Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
On sale now! Pick your copy today!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
(BROADWAY MAGAZINE) On the 11thDay of Broadway, my true love gave to me…11 Stars A-Shining. We continue our 12 Days Of Broadway celebration with Broadway Magazineand Broadway.tv with our list of the 11 Top Celebrity Turns on Broadway in 2008. Some stars shone more than others on Broadway this season, and here is our choice for 11 of the top. For purposes of this list, only one person per show, and only celebrities without a long Broadway tenure are eligible. We are defining celebrity as those who are largely famous for work in medium other than the stage. Our apologies to Liza Minnelli, who tops most anyone’s Broadway list this season.
1. Diane Wiest in All My Sons.Katie Holmes got the headlines, but Weist is completely fascinating to behold. She is our favorite celebrity on Broadway this season. John Lithgow, Patrick Wilson, Katie Holmes and the entire ensemble have made this production of Arthur Miller’s play one of the must-see dramas of the season.
2. Kristin Scott Thomas in The Seagull. She helped make Chekhov profitable on Broadway. A selfless star who was not afraid to show the selfish side of a complex iconic character. We have three words for Ms. Thomas and producers as they consider her next stage project-The Cherry Orchard!
3. Daniel Radcliffe in Equus.A dark play, but a totally committed performance from a star who seems to have the DNA of the great British stage stars of the past. Richard Griffiths and Kate Mulgrew are also more than exceptional.
4. Laurence Fishburne in Thurgood.With depth and nuance, Fishburne brought a judicial titan to life.
5. Clay Aiken in Spamalot. The new father may have made headlines with his outing, but he still is making audiences laugh with his sense of humor. Surely there are other musicals that would fit him like a glove.
6. Taylor Hicks in Grease. Soul Patrol fans and Broadway fans unite in cheering the good-natured and smooth singing soul stylist as he transitions from American Idol to Broadway’s Rookie-of-the-year.
7. Cedric The Entertainer in American Buffalo. A short run, but a bright future for Cedric on Broadway in the right vehicle…if he gets over his anger at Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Tony nomination for featured actor?
8. Marisa Tomei in Top Girls.This was a great production of a difficult play. Tomei was absolutely fascinating as the Scottish explorer who had ailments, passions, and liked the bread plate. Her change to the contemporary mother was equally solid.
9. Elisabeth Moss in Speed-The-Plow.Please stay away from the sushi, Ms. Moss. While the departed Jeremy Piven walked in and out as the headliner of this Mamet revival, Moss has left audiences wanting to see the AMC Mad Men star in other roles on-stage.
10. S. Epatha Merkerson from Come Back, Little Sheba. The star of Law and Order was riveting as Lola in William Inge’s haunting play.
11. Patrick Stewart in Macbeth. While he has a substantial Broadway resume, we’ve broken our own rule to include Stewart for his entertaining and soulful portrayal of Shakespeare’s Scottish King. So much blood!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
"...Winning "American Idol" doesn't guarantee a successful recording career. Taylor Hicks, the 2006 champ, can't match the CD sales of Chris Daughtry or Kellie Pickler, whom TV viewers rejected that season. But the "Idol" title does open doors, and Hicks is proving to be a careerist.
After parting company with J Records, he took the role of Teen Angel in "Grease" on Broadway in June. This month, he began a six-month road tour with the show that will bring him to the Twin Cities next weekend. During the tour, he will play an occasional club to promote his forthcoming album, "The Distance," due in March on his own label, Modern Whomp. He is previewing his new, untitled single during "Grease" as sort of a curtain-call encore.
Q Why are you performing only the last three days of the Minneapolis engagement?
A I'm gearing up for my new record. I previously booked [some gigs] and the mixing of the record.
Q How have you Taylor-made the part of Teen Angel?
A I took the song and made it fit my style more, with the arranging of some horn parts and also adding harmonica. The costume has a Taylor flair to it, to say the least.
Q What does your famous hair look like in "Grease"?
A Let's just say it's definitely a 1950s look.
Q Tell me about your new album.
A I'm really excited about it. There are some really great story songs on the record. I co-wrote most of the material. Doyle Bramhall plays guitar, Nathan East plays bass, Abe Laboriel Jr. plays drums. My producer is Simon Climie; he's done a lot of Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale records. I wanted somebody who could help me create a timeless record. The album is a great representation of who I am as an artist right now, and that's all I can ask for.
Q Do you keep up with our "Idol" homegirl Paris Bennett?
A I do. I think the world of her. I think she's a wonderful singer. She has a natural ability to perform and sing. I hope I get to see her when I come there.
Q Are you happy with your career path?
A I couldn't be happier. For me, this is a marathon, not a sprint. The longevity aspect to me is the most important. Doing Broadway theater and looking at movie roles and writing music and putting out CDs -- you have to be well-rounded if you want longevity in a career..."
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
It is possible that the British fans have better taste in music and a thirst for real talent that we do in America? Perhaps so.... I mean, they did produce The Beatles..... and Davy Jones - what more can you ask for? Now don't snicker about Jones... when you talk about "Idols", he has to be the greatest of them all. He had cuteness factor, great hair, perfect teeth and an accent to die for....
Here's a great accupela number by Davy and his co-horts called "Riu Chi" from The Monkees TV show, an old Spanish Christmas song to celebrate the season... Happy Holidays to all Soul Thing readers!
And from 1986 - A Christmas Medley from The Monkees and MTV (when MTV was actually good)...
Friday, December 19, 2008
For those fans who are out of the loop, here's you chance to purchase tickets to Taylor's intimate club tour leading up to the new album's release on March 10, 2009. If you live in or around the Annapolis MD, Oakley OH or Chicago, IL area, break open that wallet and catch him sing his brand new music! It may be your only chance to catch him in such a small venue since he'll be touring larger venues after the album's release.
The three stops so far are:
Martyrs: Chicago, IL, $40, January 17, 2009
Tickets on Sale Now @ Ticketmaster, w/special guest TBA
20th Century Theater: Oakley, OH, $25, January 24, 2009
Tickets on Sale @ Ticketmaster on Dec. 20, 2008 @ 10:00am
Rams Head: Annapolis, MD, $35, Feb 7, 2009
Tickets On Sale Now @ Pollstar. Tickets going fast, so get yours while you can!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Officially released on CD late in 2008, long after his American Idol spotlight dimmed so dark he lost his major-label contract, Early Works reveals that Taylor Hicks was always a working musician, a no-fuss journeyman that cranked out soulful rock & roll, the kind that always sounds pretty good in a beer ad. That isn't much of a surprise: his Idol performances and post-Idolalbum suggested that he could always crank songs like "Soul Thing" and the softer "The Deal," a Bob Seger-styled midtempo number that surfaced on his major-label effort and is here in an early incarnation that isn't that much different. What's surprising about Early Works is its strain of sweet, folky singer/songwriter pop, halfway between Van Morrison and Stephen Stills. Most of the record is in this vein - possibly because it's a sound that's easier to market than the soul-rock that made his name - and while it's just as classic rock in its own way as the barroom blues boogie that brought him fame, it does suggest a depth not quite heard in his Idol-era performances. It's still journeyman stuff - music marked by its dogged devotion not divine spark - but it's well-done, heartfelt and endearing, sounding like the work of a local boy made good.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
"...Smooth and slick and fun but emotionally as deep as a 1950s crew-cut, the new Grease lives up to its title in too many ways.
The more-youthful casting works up to a point in the peppy Broadway tour, which opened yesterday at the Palace Theatre.
The performers certainly sing and dance well, reflecting the spirit of vibrant but insecure adolescence. Yet, the acting mostly ranges from the generic to the cartoonish.
Director Kathleen Marshall makes up somewhat for the one-dimensionality when she isn't causing or allowing it with nifty choreography, brisk pacing and elegant scene transitions.
As disc jockey Vince Fontaine, Dominic Fortuna leads a pre-show with wisecracks, a sing-along and hand waving designed to set the mood and capitalize on aging boomers' palpable desire to fall in love again with a favorite musical about idealized high-school rites of passage.
Such expectations falter a bit as the two-act show progresses, buoyed here and there by the energetic reprise of Summer Nights, Greased Lightning, We Go Together, Born to Hand-Jive and a few other golden sequences.
Even those great songs are undercut by a blaring oldies-rock orchestration that occasionally obscures lyrics. That may especially irritate those who walk in without already knowing all the words (but for the baby-boomer generation, who doesn't?).
While the 1978 movie was a star vehicle partly because of the many close-ups on John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Stockard Channing (the definitive Rizzo, much missed onstage) the stage version always was more of an ensemble piece.
Without the star quality needed to add personality and nuance to their roles, the young actors playing the leads tend to approach individuality only during their solos such as Sandy (by Eric Schneider as greaser Danny), Hopelessly Devoted to You (by Emily Padgett as school newcomer Sandy) and There Are Worse Things I Could Do (by Allie Schulz as tough-but-tender Rizzo)
A pleasant exception: David Ruffin, whose sensitivity as Kenickie can be felt throughout his scenes.
Predictably, the strength of this tour, which reflects the movie more with added songs, is its ensemble and crowd scenes. Among the supporting players adding vivid humor: sweet but hapless Frenchy (Kate Morgan Chadwick), gawky Doody (Brian Crum), nerdy Eugene (Scot Patrick Allan) and Miss Lynch (Roxy Lucas).
Taylor Hicks, an American Idol winner, seizes his magical moment. As Teen Angel, he sings Beauty School Dropout with a stirring voice and charming presence that nods with a few grins to his celebrity. Others may prefer the golden-oldie singers who filled the role on film or previous tours, but Hicks gets my vote.
The candy-colored design and glow of idealized nostalgia extends through Derek McLane's scenery, Martin Pakledinaz's costumes and Kenneth Posner's lighting.
Many fans will walk into this revival wanting to like it more than they will when they leave. Even so, the songs are such catchy favorites that just about everyone should have a good-enough time..."
And just a plea for those fans who are angsting about the 4-week pushback of the CD, please relax. This stuff happens all the time and it will get released when every button is tweaked & every knob is pushed to Taylor's satisfaction. It WILL be an unparalleled CD and well worth the wait.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
For those fans who are out of the loop, here's you chance to purchase tickets to Taylor's intimate club tour leading up to the new album's release on February 10, 2009. If you live in or around the Annapolis MD or Chicago, IL area, break open that wallet and catch him sing his brand new music! It may be your only chance to catch him in such a small venue since he'll be touring larger venues after the album's release.
The two stops so far are:
Martyrs: Chicago, IL, $40, January 17, 2009
Tickets on Sale Now @ Ticketmaster, w/special guest TBA
Rams Head: Annapolis, MD, $35, Feb 7, 2009
Tickets On Sale Now @ Pollstar. Tickets going fast, so get yours while you can!
Friday, December 12, 2008
If in fact Taylor's CD cover looks like the one shown above, don't you think that it looks a bit (okay quite a bit) like the latest CD cover by fellow blue-eyed soul and legendary singer Michael McDonald? Both have that septia tone glow to them, both have that cityscape, eerie nighttime quietness to them and both artists have that sort of cold blank stare - one looking at you and the other looking down the road - and both dressed in black. It's no wonder that both albums were produced by the same guy, Simon Climie and both have almost identical session men who backed them in the studio. Those session men are mostly from Eric Clapton's current touring band and are some of the finest blues & soul musicians in the industry. Everyone from bassist Nathan East to guitarists Doyle Bramhall II and Michael Thompson; from keyboardist Toby Baker and Tim Carmen to drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., who also has played behind Paul McCartney and Sting. It is quite impressive that such an elite and prestigeous group of session men, excited to work with Taylor, were enlisted to accompany him - the winner of Season 5 of American Idol - that lone bluesman who didn't look like the typical American Idol, that young pop star who will make pre-teens part with their parents money in a hurry; that tool that will do as they are told, record what the corporate pigs say and be a true croonie for the corporation.
Nope, this winner, Taylor Hicks, has managed to break free; sort of like finding his "New Found Freedom". He has has forged his own path and is living out his dream his way, playing his music and being true to himself the way he sees fit. Taylor is earning and has earned respect from his peers, both in front of and behind the scenes the old fashion way - through years of hard work, determination, respect, and by having the gift of voice - one of the finest blues voices around today.
Why does Taylor Hicks get top billing in the musical Grease if he's only in one bit of the show? Because he's an American Idol after all.
I had a chance to talk with Taylor, and see the show at the Wharton center in East Lansing, and I left both of them feeling pretty good.
Hicks, who reprises his Broadway role of Teen Angel does a solid job following in the footsteps of legends like Donny Most and Eddie Mekka. He plays it with some self-deprecating humor and a swagger that lets the audience know that he's in on the joke.
I have to give a shout out to the cast as a whole, especially the actors who played the roles of Doody and Rump. Although neither would be mistaken for the leader of the T Birds, they both had surprisingly good singing voices, and had some of the more memorable moments as far as I'm concerned.
As far as Taylor off stage goes, I appreciated that he embraces his Idol roots, and stays true to his blues styling in his music.
And he's a big golf nut, so we had plenty to talk about off-camera. Although he's a performer comfortable with being in front of millions on TV, when he plays in some of the big celebrity golf events, or PGA pro-ams, he still gets nervous and shaky. Cool to hear him admit that, rather than putting on the brave face saying "yeah, that doesn't bother me..."
Here's to hoping the tour comes to west Michigan sometime in the spring/summer so we can try and go "On the Tee".
Monday, December 8, 2008
Despite a sluggish economy, Taylor Hicks is bringing people out to see the touring company of 'Grease' this winter, which started in Providence, RI on Dec. 2. According to the Providence Journal, "...the new national tour, headlining American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, is doing well at its first stop in Providence. Lynn Singleton, president of PPAC, said he expects the show to gross about $1.1 million this week, or about 10 percent better than Legally Blonde, which opened its national tour here in September.
“We’re very pleased,” said Singleton. “The market has responded well in a daunting time, and on top of that the crowds seem to love the show.”
Singleton said he expects the show to play to about 80 percent capacity before it closes in Providence tomorrow. From Providence the touring show leaves for stops in 13 other cities by the end of May...."
And, he's making believers out of just about everyone who sees the production. Jessica Braley of the Herald News put it this way:
"...Consider yourselves warned. The number of times I voted for Taylor Hicks to win “American Idol” may directly interfere with my ability to be partial when reviewing the touring production of “Grease” at the Providence Performing Arts Center.
At first, I was skeptical at the Idol winner’s ability to pull off the teen role first made famous by Frankie Avalon, but with a booming voice and a few flashes of his harmonica skills, Hicks made a believer out of me. Catching a glimpse of the star posing for pics with fans on his way into the theatre certainly helped.
Bringing a personality and a personal history to the role, Hicks delivered a shining, literally and figuratively, performance as Teen Angel and his performance of “Beauty School Dropout” was certainly one of the high points of the show. Descending from a glittering, fur-lined ice cream cone to the stage in a sequined, glittering suit complete with flashy angel wings, Hicks mesmerized Frenchy and the audience. Frenchy, played exquisitely by Kate Morgan Chadwick, snagged a few laughs when pleading with Hicks as she toyed with his open shirt, “You know ... I voted for you...”
Or how about this unsuspecting blogger who completely get turned on by Taylor's performance as Teen Angel.... check this one out ...
"...omg omg omg just saw grease at ppac.
well, saw it last night. but it hit me so hard that it feels like i just saw it.
see now i feel bad because i honestly enjoyed it, and those last two sentences make it seem like i didn't. so, to clarify, i did enjoy the performance. but what i enjoyed most was TAYLOR HICKS.
awww yeah he's too old to play any of the main characters so he played 'teen angel' and sang 'beauty school drop out' to frenchie.
and i'll be the first to tell you that i was never really big into mr. hicks, there. or american idol at that moment. but now that i saw this show? well, i will also be the first to say that he stole the show.
really, he did. good song, good acting, really enjoyed himself. of course, he has sang this song hundreds of times, but he seemed to really enjoy it. and thus, i did too...."
or Dick Upson of the Blues, Soul & Rock 'n Roll blog:
"...Hicks has a big, soothing voice that was perfect in the best doo wop fashion as Teen Angel consoles poor Frenchy that she can still "...go back to high school.." even if she is a "Beauty School Dropout..."
Or how about this from Randy Rice at BroadwayWorld.com:
"...Taylor Hicks, whom the audience adores, has a magical entrance and does a fine job as Teen Angel. While Hicks may be a draw to bring the audience into the theater, he does not rely on gimmickry. Hicks understands the campy nature of the role but approaches Teen Angel with artistic integrity. He gets to wail a few bars on his harmonica, which adds another dimension to the character..."
You GO Taylor!!!! Show the country what you got, dude!
Photo by Diane @ The Boogie!! Thanks! :)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I'm leaving you with this nice beachy picture of Taylor! Yum! Enjoy!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I always love to post nice, positive reviews and previews for Grease, so here's one I found in The Edge, a Boston newspaper. I highlighted the important part.. hehe!
American Idol meets "Grease"
Grease is still the word. The record-breaking musical returned to Broadway this past year for another successful incarnation, this time boosted from a popular reality show in which the leads - Danny and Sandy - were picked. Now it is back on the road arriving at Providence’s Performing Arts Center for a 6-day run. This touring production also has a television connection in the person of Taylor Hicks, the winner of the sixth season of American Idol, who appears as the Teen Angel. The production is directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and features a hugely successful score that features such hits as "Summer Nights," "You’re The One That I Want," and the title tune. "...you can’t do much better than Kathleen Marshall, the choreographer and director who has proved to be without peer in taking faded old musicals ("Wonderful Town," "Pajama Game") and giving them a fresh modern shine," wrote Time Magazine shortly after its Broadway opening. "Here she keeps everything sprightly and speedy without overwhelming her young stars. The dance numbers go for group precision over virtuoso acrobatics. Derek McLane’s sets are bright and witty, from the stacks of school lockers or cars at a drive-in movie, to the neon ice cream cone that opens to reveal the hunky Teen Angel in the terrific "Beauty School Dropout" number." This is also the closest the show comes to Boston (at this date) on its National tour. The retro at Rydell High begins on Tuesday, December 2 and runs through Sunday, December 8 at the Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset Street, Providence, Rhode Island. For more information visit the PPAC website.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
This makes me wonder if anyone can airmail this 6 story, 60 foot poster of Taylor (see below) to Simon and Simon on AI to show them how he needs to be displayed - the way the producers of 'Grease' on Broadway saw fit by proudly hanging it in Times Square, in the Big Apple, all summer long. I mean *really* people - if it wasn't so pathetic it would be really sad at the vindictiveness they continue to exhibit 3 years later. How does one flip the bird in writing?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
It's been quite a year for Taylor Hicks. After mutually splitting with his record company, Arista, in January, the former American Idol champ took his career into his own hands by starting his own label, Modern Whomp Records, and taking a little music breather to get into acting. And no, there was no From Justin to Kelly monstrosity. Hicks made his Broadway debut in Grease as Teen Angel, the one (role) that he wanted and loved so much that he's joining the musical on a nationwide tour. Before the festivities kick off Dec. 2, the man behind the Soul Patrol chatted with TVGuide.com about jump-starting his acting career, his upcoming, as-yet-untitled album and why he loves working overtime.
TVGuide.com: Let's start at the beginning. How'd you land the role of Teen Angel?
Taylor Hicks: I've been offered to do some parts on Broadway before I took it, but I didn't really want to dive into the theater and acting without starting from a really good point. I wanted to get my feet wet in the acting field and the theatrical field and we wanted to find a role where I'd be able to learn about the process for future acting jobs and this is a great start. Being musical, I'm starting to understand the little nuances and stuff about acting because it's very similar to playing music with its rhythm. It's just in an acting sense instead of musical sense. I'm still learning.
TVGuide.com: How nervous were you about not only making your acting debut, but having it be on Broadway?
Hicks: Oh, yes, I was so nervous! Not only was my first acting gig of [my] life on Broadway, but I was suspended 40 feet in the air, so I wasn't actually on the stage! [Laughs] So, I was definitely feeling a little queasy before I actually opened the cone. To say the least, it was a grand entrance.
TVGuide.com: And now you're gonna be suspended across America. Are you nervous about the tour? It's different going on the same stage every night as opposed to traveling across the country.
Hicks: A little bit, but there are a lot of things I'm excited about. Being able to be with the cast, to do Grease on the road and take it to the different places — places I've never been before — I'm very blessed to have that opportunity to do that.
TVGuide.com: You obviously took a break from music to do this. Was that a conscious choice?
Hicks: I knew that I had to reinvent myself. I think reinvention is key. Being an entertainer, you have to cover all your bases, so to speak. That's something that's allowed to write music for the next record. It allowed me to do a lot of things that wasn't the norm for a standard musician or entertainer. I had the time to write, reflect and obviously try a new venture out.
TVGuide.com: And you started your own label —
Hicks: Yeah, I started Modern Whomp Records. I'm aligned with a distribution company, A2M. It's just a learning process. The inner workings of a label — I'm understanding them. Every label has the standard procedure and practices, so I'm just now learning. I'm excited about that process. Hopefully, it'll allow me to sign other acts in the future too.
TVGuide.com: After you left Arista, did you decide right away you would start your own label or were you looking at other homes?
Hicks: I'd been offered traditional record deals and I just felt like it was best for me to be able to start my own label and partner with distribution. Having your own label really allows you to be out there and have total control of your art and how you want to sell it and how it best fits you. You really live and die by the sword, which I think really makes the artist drive a lot more — drive to succeed.
TVGuide.com: What's the update on your new album?
Hicks: It's coming out Feb. 10. I should have a single the first of the new year. I can honestly say that some of the instincts that I had picking songs on Idol, I was able to use picking songs for this album, which has really been a great experience. I've been able to wrap my artistic expression around these songs and I've had some time to live with these songs and be able to visualize what I want for each of them. I'm really excited about the record because I feel like from the style aspect, nowadays you listen to records that sound very similar on each track, but this album, I wanted to take the listener on a musical journey and touch on the stylings that are reflective of who I am as an artist.
TVGuide.com: How different is it from your first one?
Hicks: There's definitely soul. I think it all starts with soul, but this time around, I think the songs are touching on a lot of different styles that reflect me, so that's different in a way. On the last record, it was kind of an R&B influence. This is my journey as a songwriter. But what's really interesting and cool about it is I'm gonna be able to play my single within the Grease show. It's a very unique aspect. It's like I'm gonna be performing as Teen Angel, but then I'll also be performing my single to the record, so everybody who comes and sees me as Teen Angel can also experience me as a musician.
TVGuide.com: Really?! How is it gonna be incorporated?
Hicks: It's gonna be a big surprise! [Laughs] We're still working the details out. What's even cooler than that is I'll be doing an intimate club tour in each market, hopefully, to be able to start working on this record from a live aspect.
TVGuide.com: When will you start that? After the Grease tour?
Hicks: No, actually, that's gonna be during the Grease tour, like after the shows.
TVGuide.com: Aren't you gonna be exhausted?
Hicks: This business isn't for the faint of heart! [Laughs] Yeah, it's a lot of work, but at the same time, it's very fulfilling from a creative aspect. It's like the time is now.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
According to the press release, "...The centerpiece of the auction is a one-of-a-kind celebrity autographed "Lend-A-Hand to LIFEbeat" card series. Stars traced their hands on special paper, adding an artistic touch and signature. Cynthia Nixon, Gina Gershon, James Earl Jones, Natalie Cole, Bob Saget, Jack Klugman, Drew Lachey, Sean Hayes, Taylor Hicks, David Hyde-Pierce, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Deborah Gibson, Jerry Mathers, George Wendt, Pete Best, Paige Davis, Faith Evans, Frankie Valli, John Lithgow, Maroon 5, John O'Hurley, Alan Cumming, Robin Thicke, Nathan Lane, John Lequizamo and over 100 others have participated in this unique project..."
Every item in BID 2 BEAT AIDS comes with a certificate of authenticity, and was obtained directly from the performers, their agents, or other professionals in the industry. Bidders can be assured that they're getting the real deal! For more information on BID 2 BEAT AIDS , including a complete list of participating artists and images of many of the items, visit www.Bid2BeatAIDS.com.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
A great piece of publicity from TV Guide concerning Taylor Hick's reaction to the recent death of Paula Abdul's fan outside her home in Los Angeles. He mentioned his upcoming 'Grease' tour and his new album coming out on Feb. 10, 2009. (It's a shame the writers of this piece didn't do their homework and find out that Taylor was Season 5, not 6. Poor Jordin Sparks. Forgotten again.)
Nov 25, 2008 02:11 PM ET by Joyce Eng
Former American Idol champ Taylor Hicks was "very saddened" to hear about the recent death of ex-Idol hopeful and Paula Abdul fan, Paula Goodspeed, outside of Abdul's home.
"My thoughts and prayers go to her and her family," Hicks told TVGuide.com.
Goodspeed, 30, was found dead in a parked car in front of the Idol judge's L.A. house on Nov. 11. Hicks said he hasn't spoken to Abdul since the death and hasn't, "thankfully," experienced any extreme incidents with his own die-hard fan-base, the Soul Patrol.
"You just try to be as nice and as courteous as possible to all your fans," he said. "But as far as that goes, that kind of stuff is completely out of your control."
Since his crowning moment on Season 6 of the Fox juggernaut, Hicks has starred on Broadway in Grease, started his own label, and recorded his sophomore LP, slated for a Feb. 10, 2009 release. On Dec. 2, he starts a nationwide tour of Grease.
But Hicks hasn't forgotten his roots. The silver-haired crooner will make time on the road to catch Season 8 of Idol and its new judge, Kara DioGuardi, with whom he penned "Give Me Tonight" on his first album.
"I think she's gonna bring a very positive and a good message," he said. "She's gonna be a good judge. She's a really great songwriter. She knows the business and I think that she definitely will be a good voice of reasoning."
Monday, November 24, 2008
Many of you know that Simon Climie is producing Taylor's new album. He's worked closely with Eric Clapton, among other well know and respected musicians. I ran across this blog about him which caught my attention. I'm hoping Climie's soulful producing tendencies reflect as well on Taylor's new music, bringing out the best in his voice and style, just as it did with Clapton. Listen to these songs below, co-produced by Climie - soulful bluesy tunes that I have been listening to over and over again.
"...Co-producer Simon Climie helped Clapton create a new template along the way, one that had less to do with Muddy Waters than it did Al Green. He pushed himself to places few would have guessed after a period of largely unsatisfying work with Phil Collins and on movie soundtracks, then a mainstream backtrack with the MTV "Unplugged" recording..."
RIVER OF TEARS (LIVE)
Friday, November 21, 2008
You remember than old saying, "if you want something done right, do it yourself"? Well, such was the case here, when I had the idea of asking a direct question to A2M about the release date for Taylor's new single, since the frustration level on some of the message boards was palpable. Well, being a rather meek chicken, I got my buddy Chrissie on the Boogie Board to write a letter and ask! Thanks chicka! Well, let me say that A2M is a first rate organization, at least in customer service, because she got an answer within 48 hours. Imagine, a record association that actually cares enough to answer fan questions!
Looks like A2M is going to give Taylor the individualized attention he needs for his new album. Yea for the good guys!
Anyway, their fabulous answer follows! The part that gets me excited is that the record is going to be 100% Taylor's own vision. Awe, man, it's like throwing red meat to the sharks, because I can't wait to hear what he's come up with! And as a bonus, the letter says we will be able to download the new song electronically after the first of the year! Imagine, releasing a single before the album comes out! Somebody alert JRecords that this is how he should have been treated 2 1/2 years ago. For those who forgot, his first single for JRecords, "Just To Feel That Way" wasn't released until 4 freaking months after the CD was out. Can you believe that bullshit? Geesh!
My apologies for the delayed response, as I've been traveling on business this week. Thanks very much for your email and continued support of Taylor. It's great to see this level of interest in him. As more information becomes available, and as the recording process continues, we will be able to release it accordingly. I can tell you it's going to be a very special record, one that is 100% Taylor's vision. Look for more info very shortly, and you can anticipate the first single being available digitally in early January, with a tentative album release date of February 10th.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
TAYLOR HICKS, CASE AND HURT
A2M ALSO TEAMS WITH LOS ANGELES INDIE LABEL
In just three years, ARTIST2MARKET DISTRIBUTION (A2M) has seen success with releases from Dolly Parton, Tracy Lawrence, The Cool Kids, Tommy Lee, John Michael Montgomery and others. Look for the Detroit-based independent music distribution and artist services company to make further inroads in 2009 as A2M expands its roster to include first quarter releases from Taylor Hicks, Case and Hurt. In addition, the company has teamed with indie label Sargent House for their 2009 releases. The diversity of these releases emphasizes A2M’s commitment to music from a variety of genres.
“Everyday, more artists from all genres of music are looking to take control of their careers and release their content to the marketplace in new and innovative ways and on their own terms,” said Paul Ignasinski, General Manager of A2M. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide Taylor, Case, Hurt and the Sargent House artists a platform for releasing their music to the public while still maintaining 100% ownership of their work.”
Some of A2M’s recent successes include Dolly Parton’s Backwoods Barbie with sales of more than 125,000 copies; Tracy Lawrence’s For the Love, more than 330,000 units scanned to date; The Cool Kids’ The Bake Sale (A2M’s first new and developing artist agreement), with 35,000 units already sold.
A2M will continue to offer artists, labels, and content owners a unique alternative to the traditional music label infrastructure. In addition to providing a streamlined and flexible supply chain solution to both traditional and non-traditional retail outlets, A2M offers music at an attractive price to consumers, while enabling retailers to achieve an ongoing fair profit margin.
Additional information about A2M’s Q1 2009 release schedule is tentatively as follows:
TAYLOR HICKS: Title TBA (Modern Whomp Records and Artist2Market Distribution)
Platinum selling artist Taylor Hicks first achieved national fame in 2006 as the winner of the fifth season of American Idol. His energetic stage performances and influences derived from Classic Rock, Blues and R&B music had earned him a following of devout fans who have been dubbed the "Soul Patrol." Taylor recently launched his own record label, Modern Whomp Records.
CASE: The Rose Experience (Indigo Blue Records and Artist2Market Distribution)
Platinum selling R&B singer Case has sold over 1.5 million records via his three solo releases. In addition, Case contributed to successful movie soundtracks, most memorably "Touch Me Tease Me" from The Nutty Professor, "Faded Pictures" from Rush Hour and "The Best Man I Can Be" from The Best Man. His signature sound can be described as soul music with a twist of new jack and hip-hop.
Early 2009 (TBA):
HURT: Title TBA
Virginia-based alternative metal rockers Hurt formed in 2000. The Los Angeles based band received critical acclaim for their major label debut album, Vol. I, released in 2006. Their second album, the critically acclaimed Vol. II, was released in 2007 and generated their largest rock radio hit yet with "Ten Ton Brick." Both records combined have sold just under 200,000 units in the U.S. "It is a great honor for HURT and I to be closely affiliated with forward thinking people like those running A2M,” says HURT manager Tom Lewis. “We finally have partners who truly understand the band's music and vision.”
Indie label Sargent House offers a diverse and quickly expanding roster, including acts such as RX Bandits, Love You Moon and Maps & Atlases. Their first release through A2M was Good Old War, Only Way To Be Alone. Released on November 4, 2008, this critically acclaimed album blends upbeat acoustic craftsmanship with exquisite three part vocal harmonies reminiscent of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Upcoming releases from Sargent House will include new albums from Omar Rodriguez Lopez and This Town Needs Guns.
About Artist To Market Distribution:
Launched in 2005, Artist To Market Distribution (A2M) is an independent music distributor designed to work directly with artists, labels, and content owners to streamline the supply chain, and deliver new product to the marketplace at a lower cost. Over the past two years, A2M has partnered with a diverse group of platinum and multi-platinum artists including Dolly Parton, Tracy Lawrence, Tommy Lee, John Michael Montgomery, Sinead O’Connor, Unwritten Law, and Tracy Byrd. More information can be found at www.artist2market.com.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Our soulman will be a mighty busy boy come 2009 with a brand new CD coming out on February 10, a new DVD "Whomp At The Warfield" coming out on February 17, and a starring role in the touring company of the hit Broadway show "Grease" as the Teen Angel. We now find out that he is starting to book tour dates in the same cities "Grease" will be playing. On Saturday, February 7, 2009, Taylor will headline RAMS HEAD On Stage! in Annapolis, MD. Tickets are $35 and showtime is 11pm. Click here to order tickets.
Surely those in attendance will be treated to songs from Taylor's new album that will drop 3 days later on February 10th. This will be his first concert gig in quite some time, dating back to September 2007, so I'm sure this will be an awesome show for everyone!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So... either they need to employ more relaxed moderators that let the adults on the site have their say without mommy hovering over or, and I'm predicting, no one except her will be posting to the site within the next year - not with all the better-run, more interesting Taylor Hicks websites that have recently opened up. There's nothing exclusive to this site to warrant a $25 fee every year. The 2 sites that will be promoting him - Artist2Market (which will undoubtedly be the first to post any new song) and MyRocketScience and his free TaylorHicks.com, Imeem, Facebook, his YouTube channel and MySpace sites will have all the info I need.
And a word about the last audio-blog from him, regular readers here know that I'm one of Taylor's biggest supporters, but for the time it took him to tell us he's in the "isobooth", he could have shelled out more substantive information - especially to the few people who actually post over there and shelled out $25 to get some substantive info - exclusive info that's not so exclusive afterall since it gets posted to all the public sites within hours. If you read some of the love comments from some of THHQ most frequent posters - most notibly their head-chearleader and always satisfied Mod, you'd think you entered into the twilight zone of love or something - a place where a differing, *honest* opinions is considered "bashing" and therefore CENSORED. WTF?
Oh well.... just 12 1/2 weeks before the new CD is released! WOOOO!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
I just got this notice in my email - tickets for the San Diego leg of the Grease tour are currently on pre-sale all this week, until Friday (where it goes on sale to the general public). Tickets are slightly pricey, though - starting at the nose-bleed balcony seats for $17.50 all the way to the orchestra seating for $78.50. Add a $7.50 service fee and a $5.00 building facility fee (?) per ticket (x2), well, better check the finances before buying anything! Oh vey!
Anyway, the ad reads as follows:
Starring AMERICAN IDOL® Winner Taylor Hicks The one that you want is back! GREASE, Time Magazine's 2007 pick for "#1 musical of the year," is rockin' across the country in this new production direct from Broadway and featuring AMERICAN IDOL® winner Taylor Hicks!
If you want to order tickets to these shows, click here and enter promo code: GBSD
Saturday, November 8, 2008
It is truly an unbelievable feat when you think about all the obstacles that were thrown his way after he triumphed in the show's 5th season. Being the true musical maverick he is, and being thrown under the bus by refusing to be handled and puppeteered by the PTB - being sabatoged without radio support or sufficient advertising - he has without a doubt come up smelling like a beautiful rose, about to bloom in his own sunshine in 2009.
What do we have coming up with Taylor? Well, first we have the national tour with Grease starring Taylor Hicks (Dec 2008-May 2009) and then a big US and International tour to support his brand new DVD, "Whomp At The Warfield" which drops February 17, 2009 and his brand new kick-ass music CD, which drops February 10, 2009. The tour will undoubtedly last at least through the end of the year and possibly into 2010. Like my man, President-Elect Barack Obama, Taylor has a spine made of steal and an ambition second to no one. I'm proud to be a fan of both.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Actors: Taylor Hicks
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Image Entertainment
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2009
Run Time: 84 minutes
Average Customer Review: No customer reviews yet. Be the first.
You can read more about it at "Image Entertainment". It says:
America's voice in his first live DVD! Taylor Hicks performs a roster of his biggest hits and favorites before an enthusiastic "Soul Patrol" of fans. Mixing R&B, rock and blues into one incredible package, he'll knock you out with one show-stopping performance after another!
FEATURED SONGS: Gonna Move, Give Me Tonight, Heart and Soul, Just to Feel That Way, My Friend, The Deal, Hold on to Your Love, Wherever I Lay My Hat, Soul Thing, Heaven Knows, The Maze, Right Place, The Runaround, The Fall, Badge, Naked in the Jungle.
Taylor Hicks explained his hectic schedule has kept him moving frequently.“I joke around that I’ve been homeless for three years now,” he said. “I’m happy to be working, and I’ve been extremely blessed, so I’m staying on the road a lot.”After leaving Jasper Tuesday, Hicks said he would be in Birmingham for a few days before flying to Los Angeles to finish work on his next album, which is set to be released in Feb. 2009. Hicks said he expects his sophomore album to be somewhat different from his first release after “American Idol.”“With this album, I had a chance to really sink my teeth into the song-writing process,” said Hicks, who has co-wrote several of the songs that will be on the new album. “The first album was so rushed to get into stores by Christmas of that year, and I think that hurt the overall process.”
Along with working on a new album, Hicks also recently concluded a Broadway run in “Grease!” and will star in a national tour of the musical. The tour is set to begin on Dec. 2, and Hicks said he expects it to make a stop in Birmingham during 2009.“A date hasn’t been set yet, but there is a lot of talk about it coming to Birmingham,” Hicks said. “I feel pretty confident that it will be scheduled.”In the musical, Hicks plays Teen Angel and sings “Beauty School Dropout.” He said he will also be cross-promoting his new album during the tour and will sing a single from the album after each performance. Hicks said he would have never imagined starring on Broadway.“This is the first time I’ve done anything like this,” Hicks said. “I think I did well during our stint on Broadway. The Teen Angel character isn’t a real stretch for me, because it fits my personality.”With the national “Grease!” tour and an album tour to follow, Hicks said he expects to be on the road for most of 2009 and into 2010.“It will be a long year and a half on the road,” Hicks said. “Despite the busy schedule, I hope it doesn’t take me as long to get back to Jasper. Thanks again to everyone here. Soul Patrol!”
Source: Daily Mountain Eagle
Thursday, November 6, 2008
My Rocket Science, a service that Taylor hired to promote his upcoming album is gearing up for his new album, due out on February 10, 2009! It's this sort of grassroots promotion that has me excited for things to come. I honestly believe Artist To Market (A2M), the distribution company that has partnered with Taylor and Modern Whomp Records has their priorities in order in so much as they keep their focus on the artists and not the fatcats (Arista/RCA/J Records). Their association with My Rocket Science is just part of the promotional plan Taylor and his managment are cooking up as the rollout of his new CD approaches. You'll notice that Taylor is first on their 'clients' page. Rightfully so ;)