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!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
And then there's Amanda Overmyer who is the only slightly interesting person to me just because she's different and I respect people who try to stand apart from the mainstream pop field. I doubt she'll last too long though. Nigel will make sure of that, unfortunately. The rest of the field you can have. They are all totally forgettable.
Perhaps one of you guys can wake me up when somebody this season rips a performance like Season 5 Winner Taylor Hicks did in one of the show's best - the week he grabbed Otis Redding's "Try A Little Tenderness" by the throat and delivered like no-one's business. I do believe he actually impressed Simon with this. I know Simon would refuse to admit to this today, but the film doesn't lie.
Let's look at this performance from one of the most talented, if not THE most talented artists ever to come out of that show - someone who knew how to grab an audience by the balls and not let go:
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Taylor sat in with EARTHBOUND at 'Marty's' nightclub in Birmingham, AL last Saturday night. Word has it that he joined them for an old Grateful Dead song called "LOVE LIGHT". Thanks to TayFan1 for the info and great photo!
Another photo of Taylor from a previous appearance at Marty's.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Alabama's own American Idol 2006, Taylor Hicks never expected to see "Soul Patrol" signs when his plane landed in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"It's amazing the responses I had in Asia," said the Birmingham native, who's as famous for his head of salt and pepper hair as he is for his soulful singing and harmonica playing. "I'm blessed to have such a dedicated group of fans."
These days, he's living on the road. "There are four pieces of luggage that I carry with me at all times, and I call that my apartment," he said. "I'm letting the music carry me where it needs to go."
He's also doing a lot of writing and making plans for his next project, for which he will have more creative control. That pleases him a lot.
It's thrilling to be part of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, he said. On Friday, he received the 2008 America's Music Award. It was thrilling to just be in the same room with all the legends of music.
"I'd buy a ticket just to go," he said.
Taylor and the legendary Percy Sledge ("When A Man Loves a Woman")
Musicians and movie stars Donnie Fritts and his buddy Kris Kristofferson made time after a press conference Thursday to be part of a video salute to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind's 150th anniversary.
The two are in town for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremony and dinner. Fritts is being honored with a 2008 Lifework Award. He has known Kristofferson for about 40 years. Kristofferson turned down a movie project to be here to support his friend and will perform for the crowd.
American Idol Taylor Hicks also stopped by to record a greeting for the AIDB. Check Saturday's Montgomery Advertiser for more details.
Stars rock Capital City
February 23, 2008
Reporters Teri Greene, Robyn Bradley Litchfield and Ken Mullinax contributed to this story.
American Idol and 2008 America’s Music Award honoree Taylor Hicks also stopped by to record a greeting for the AIDB, capping it off with his signature head jerk and “Woo, Soul Patrol!”
Hicks followers like Rhonda Huffman of Montgomery were out in full force.
“I am a Soul Patrol member, which means I’m a BIG Taylor Hicks fan. He has the voice of an angel, and he’s a non-stop entertainer,” she said. “His performance always knocks it right out of the park, and it’s great that he’s from Alabama, too.”
Videos to check out:
Taylor singing "Soul Thing"
Taylor singing "Before He Cheats"
Taylor accepting his "American Music Award"!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Taylor was looking mighty fine indeed at the Alabama Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony tonight. Isn't he always the most gracious, humble, appreciative and hottest man at these formal affairs he's been attending lately - sorta like a shining diamond? Forget the Grammy's - Taylor got to share the stage with some real legends of the music industry - Percy Sledge, The Commodores and Kris Kristofferson just to name a few and be honored with the American Music Award on top of it! It's about f*cking time Taylor got some recognition for the long road he's traveled to get to this point. Yes Taylor, you DO make us proud in every sense of the word. Taylor had his family and friends with him and said that getting the American Music Award was coming full circle for him.
He belted out Chris Tompkins' "Before He Cheats," the song that won a Grammy for Carrie Underwood last week (hey, at least it wasn't a Daughtry song - that would have sucked!). Tomkins, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Walt Aldridge and Donnie Fritts, backed up Taylor's vocals with crowd-pleasing piano, guitar and harmonica. Taylor also sang "Soul Thing" at the show.
Posing with a lucky fan!
With Governor Riley of Alabama
Pictures courtesy of the Montgomery Advertiser, David Bundy, Amanda Sowards, Jamie Martin
By Teri Greene
It's being called "Alabama's Grammy Awards."
The Alabama Music Hall of Fame's Induction Banquet and Awards Ceremony only happens twice a year, and it always brings out the stars, said Hall of Fame board executive director David Johnson.
"It takes us a good year to put it all together," Johnson said of the show and celebration. "We have to deal with so many people - and now, they're located all over the country and even out of the country."
This year, those people will include inductees such as Montgomery's own Tommy Shaw, special guests including Kris Kristofferson (who'll be present to honor his longtime keyboardist, inductee Donnie Fritts), and pop music greats from Alabama, among them Percy Sledge, Clarence Carter and the Commodores. Also on hand -- noteworthy contemporary musicians such as Beth Nielsen Chapman, Chris Tompkins, "American Idol" Taylor Hicks and "Nashville Star" winner Angela Hacker.
There will be a red carpet, Johnson said, but, unfortunately for stargazers, it will be indoors, away from the public eye. That may seem strange, but Hall of Fame board member Ralph Burke explained that the set-up is due to the layout of the hotel and convention center.
"It was a challenge to work it out, because the hotel is connected to the convention center," Burke said.
Though that keeps fans from snapping photos of the stars from the rafters, like they do at the Oscars, the public will get a chance to glimpse the "red carpet experience" - just at a later date. Burke said Raycom Media will be on hand to record the stars' entrances, with plans to air footage in the near future. Alabama Public Television also plans to record the show, with a possible air date in April, he said. But you can go to montgomeryadvertiser.com on Friday to see photos from the red carpet, interviews with the inductees and performers as well as performance clips and stories.
Johnson said the show itself is typical of the awards shows seen on television: A few award announcements and acceptance speeches, punctuated by performances by the artists attending.
To get an idea of this event's magnitude, just follow the money. The table hierarchy on the convention center floor - everything from "silver tables," at $1,000 each, to "platinum sponsor tables" at $15,000 - is sold out.
Burke said organizers expect about 3,000 people to attend the program. That includes not only those privileged table guests, who will enjoy a 6 p.m. reception and a 7 p.m. dinner in addition to the awards show - which starts at 8 p.m. -- but also regular folks willing to pay $60 for a gallery ticket.
Gallery tickets will get you in for the show (no reception or dinner included) so you can watch the program from the risers. A plus for gallery ticket-holders: You don't have to dress up and you can watch the whole show, Johnson said.
"This is something you don't get to see every day," he said. "We want everyone to have an opportunity to see us honor this state's great music heritage and achievers."
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Mary Colurso wrote a nice article today in al.com about Taylor's performance at the Alabama Music Awards that is being held this Friday, February 22 in Montgomery. He will also receive one of the two American Music Awards that will be handed out. Well deserved Taylor! The article reads:
Give Taylor Hicks a plate of Birmingham barbecue and he's a happy man. Give Hicks, 31, an award from the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and he's happy about that, too.
The Hoover-born singer, foodie and 2006 "American Idol" winner will receive the America's Music Award on Friday in Montgomery, at the hall of fame's annual induction and awards ceremony. Hicks will share that accolade with Angela Hacker of LaGrange, the 2007 winner of the "Nashville Star" TV show.
"I'm very honored," Hicks said today. "I think the last award I received was for being tardy the most in high school. This will be a step up."
Hicks plans to perform "Soul Thing" at the 7 p.m. ceremony, held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel. Other performers will include Kris Kristofferson, Percy Sledge, Tommy Shaw, Beth Nielsen Chapman and the Commodores.
The hall of fame will induct five Alabama natives that evening, including jazz bassist Cleve Eaton, 68, of Fairfield. Eaton, a veteran on Birmingham's music scene, has done stints with the Ramsey Lewis Trio, toured with the Count Basie Orchestra and collaborated with many other jazz luminaries.
Hicks has performed with Eaton in the past, and sat in with his band at the Open Door Cafe in Mountain Brook. Eaton is known for his intense focus and flamboyant musicianship during concerts.
"When Cleve plays, he's one of those musicians who's in another world," Hicks said. "While we're listening to him on Earth, he's playing the bass in Mars. I think that has to do with talent. He's that talented, and knows the instrument that well. It was an honor to play with a guy like that."
The hall of fame will distribute four awards at Friday's ceremony, aside from the one given to Hicks and Hacker. Recipients will include songwriter Chris Tompkins of Greenhill, who recently won a Grammy Award as the cowriter of Carrie Underwood's hit "Before He Cheats."
Alabama musicians, producers and other achievers are commemorated with memorabilia in the hall of fame's museum in Tuscumbia. Hicks said he donated his "infamous purple jacket," which drew applause and criticism from "Idol" viewers, for his display case at the museum.
Hicks said the last time he wore the purple jacket, he was headlining the "Idol" tour at the BJCC Arena in August 2006.
"I wore it in Birmingham and retired it," he said, laughing.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Okay now - these pictures *may* cause cardiac arrest because of the shock it most certainly will cause to some weak in the knee fans. Taylor attended the NBA All Star Game on Sunday and here he is on the red carpet. My heart goes all a-flutter when I see him like this. He very well might be the most gorgeous man on God's green earth - and I'm totally serious. Get him on the cover of GQ MAGAZINE, people!
Until then, here's a quote that Taylor gave to the NBA.com website during the game:
You Voted, You Decided
With fans encouraged to vote for the All-Star M.V.P. online and via text message, one man who knows all about fan voting, "American Idol" Taylor Hicks, hoped the fans would vote and vote often. Hicks enjoyed his first All-Star experience. "I'm a straight hot dog-and-beer guy," he said.
BTW, I wonder what city this was taken in?
Fran, Jody, Pam and I had lunch on Friday at the CheeseCake Factory! Since my tooth was bothering me, I just ordered, well, CHEESECAKE! HAHA! We had a great time, even though 2 couldn't make it who were supposed to. I hadn't seen Pam since high school! (Pam is the mother of Taylor Hicks for those "groupies" who love Taylor!).
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I don't know exactly what was written to him, but he felt compelled to apologize in today's blog. He said he's actually a fan of Taylor's, so I feel a bit bad about those who needed to do this. Sometimes I agree with the outside world when they say the SP is a bit nutty and way overly protective of Taylor. Come people, Dennis IS a fan and gave Taylor some nice props and free mentions! Let's stop being so sensitive, okay? It's totally counter-productive and doesn't help Taylor at all.
Dennis, if you're reading this, I apologize for some of Taylor's over zealous fans. They mean well, and sometimes the anger is justified, but not in this case. Peace, dude! :)
His blog reads:
From Dennis Velasco,
Your Guide to Basketball.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
Soul Patrol, You Have My Apology
It all started with what I thought was an innocent joke - "Taylor Hicks? The guy can sing, but he can't ball." Little did I know my well-intended joking jab would come back to haunt me. Yes, Hicks' fans came here in droves with several people leaving comments and several more personally e-mailing me.
Other than learning this weekend that two seven-footers can shoot way outside from the post area (Tim Duncan and David Robinson during the Shooting Stars competition to lead Team San Antonio to the win), it's that you do not, I repeat, DO NOT mess with the Soul Patrol!
However, I hope that you will allow me to give you the reason why I chose Taylor Hicks for my "jokey" comment. Obviously, in the world of sports and entertainment, there is some crossover. Or rather, attempts at crossover. As an example, I will use Deion Sanders, a player I mentioned I would rank at the top if all the participants in the Celebrity Game were to be ranked. In any case, does anyone remember, "Must Be The Money"?
Yeah... pretty bad.
In any case, when I mentioned Mr. Money and Terrell Owens, I instantly thought - "Dennis, who would be the total opposite of Primetime and T.O.? In other words, whose talent would be one that these players will never reach?" Acting... some athletes can do that. Rapping... well, there have been albums put out by Allen Iverson and Ron Artest. We all know how those forays went.
So, I was left with singing. And along with Ne-Yo, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks actually sang... well! (Full disclosure, I voted for Hicks over Katherine McPhee during the 2006 contest... just thought I should mention that.) So, in about a nanosecond, not the few sentences I just took, I instantly thought, HICKS! Yes, I will use Hicks as the polar opposite of Sanders and Owens in my attempt at humor!
So, really, Soul Patrol, I'm actually giving props to the guy. The dude can sing! And, he is obviously a great human being to take time out for a charity game and put himself out there. However, he did shoot as well as Shaquille O'Neal from the charity stripe, you gotta give me that. But, that's neither here nor there.
Soul Patrol, I apologize... let's be friends.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Taylor's team won the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game today in New Orleans by a score of 51-50!! OMG, wasn't he the cutest thing on the court? He played great!! Very competitive, scoring 4 points and assisted in many more! He landed on his tush a couple of times, but just because he was so aggresive! Hmmmm, I love that in a man! And oh yea - Thighs, Baby, Thighs! LOL! Here are some yummy pictures from the game courtesy of Getty Images:
Singer Taylor Hicks lends a hand while painting in the Fairmont Neighborhood along with Hands-on New Orleans during the NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service in New Orleans, Louisiana February 15, 2008. Volunteers as well as celebrities and NBA players participated in 10 service projects throughout the city.
Source: Yahoo News
More Pictures from Getty Images:
WNBA legend Ruthie Bolton and recording artist Taylor Hicks pose for a photo at the Hands on New Orleans event at the Capdau School during the Day of Service during NBA All Star Weekend on February 15, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
NBA legend Detlef Schrempf and singer Taylor Hicks help out in the Fairmont Neighborhood during the Day of Service during NBA All Star Weekend on February 15, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Actor Seth Gilliam and singer Taylor Hicks help out in the Fairmont Neighborhood during the Day of Service during NBA All Star Weekend on February 15, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Here's the list:
10. Hugh Laurie
9. Tim Gunn
8. Dermot Mulroney
7. Dr. Drew Pinsky
6 Taylor Hicks
5. Harrison Ford
4. Mark Harmon
3. Richard Gere
2. Anderson Cooper
1. George Clooney
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
So isn't it nice to know that while Clive's pawns were busy licking his ass during the pre-grammy party last Friday, Taylor was busy refueling his musical soul and helping to raise money for a great cause - jamming with his old buddies, Widespread Panic, at the House of Blues in Orlando. The press release is as follows:
Over the weekend, Widespread Panic’s John Bell hosted his Hannah's Buddies benefit at Orlando, FL’s House of Blues. The annual event, which raises money for children afflicted with the neuromuscular disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy, has blossomed into a two-day fundraiser, featuring a golf tournament, silent auction, dinner and, of course, variety of live music. This year’s festivities featured performances by benefit veteran Michael Nichol, funk/soul collective The Dynamites and, of course, Bell himself. The guitarist’s set featured a mix of Panic staples, such as “Radio Child,” songs from the new Free Somehow, like the road-tested “Tickle the Truth,” and a wide range of covers, including Joe Strummer’s “Johnny Appleseed” (with Bell performing on mandolin). A number of guests also joined Bell during his performance, including longtime Widespread Panic manager Buck Williams, who played harmonica on both “Mind On Vacation” and Loudon Wainwright III’s “Golfin’ Blues,” and American Idol champ Taylor Hicks, who performed on Bill Withers’ “Use Me” & "Just Kissed My Baby".
You can hear the entire performance here:
Wouldn't it be something if the song somehow got re-awakened so far after the album's release? Or better yet maybe get Taylor to offer this live version for sale on ITunes? How can we do that?
Would you at least join me in purchasing just one single copy of it from ITunes for a mere 99 cents to show support for Taylor and this type of music? If it can spark one person to play a 30 second clip of the song which then prompts them to listen to more of his music, then we've done our job. The song is THAT good, imo. It's the most authentic Taylor Hicks song on the record - a showcase for his voice - a signature song for him. It's now playing in the sidebar for your listening pleasure!
On a completely different subject, Happy 66th Birthday to my favorite Monkee Peter Tork!
Here is "Can You Dig It", a song penned by Peter Tork for the Monkee movie "Head". It's a great cult classic of the 1960's with some awesome music. Check it out at your local video store!
"Can You Dig It"
Peter Tork today!
Monday, February 11, 2008
NEW ORLEANS TEAM
Ne-Yo (2008 Grammy for Best Contemp. Album)
Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights)
Taylor Hicks (2006 American Idol Winner)
Seth Gilliam (The Wire)
James Lafferty (One Tree Hill)
Master P (Hip-hop Artist)
Ruth Riley (WNBA All-Star, San Antonio Silver Stars)
AJ Calloway (Extra)
Coach: Gabrielle Union, (Starship Dave)
General Manager: Stephen A. Smith (ESPN)
Chris Tucker (Rush Hour 3)
Common (2008 Grammy for Best Rap Perf. By a Duo or Group)
James Kyson Lee (Heroes)
Josh Peck (Drake and Josh)
Terry Crews (Everybody Hates Chris)
Deion Sanders (Two-Time Super Bowl Champion)
Swin Cash (WNBA All-Star, Detroit Shock)
Tony Potts (Access Hollywood)
Coach: Alyssa Milano, (Wisegal, Touch clothing)
General Manager: Ric Bucher (ESPN)
Ya baby! Go New Orleans! Go Taylor!! Jump! He scores!!!
For the fourth straight year, ESPN will televise the game beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 15. It will also air on ESPN HD and will be simulcast on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobil TV.
Jay-Z looked SO thrilled to be posing with the ultimate poser! LOL! NOT!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
They lost Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album, Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group, Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group and his record producer Howard Benson lost to Mark Ronson for Producer of the Year (Amy Winehouse).
I had a stream of tears dripping down my face as I watched the Foo Fighters up on stage accepting their Rock Album of The Year Award (no disrespect to them - they truly ARE a rock band, so they do deserve it). But really, I mean, uh....wasn't Daughtry 'supposed' to be God's gift to the music industry this year, according to Clive Davis? Wasn't it set up that way? Ah, the injustice of being rejected from his peers like that. Sniff :(
Clive must be drowning in tears that his premier ass-licker could not pull in one piece of metal tonight. Tsk. Tsk. Oh well!
And let me add that if Taylor has to compete with the noise that passed as music tonight in order for him to win a or even be nominated for a Grammy, then good that he wasn't there. It was a too much of a musical train wreck for my ears. Dayum!
The one exception was Herbie Hancock's win for Album of the Year - yes, a jazz album of Joni Mitchell covers! I guess the impossible is possible in 2008, eh?
All is right with the world and the music industry righted itself in the end tonight, thank God.
Is there something we can learn from Taylor Hicks' huge popularity on American Idol and subsequent lack of sales successes?
"Well you know, it doesn't, I would say this. Nothing takes away from the talent that these kids have. The talent doesn't go away. It's sometimes mishandled and sometimes misguided. And there are very specific reasons why people like Kelly Clarkson sell a lot of albums, and Carrie Underwood and you have the unbelievable talent of Fantasia Barrino and Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks, that don't get to have the same amount of sales…. However I do believe that maybe the album was not… filled with the right materials that suited them. I think that you have to take the right time and the right producer and the right rollout and the right support. It's not just based on they're not talented--there's a lot of factors that go into it that people fail to realize. The right team, the right marketing strategy. That is 90% of it. You have the talent: the talent is now a given. It's the other factors that go into it that predicate the success. Not predicate: but really, that's the success. If you don't have the right strategy, the right production, the right song material. It's all of that that goes into it. It's not to say their albums were bad at all, quote honestly I found good tracks on every single Idols' albums. It's who picks what and who allows them to shine true. A lot of times they don't have a lot of faith in the artistic direction. The second go around you can impart your vision. That's why the call it the sophomore slump. For these kids it's already the sophomore slump when they put their first album out, because they're being compared with being the winner! "
Okay, I'll give Paula a few brownie points for actually being honest for a change about the failed marketing and distribution for Taylor and his album - something both Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell cowardly didn't do. Randy was quoted in the NY Post as saying: "Once you graduate high school you can't blame the high school," Jackson tells AOL Television. "The truth really is [that] it's up to them to make amazing records. If they don't make amazing records... you know, the business kinda catches up with them."
Randy is just a mouthpiece for the PTB - selling his soul - covering his ass - refusing to speak the truth about the failed promotion for Taylor. He knows that Clive fucked up Taylor's album - forcing him to record music that clearly wasn't his style or strength - for sticking him with a producer who had no clue how to produce it (Matt Serletic) and most importantly, insufficiently promoting and pushing singles to radio, failing to support the music with videos, failing in every fucking way to do what was needed for this album to do even better than it did. And even without any support, Taylor STILL managed to push over 832,000 CDs off the shelves worldwide. In other words, they failed, not Taylor. There is NO lack of talent here, just a failed attempt by BMG/JRecords/Clive Davis.
Could it be that Taylor will ultimately win in the long run? Now that he is an independent agent, he can now take the next album in the direction he wants and hire a producer that is in tune with his natural vocal & instrumental talent. Most of all, Taylor will be in CONTROL of his own destiny. With the experience of producing 2 albums prior to American Idol coupled with more resources, musical freedom and access to a pool of talented collaborators, the possibilities for Taylor are endless - and that is exciting to me.
Paula, as ditsy as she is, makes a whole lot more sense in this article than the rest of the fatcats. And Simon, well, don't even get me started on that crass corporate pig.
Friday, February 8, 2008
ETA: Update! It was a beautiful wedding for Kacy and Jordan this morning. Taylor looked HOT as ever in a gray suit and black shirt and black boots (pant! pant!) - just perfect for the occasion! And OMG, he sounded just awesome, slowing down his signature song "The Right Place" and singing it with much feeling and soul (with harmonica) as the wedding party marched into the studio. Here is the video followed by just the audio:
Kelly Ripa and Taylor dancing up a storm at the reception!
Meet The Couple, Kacy Hardenbrook and Jordan Edsall and their tragic, yet inspiring story.
Also, don't forget to see Taylor at the following events this month:
February 11: Taylor performs at Kacy and Jordan's Wedding Reception at Tavern At The Green Restaurant overlooking Central Park in NYC! Catch it on "Live W/Regis and Kelly" 9am EST!
February 15: McDonald's Celebrity NBA Basketball Game!
February 22: Alabama Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!