Saturday, September 17, 2011

Taylor Hicks "...Redefined the American Idol" -Huffington Post

When you follow an artist, know all his music by heart, contrive every way possible to see him perform every chance you can, are most alive sitting in the front row…

You want everyone to know what you know. They rarely do.

Sometimes you are, (borrowing the writer’s words) “impressed, surprised, and kicked off ‘your fan’ throne” that says no one “gets it.”

So, we raved Friday as some one got it—a music critic!

Cicily Janus, who met Taylor briefly and saw him perform at the Telluride Jazz Celebration in August, wrote in her Friday Huffington Post article, “Taylor Made: How One Man’s Dream Redefined the American Idol:”

“Recently I came across a living, breathing, bonafide definition of success. As a matter of fact he has tailored his success to fit the real version of himself. A rare treat indeed. And boy was I impressed, surprised and kicked off of the music critics "purist" throne.”

“…what I saw on stage and later during a jam at the Sheridan Opera House was NOT the Idol version of Hicks. Instead, the real Taylor Hicks made an unannounced appearance. My jaw dropped when I realized that this was the same shy, syrupy sweet man during the American Idol audition. After seeing him in Telluride, it was quite clear that his dream has not suffered and this life, his life, is working out well. More importantly, he isn't selling out to anyone.”

And staying true to himself.

“To watch him perform is to live. There's passion, excitement and a clear message to anyone who's ever wanted to be bigger than their beginning, that all things are possible if only you stay true to yourself. Don't play. Be honest with yourself and everyone else too...”

This “ Random House Author, Jazz Fanatic, House chef, Cultivator of Dreams,” as she describes herself, isn’t just living life, she is exploring it. She took the time to look inside the music she was experiencing and found a nice surprise.

Life done right…being true to oneself.

Author and musician Gene Santoro wrote about Tom Waits, the staunchly unconventional songwriter and musician:

“It’s hard not to be yourself when you are as much who you are as Waits is.”

Taylor Hicks
defends being who you are:

“…I don’t think you should ever run away from who you are. Rather, I think you should run toward whomever you want to be. It’s like they say—wherever you go, there you are.”

“If you stay the same person, it doesn’t matter where you go.”

It’s hard not to be yourself when you are as much who you are as Taylor Hicks is!
Bravo to all who stay true to themselves and their dream!

Bravo to writers who take the time to really know of whom they write!!!
You have to believe that is writer is someone who is staying true to herself!

Bravo to those who follow the man and the music and know that fame is not the pursuit.
The pursuit is the success that allows the real Taylor Hicks to keep showing up!

If you know all the words to Taylor Hicks’ music, or if you know nothing of Taylor Hicks—this is a must read.

If you want to know more about looking at life, it is a must read.

From Cicily Janus on the Huffington Post website:

Follow Cicily Janus on Twitter at

UPDATE: On Saturday morning The New York Times picked up the article on their Times Topics page!

It was tweeted by Kern Radio 1180 as “An interesting read on balancing art and humanity.”

We think the viral journey of this piece is only beginning!
~~ Our thanks to Ms. Janus who cared enough to get the real story!

The Taylor Hicks Community

Other Sources: Highway 61 by Gene Santoro; Heart Full of Soul autobiography by Taylor Hicks with David Wild for Random House.

Photo by Getty Images from Taylor Hicks performs at “BamaRising” for Tornado Recovery.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We will always remember...

We will always remember the victims of this dark day ten years ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.

How important it is that we recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes."
-Maya Angelou

We celebrate the heroes among us of that day and of every day.

Our sincerest thanks to our brave military men and women who serve our country.

"Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes."
-Bertolt Brecht

We are a land blessed with many heroes!
God bless all the heroes among us.

God bless America!

The Taylor Hicks Community

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Taylor Hicks and friends at the Flora-Bama ~ In a word, eclectic!

As the name suggests, the Flora-Bama sits on the Florida-Alabama state line on the Gulf of Mexico. It warrants a lot of descriptions from “It’s a dive bar like Jordan was a basketball player” to “America’s Last Great Roadhouse!” Much of it was destroyed in Hurricane Ivan in 2004. It was rebuilt, but did not lose its unique character.
Taylor Hicks, Rollin’ in the Hay, and Spoonful James play the Gulf Coast landmark today with beach party concerts, a football viewing extravaganza, and perhaps, with a tropical storm in the area, a wet and wild last shout out to summer! As Taylor added to a tweet about Flora-Bama this week: #justlikeoldtimes!

Shortly after winning American Idol in 2006, People Magazine talked with someone who “knew Taylor when” and knew Flora-Bama.

“Back when he was singing on the bar circuit in 2003, ‘he would get the crowd going,’ says Donna Slater, entertainment director of Flora-Bama Lounge, a popular watering hole on the Florida-Alabama border. ‘At first he was a curiosity, with all his dancing and twitching around on stage, but then everyone realized this guy could really sing.’”
Donna Slater had been hiring bands and musicians for the Flora-Bama Lounge since 1993. She started hiring Taylor and his college band in the late 1990s.

In a later interview, she talked about getting to know Taylor and his band.
“They were a college band with a lot of energy and talent, so I hired them during spring break of 1999? Late ‘90s.

“I kept hiring him through several band incarnations…this continued up until Hurricane Ivan hit in September, 2004. Taylor played the Mullet Toss in 2004. You have to remember that I met him when he was 19 or so. I believe that he always had that pull to perform and to play music whenever and wherever.”

There’s probably one song that will be on the set list tonight: Taylor’s own song, “Soul Thing.” It talks about this time when “the road can be your friend or the devil in disguise.” And it is Donna’s favorite. “It is that true R&B sound that he does so well.”

If you are in the Southeast today, the place to be is the Flora-Bama! Spoonful James with Wynn Christian, Quinn Borland, Eric Baath, and Patrick Lunceford plays at 2:00 p.m.

Rollin’ in the Hay with John Kulinich, Stan Foster, and Rick Carter takes the stage at 4:00 p.m.

At 6 p.m. Taylor Hicks returns to a stage he knows well. Difference is, there will be a few more people in the audience today as loyal fans fly in, drive in, and listen in as a Flora-Bama favorite son “brings it on home.”

There have been many different stages and shows since Donna Slater hired Taylor Hicks and his band in their college days. There is one constant for this great American roadhouse and these talented artists.

Music is their heart and soul.


And a shout out to those who were there in the beginning!
Yes, America voted. But those who were in those first audiences at Flora-Bama…they, too, make tonight possible.

Rock the Bama, Boys!

The party started early as Taylor tweeted this from inside the Flora-Bama Dome Friday night. With inclement weather in the area, the beach party moves inside.
On the beach for Alabama Department of Tourism photoshoot.

Quotes by Donna Slater from:
"Soul Survivor" by Mike Lipton, People Magazine

TTHC/TMO_Media Interview