Monday, November 14, 2011

Taylor Hicks and the November Chronicles...

Don’t think that November is down time for Taylor Hicks just because the bus may be parked.

November, 2005
Taylor Hicks
had his golden ticket to Hollywood and American Idol. Very few people knew that. He was on the verge of a new life that he had chased for ten years. Those of us who had never heard of Taylor Hicks had no idea this November how our lives would change forever… before the next November.

November, 2006
Taylor Hicks
had just finished headlining the most successful American Idol tour ever. He had won with the largest number of votes ever cast, more than in the previous Presidential election. In November, he was heading into the studio in California; he lived where he could smell the ocean in the morning through his open windows; he said then that it was the happiest time of his life. Remember and “Hollywood Nights?” This was a November to remember. He rocked “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” with what critics called a “show-stopping” “Runaround,” and a never-heard-like-this “White Christmas.” He was a presenter at the American Music Awards in Hollywood. The finishing touches were going on his first post-Idol album, “Taylor Hicks” to be released December 12, 2006. Taylor fans were finding each other; fan sites had launched or were in creation. For many of us, a new side of our life was taking shape.

November, 2007
November 1, 2007, at Pearl River Casino in Philadelphia, MS, Taylor was closing his first National Modern Whomp Solo Tour after a killer 10-month concert schedule that had taken him across the country performing 4-5 concerts a week.

I was there in Pearl River and followers after that prayed for one thing that November—that this never-slows-down young man would get some rest!

He didn’t. In a few weeks he kicked off his first international tour headlining the Asian Idol Finale in Djkarta, Indonesia, and continued a ten-day tour of The Philippines.

November, 2008
This November Taylor Hicks was preparing for a different kind of tour. He had just closed a very successful summer run on Broadway starring as Teen Angel in “Grease”!!! Like everything else that he did, he owned the role that he debuted in June and was credited by the New York News with significant weekly increase at the box office as fans from all over came to see Taylor Hicks on a new stage—the Broadway stage. So much did he impress the Broadway powers that he was getting ready to take it on the road and would open the National Tour of Broadway Across America’s “Grease” Providence, RI on December 2. He was also back in the studio working on his second album—this time an independent release, The Distance, on his own recording label, Modern Whomp Records. He would be an independent recording star and Broadway’s Teen Angel side by side!

A few days earlier in October, this blog was launched. I can still feel the excitement of having this place to share our thoughts and enthusiasm for Taylor Hicks and the new road on which we had embarked! Heading into our first November here, I was obsessed with it all, and that hasn’t changed very much!

November, 2009
The “Eat to the Beat” Concert Series at Epcot Center was host to Taylor and full band this November. Fans were ecstatic to enjoy six shows in two days and many flew in to enjoy Epcot and all the shows. Veterans’ Day was special when Taylor released a free download of “Nineteen” and invited fans to share personal stories of their veterans on his website at Taylor as Teen Angel was still flying across the country and Canada, while he took with him his new album, The Distance, that had dropped in March. Shadow tours brought his new music to the fans and “Grease” theatre goers could have it hand delivered and meet the “real” Taylor Hicks after each show. He was bringing his music directly to the people and building a fan base that a writer would later say would “serve him well.” It would also serve as a springboard for his aptly-named “kick ass” tour for the summer coming up.

November, 2010
This touring musician was still on the road wrapping up the summer’s “kick ass” tour that had crisscrossed the country and ended in Maplewood, MN Performing Arts Center. Then he gave his heart and talent, as he so often had done, to a charity performance—the “Dawn of a Dream” Gala for Children’s Cancer Research Foundation in Minneapolis, MN. Just when it all seemed to be winding down, he had a personal call from Clint Eastwood who asked him to sing the beautiful “Gran Torino” at the Museum of Tolerance Gala honoring Mr. Dirty Harry in Los Angeles. The only glimpse that we've seen of that appearance was captured in a future “Riding Shotgun with Taylor Hicks” which was launched this November. The Taylor Hicks TV Channel on YouTube takes followers along on the travels and escapades of Taylor and his band. “Riding Shotgun” episodes continue to be a very popular connection between Taylor and his fans. He concluded a busy November bringing the holiday cheer to tree-lighting ceremonies in Leeds, AL and Hollywood, CA.

November, 2011
Another November and Taylor Hicks is back in the studio, now in Nashville working on a new album of what he has called “country soul,” with his mentor, KebMo, who may influence the “soul” more than the “country.” It’s time to again wait and anticipate—new music, new touring, new travels.

There is something exciting about the “unknown.” What will the new music sound like? Country…soul…blues? What will be completely new; what will be perhaps familiar covers? What talented musicians will give it all the background that creates that incomparable sound that Taylor Hicks always creates?

Questions evoke anticipation. The answers will be even better.

And we’ll have those NEXT November!

If there is a theme for November, it is getting back to what Taylor Hicks is all about—the studio, recording music, and then touring it. November may be when followers “wait,” but Taylor is busy doing what he does.

In its first November, this blog was finding its legs. It has evolved; it has touched a few hearts and minds, I hope. It will be here for more Novembers, I can promise you. So, we too, are getting back to what we do—sharing the music and career of Taylor Hicks and remembering that excitement that we felt five years ago in November.

November is the breeding ground for next year—the next “what’s just around the bend…”

Stay tuned folks…! As Taylor might say...