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!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Take A Hike, Clive, Simon & Nigel, I Got My Own Label Now!
There's a new record label in town and it's called Modern Whomp Records, named for Taylor Hick's self-description of his current musical sound. His next CD release, a two-CD set called "Early Works", will be released on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 on his new label and distributed by Vanguard Records/Welk Distribution. It will be a compilation of his 2 indie albums, "In Your Time" & "Under The Radar". I hope that he also includes a little extra something to entice those fans who are still hesitant to purchase music they already own. Most certainly it will be, at the very least, digitally remixed, which will vastly improve the sound on many of the songs. But in addition to that, I'm hoping we get one or two unreleased tracks or maybe a live version we haven't heard before.
Regardless, a brand new nicely packaged CD with comprehensive liner notes of these great older tunes will no doubt bring Taylor many new fans who only know him from American Idol and his Clive Davis-at-the-reign post Idol CD, Taylor Hicks. Many still don't know of his acoustic and blues roots, so I'm hoping that this long overdue set will open some ears to the troubadour Taylor many of us grew to love since the first time we heard his voice. As far as I'm concerned, some of his best deliveries and most significant original songs came out of those dark, empty bar rooms and lonely nights spent trying to get noticed by anyone in the music industry. I'm glad to see some of them finally being released to a broader audience.
In addition to the Early Works CD, Taylor will be releasing a brand new, full length CD this Fall with all new songs. He says this CD, described as having songs sprinkled with political & social undertones and songs about love & past relationships - "a snapshot of his current life', will be primarily his own original work in additon to collaborations with A-List songwriters from Nashville, New York, & Los Angeles. It's not clear whether this CD of new songs will be released on his own label, but we do know he created it with full creative control/freedom which just about ensures an album vastly different than the one released under Clive. That said, I still listen to the Taylor Hicks album and I really feel there were some wonderful tunes on there that deserved a lot more promotion than it ultimately got (which was zero), most notably Gonna Move, The Right Place, Heaven Knows, Whereever I Lay My Hat and the standout originals Soul Thing, The Deal and Hell of a Day. But there was an attempt here to turn Taylor into a "pop artist" and it pretty much sucked all the natural soul out of his exceptional voice. He is a blues and soul singer, not a pop singer, with a little bit of rock and pop thrown in. This new venture will give him total creative freedom, more money in his pocket, and a distributor to do the leg work of getting it into retail outlets.
Will this new CD sell as many as the last CD (850,000 Worldwide) with Gold and Platinum certification from the RIAA? Probably not, but I tell ya, this might be just the right medicine to heal the wounds that, for the past two years, continued to be a pain in the ass for many of his fans. Everything from sales comparisons to arguments concerning the success and non-success of Idol winners and losers were relentlessly being debated. We know Taylor didn't give a rat's ass about these sorts of things (as he has said in many interviews), but the endless inuendos by disgruntled fans of other Idol losers were, at minimum, draining for his die-hard fans. Ultimately, it was and is, all bogus. So the next time you find yourself getting riled up from one of the brain-dead baiters out there, remember that none of it matters and none of it is meaningful.
Thankfully, all that is behind us now. One thing I'll not be doing when these new CDs come out is angst about the amount of "units sold". I'm sure for many of us, that really took much of the enjoyment out of owning Taylor's music. It's a new day and he's on a new open road with endless possibilities. He wants to wet his feet with more acting roles and no doubt, his tours will always be where he ultimately 'lays his hat'. I'll be traveling this road with him and although I know they'll be more bumps in the road, I know the end result will bring him to where he's going and I'll be there waiting with him at the end of his journey.