand of songwriting, especially the soul food for lunch.

Perhaps a little bit different song writing routine now than when Taylor wrote “The Fall” at 19!

Acting roles~
After tweeting a couple of weeks ago a bolt from the blue, “Nothing interesting. Just acting lessons,” Taylor revealed that he has been sent a few network pilots. So many people said “you ought to get into acting.” He took some acting lessons and has been called in on 4 or 5 different network TV pilots.

The key to acting is that it “has to be the right role” for Taylor to do it. “Teen Angel was perfect.”

Rick and Bubba made various suggestions for the “right role” –or not, starting with “Two and a Half Men.” Then there was starring in “The Glenn Beck Story.”

New restaurant, Ore~
They tried to entice him to be the new spokesperson for Rick and Bubba’s Beef Brisket Jerky which Taylor testified was the “best he had ever eaten.” Taylor assured them it would be sold right next to the register at his new restaurant, Ore, opening in Birmingham in the spring.

Taylor described his new restaurant as a neighborhood bar and grill on the site of the old cafĂ© where he played as a kid and he went back and bought it. Menu will serve up “great food.” He said that he had passed up some suggestions for the menu. Asked if he would play there, he promised seeing a “live set” was a “definite.”

Radio Gold and much more~
As a caller described it, this was, as always “radio gold,” and she suggested that he host the show when Rick and Bubba weren’t there.

This was everyone's shot of laugh therapy today!

Go get your laughs… For the entire interview check this out:

Thanks to Gypsee and TMOMedia for Taylor’s entertaining interview!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Taylor Hicks ~~ Manistee, Greensburg, Ogunquit!


If it is springtime and you are Taylor Hicks with a new album coming out in late fall, you must be torn between rolling out the tour bus and hitting the road or locking yourself away and writing music.

If it is springtime and you are a fan, you watch Twitter for new concert dates and for the tour bus coming to your town, or close enough to drive, and you hope the songwriting magically gets done for the new album coming out in the fall.

We want it all.

Just like last year? We all can suggest beautiful venues that are just down the road that are perfect for a Taylor Hicks show. Or why not go back to those from last year? Many were sold out.

Jonathan’s in Ogunquit, Maine, was sold out last year. This year it’s booked for Mother’s Day.

Genius. Who wouldn’t take your mother to the gorgeous New England restaurant with colorful and fragrant gardens surrounding?

Why not stick with a good thing—a plethora of vibrant live music venues all over the country, from small and intimate jazz clubs to decked-out casino halls, to historic and beautiful music theatres.

So, for no particular reason at all…

Where would you most like for Taylor to return to this summer?

Take our unscientific poll at the right. Perhaps “someone” will be reading and watching for the results!

Taylor Hicks and his 2011 Kick Ass Band might be coming to a place near you!

Oh, yeh, the songwriting…

Taylor, please take your music journal along and don’t eat the chocolate!

So, here’s what we’ve got so far:

March 28, 2011 ~~ San Marcos, TX, Benefit Concert for Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge, 7:30 p.m. $50 donation and $150 VIP Meet and Greet.

April 28, 2011
~~ Snoqualmie, WA, Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom, 7:00 p.m.

May 8, 2011 ~~ Ogunquit, ME, Jonathan’s Restaurant in a special Mother's Day show, 7:00 p.m.

May 14, 2011 ~~ Greensburg, PA, The Palace Theatre, 8:00 p.m.

May 27, 2011~~Coos Bay, OR, The Mill Casino, Salmon Room, TWO shows, 7:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: 1.800.953.4800

May 29, 2011 ~~ Manistee, MI, Little River Casino, 8:00 p.m.

“We’ll go anywhere, Man, we’ll go anywhere…”

Also, for no particular reason, some road pictures:

New Orleans and House of Blues ahead!

The Mighty Mississippi at Vicksburg.

A traveling man!

Running on, running on...running into the sun... on the Pacific Coast Highway!

Photos by San.