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, January 31, 2008
You know the type of fan I’m talking about - the holier than thou moral church attendee - the ones who are on a life mission to protect Taylor from all vices in the cold cruel world. The ones that continue to place him on some fantasized pre-conceived high pedestal and thinks he should be first in line for sainthood. The ones who refuse to listen to him utter an off-color comment/joke/word, i.e, “fuck” (like he’s done at least ½ dozen times in song lyrics), watch him shake his ass around like a horny dude on stage, or listen to him utter the words “smelly genitals” like he did on the Howard Stern show. Oh my, how that riled up some of his more conservative, older fans. You’d think by listening to this bit it would have stunted their growth and make them go blind. It seems like certain people feel a warped sense of “I know what’s best for my son” syndrome – you know, the ones over 35 years of age who constitute a large portion of the fanbase.
These highly conservative self-righteous women have absolutely convinced themselves that Taylor lives (or should live) the same way they do. In other words, delusional fans who think he’s a choir boy who spends a majority of his time helping old women and sick children because he lends his name to charities. And while I have no doubt he believes in these endorsements (aside from the fact they’re probably paying him to do those), it in no way excludes the fact that he’s a 31 year old stogie puffing, cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, sexually active dude, who likes to listen to Howard Stern (and talk about ‘smelly genitals’) and who’s lived most of his life in dirty bars seeing and doing it all.
I was shocked to learn that a moderator on Taylor’s own official website banned and refused to put up any information and/or discussion of Taylor’s 60 sec sound bite on Howard Stern’s radio show because it might be ‘offensive to young and older members” who might be reading the message boards. Can you fucking believe that? Here you have Taylor endorsing this guy, saying he would “love to” be on the show and yet the only moderator over on his website injected her own conservative personal bias attitude into this “decision” because SHE deemed the content "inappropriate". Exactly who is this person to tell us what we should and should not be entitled to read on his PAID site about a subject (Howard Stern) that Taylor said he likes, for God's sake!! It’s censorship at its fucking worst.
A plea to Taylor: Please get on Howard's radio show as fast as you can and crack open this "image" some have of you. Develop a new, progessive fan contigent - a contigent who will not have a tissue handy every time you blow your nose.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Warning - there's some language that might be offensive to some.
Taylor on the Howard Stern Show
Let's hope for an in-studio longer interview with some *real* raunchy talk!
Again, to put in a request for Howard to have Taylor on the show, email him here!
From one listener:
Seems Taylor said he loves Howard and listens to his show everyday. He was asked to describe Howard in one word and Taylor said “kind”, then he said something about smelly genitals, and how he likes when Howard busts his chops. He then said he'd love be a guest on his radio show. (The smelly genitals thing was because Howard’s interviewer asked him if he had ever been with a girl that had them, and he gave some funny answer.)
Another recap from another listener:
Howard Stern sent some guy out to the Bob Hope Classic...the guy was asking celebrities typical Howard Stern stuff....Taylor heard him asking another celebrity if he was ever with anyone with 'smelly genitals'....and Taylor was cracking up and saying back..."I think Howard is the one with smelly genitals!".....Howard loved that and said it was very true......
Taylor also said he would love to be on his show....Howard said, "He just went up 25 notches for me for that!"....The guy asked, "Do you listen?" and Taylor said "Yes, and I have even heard him goof on me a few times.."....Howard said he might have him on......Howard then goes on to be more disgusting, but very funny indeed......
To put in a request for Howard to have Taylor on the show, email him here!
Monday, January 28, 2008
"Randy Jackson doesn't mince any words when it comes to former "American Idol" contestants whose albums have tanked following their initial success on the show. "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. "
Sure Randy. So you're saying that everyone coming out of American Idol has total control over their first (or second or third) album release, eh? They are never at the mercy of Clive/J/Arista/RCA, eh? The BMG conglomerate insist that even experienced musicians change up their music to force-fit their sound into Top 40 pablum (whether that's YOUR genre or not).
When sales don't sell a million within a week of release, Clive then refuses to promote it, refuses payola to the radio stations to play it 110x a day, and publically denounces you on your state of the American Idol vomit speech you insist on doing every year - a speech crafted to show America what a great music mogal you are.
So then Randy then tells us today in this article that we shouldn't 'blame' American Idol cuz it's winner/co-winners don't put out good albums. Bullshit, Randy. Shame on you and the rest of your croonies for picking who to promote and who NOT too.
These brain-washing lies are just getting too transparent for me. I need a shower.
Friday, January 25, 2008
"Well, I made it to the top 48 and got cut. They're not looking for a whole lot of variety this year, as all the contestants who made it through are either rockers or 16 and the type they can mold into whatever they want. But I caught a glimpse at the contract the top 24 has to sign, and i'm glad i didn't have to sign it. If I made it to the top 24, they would own me for 3 years no matter how far i made it, and if I had won, they would make big changes to my music. I got a pretty good feel for what they're looking for, and they don't want artists who already have an established sound--all my favorite contestants who I thought were great songwriters with a unique artistic sound were also cut today. I'm once again in full control of my music career, and I'm very relieved I'm out.
So it was a great experience and I got what I needed out of it. Now, it's on to Celine Dion or whatever else comes my way. I'll be releasing this new album soon, probably in March, and will hit the road again to tour soon after. Thanks for the support and I hope to see you all soon!"
AH HA!! Just as I suspected!
Hopefuls with any sense of themselves musically are pushed out the door - FAST! I think Taylor changed the show in that the producers won't allow stubborn musicians into the Top 24. You know, people who have musical integrity. All they want are young clones to mold into the banal and insipid world of pop music dreck.
Hearing stuff like this makes me SO HAPPY, SO GIDDY - even more THRILLED about the fact that Taylor Hicks got out of his contract with Clive/Nigel/Simon and the rest of those pigs. His lawyers must have really earned their money seeing that AI owns you for 3 years after the fact. Yikes!!!!
Three cheers to musical freedom! :-))
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The article, in part, states:
We can ponder while we await Boshnack's appearance next year. So yes, "American Idol" needs a hit, and a hit in "Idol's" world doesn't mean selling 700,000 CDs, as Hicks did, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That kind of number would be considered an unqualified success for many of today's artists, but "Idol" isn't in the business of selling art -- it's about creating the kind of CD cover that looks good on the shelves at electronic stores.
Rest the rest here:
And this article:
Away from the show, those associated with “Idol” are having some major difficulties. Within two months, two former winners – Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks – and a runner-up — Katharine McPhee – were released from their record contracts.
They were dropped mostly because of their terrible sales in comparison to former “Idol” standouts. None of the three’s recent albums went platinum, something expected of “Idol” superstars. The albums of season six’s final two, Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis, have also failed in a way that people aren’t used to
The biggest problem with these events is that the big-wigs behind the “Idol” machine are the ones who are failing, not the talent. It’s as if they don’t realize the landscape of music has changed since the show debuted. Illegal downloading is even more prevalent than it was back then, crippling sales.
The “Idol” people think that this doesn’t apply to their talent, seemingly believing that millions of votes each week equal sales. The labels refuse to re-mold their business plan and instead continuously trot out their talent as “from American Idol” and expect that to work. The thing is, it doesn’t. Not all of the winners’ styles fit the classic “Idol” mold and the labels should have recognized that and promoted them differently.
Amen to that.
Read the rest here:
If you don't have an account yet, it's easy to sign up here!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Yep, Taylor is definitely in the VIP section - courtside at yesterday's LA Laker's/Denver Nugget's Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Sorry about the watermark, but the picture comes from the Getty Image folks and they put that on their pictures. Nevertheless, it's just another flawless image of the Soulman deep in concentration on the game. Keep on living the dream Taylor!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
According to The Desert Sun, Mr. Hicks had the time of his life relaxing and lounging in beautiful Palm Springs, CA last week:
"Do you think when Taylor Hicks auditioned for "American Idol," he imagined that someday women would be pressing themselves against the glass windows of a club, furiously trying to get his attention?
Because that's what happened Friday night. He ended up outside by a limo, flanked by beautiful ladies.
That silver fox is living the dream."
Wanna make a bet he hasn't given the new season of American Idol one iota of thought?
And according to more on-the-scene reporters from the Desert Sun:
"'American Idol' winner Taylor Hicks kicked back in the outdoor cigar lounge and puffed on a stogie.
Superficial assessment: Looks trimmer than usual. Hair also seems less gray. Taylor Hicks getting cute."
Getting cute? Girl, the man has been pure eye candy sweetness since we first layed on eyes on him 2 years ago.
And more information from the Golf Course. Taylor said that he'll be writing for the next couple of months in preparation for his next album and has exciting collaborations starting in 2-3 weeks. He'll be writing in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville. Check out the interview here!
Friday, January 18, 2008
One of the first and finest performances by Taylor on AI was his cover of the Doobie's "Taking It To The Streets". He took America by the balls and never looked back - and as much as Simon dismisses him today, let this tape remind everyone how he was absolutely blown away by this performance, saying "it's about standing out and having fun". Yes, Simon, that is exactly right.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Taylor Hicks reacts to his drive at the 8th tee at SilverRock Resort on the first day of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 in La Quinta, Calif.
And a small interview! :)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Anyway, I heard that Ms. Melanie Nyema, Taylor's terrific back-up singer on his Spring '07 tour auditioned. Well, this I had to see and to my surprise, there she was!!! So cute and talented, not to mention a great singer! And high fives to her for giving kudos to her 'boss' in front of the judges, saying that Taylor was a 'nice southern gentleman" (well of COURSE he is), and that he was terrific and best of all, informing the judges he had not muttered a single word about them. Why does that not surprise me? And judging by the looks on their faces, Simon and Randy were not surprised either.
I have my 'dawg' in this race and I'll be watching the show for as long as Melanie survives. If, at any point she must go home, that will my cue to go as well. I cannot stomach this show anymore and it's manipulate tactics. And most of all, the disrespect it gave, and continues to give, it's Season 5 winner.
Here is her audition:
Here is Melanie and Taylor at the last show of his Spring tour singing a duet of Do I Make You Proud/Dancing Queen. Priceless. And shake that bootie, Tay!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Yes, Clive, you're right, Taylor will never be a Top 40 pop artist. And he most likely will never share the chart with Fergie, Justin, Beyonce, Carrie or Britney. In your mind, I guess that would characterize him as a "failure" - enough so, to make him feel he needed to drop J Records in favor of gaining his creative musical freedom. Tsk, tsk. You failed him Clive. If you would have just let Taylor be Taylor, things would have been fine and dandy. But no, it just wasn't in the cards. I guess pushing over 700,000 US sales from a modern day bluesman with no hit song and no support from YOUR label wasn't good enough. It's pity you and your 'hip' label couldn't recognize the raw talent you had right before your eyes.
Welp, good riddance J Records - thanks for all your non-support. I hope this year's AI Winner fits your mold better and fills your deep pockets with lots of that green stuff. I mean, after all, isn't that all that matters?
Tickets are now on sale (or so we've been told) through Ticketmaster for the Alabama Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony that will be held on Feb 22, 2008. Taylor Hicks will be receiving one of the two American Music Awards that will be given out during the awards ceremony. In addition, he is one of the scheduled performers appearing on stage that evening. Other musical guests include Randy Owen, Kris Kristofferson, Percy Sledge, Tommy Shaw, Eddie Floyd, The Commodores, The Thrasher Brothers, Cleveland Eaton, Clarence Carter and Ernie Ashworth.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Hope you likey! :)
Friday, January 11, 2008
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for Taylor actually. He gets to write the songs, pick the producer, hire his musicians and arrange the songs any way he likes without getting daddy Clive's permission or approval. And after it done, if J likes what they hear, then 'of course', they'll take credit for it. Nice, Clive! That's really 'very big' of you.
Perhaps American Idol was sensing their total sleeziness amongst fans and decided to cough up the truth of what really went down. Geesh! What a bunch of creeps.
"We didn't want to shove any songs down his throat. We wanted to make an album in the style he was comfortable with. We mutually agreed that he'd work on an album [on his own], we'd listen, and we'd see where we go from there. There's no acrimony."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Just a heads-up to those of you who haven't visited Taylor's myspace page lately. He just added 2 live cuts from the "Whomp At The Warfield" DVD to his music player. "The Maze"/"Warm Love" and a very funktified version of "Heaven Knows" are up for your listening pleasure. SO HOT HOT HOT!!!
Taylor, in the event you read this, please please please release the live music as a CD as well as a DVD. You'd be crazy not too - it's SO good!! The world needs to be able to pop it into it's CD player and boogie-woogie all the time!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
"We have an understanding with Taylor Hicks that he will come back to us to play music once he’s finished writing his new material." Source: EW.
This statement comes in an announcement that 2nd place runner-up Katharine McPhee has also parted ways with $Clive$. Good for her.
I'm not quite sure I know how to interpret this. According to Ken Barnes at Idol Chatter, he explains it like this:
This is a way of not completely slamming the door shut; if Arista is captivated by Taylor's new songs, it can arrive at an agreement to release an album of them. Not unprecedented in the complicated world of artist/label relations, and an interesting development.
In my opinion, Taylor, you need to run away as fast as you can from this RCA/Arista/J label. They have done nothing for you, career wise, and there's no reason to think they will do anything for you in the future. They had their chance and blew it. Time to say a final farewell, I say, especially if the following statment is true:
"Mr. Hicks was not dropped by his label, as has been widely reported over the past couple of days. His lawyers were able to get him removed from his contract for a variety of reasons, including breach of contract and failure to comply with promised promotion, among other things. Mr. Hicks has agreed not to reveal the terms of the separation for a specific period of time. In other words, J Records/RCA didn't give Hicks what they promised, he wants more artistic freedom and better promotion, he was able to get out of his contract and he has agreed not to reveal any details at this time. Bear in mind that the new season of American Idol is coming up, and they can't afford more negative publicity - look how badly their treatment of Mr. Hicks impacted last season's show."
Posted by: fromtheinside on 01/08/2008 06:38 AM
Yes, folks, Taylor will take Palm Springs, CA by storm again and hit the greens for The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, January 16-20.
The winner of the fifth season of “American Idol”, Hicks returns to play at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic off the success of his debut album and his single “Do I Make You Proud”, a number one hit which was certified gold. His energetic stage performances and soul and blues influenced music have earned him a following of devout fans who are dubbed the “Soul Patrol”.
Here's a nice video of last years events! Enjoy! :)
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Taylor Hicks Parts with Record Label
Taylor Hicks has split with his record company, his rep announces.
"American Idol winner Taylor Hicks has announced that he and Arista Records have mutually agreed to part ways,” reads a statement from his camp.
No reason was specified for the separation nor was a new home for the singer announced, but the statement goes on to say the 31-year-old currently working on a new album to be released later this year.
Source: OK Magazine
Entertainment for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Presidents Gala was a winner -- literally.
Taylor Hicks, the featured performer, was the fifth-season "American Idol" champion. When he took the stage at the recent event at The Peabody, audience members hit the dance floor almost immediately.
Former Memphian Andy Childs, who sang during dinner, came in second place with his Nashville band, Sixwire, on Fox Network's "The Next Great American Band."
The Liberty Bowl was a family affair for Taylor. His brother, Sean; father, Brad Hicks; and stepmother, Linda Hicks, were in Memphis.
"I'm always just amazed how much talent he has," said Sean, 21, who attended with Katie Taylor.
The Gerry Finney Trio -- Gerry Finney, Jerry Dean and Freddie Kirksey -- performed for the cocktail portion of the evening in the Continental Ballroom.
A couple of others who know a thing about show biz were in the audience. Marguerite Piazza and her daughter, Anna-Becky Redlich, attended.
Marguerite performed at 27 Liberty Bowl football games. She sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and performed at some of the half-time shows. "Sometimes it was so cold, you couldn't move," she recalled.
One year, when Marguerite was recovering from an automobile accident, Anna Becky filled in for her, singing the national anthem.
Bill Ray was the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association president. Charlotte Neal, who attended with her husband, Bob, was gala chairman. Steve Ehrhart, who attended with his wife, Mary, is AutoZone Liberty Bowl executive director.
Source: Commercial Appeal
Monday, January 7, 2008
'Idol' Champ Hicks Splits With Arista
January 07, 2008, 4:45 PM ET
Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
2006 "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks has split with Arista, which released his self-titled major-label debut in late '06. The set has sold 699,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Taylor is going to record on his own for the next album," says a source close to the situation, who declined further comment.
Hicks told Billboard last year that he had signed a three-album deal with the label following his "Idol" victory, and that "We all knew what we were getting into when we signed the contracts."
"Everybody signs the deal at the top 24 period," he said. "You know, by that point, you take anything you can get. That's the way I've always been. I've tried to hustle gigs my whole life, and I'm still hustling gigs, believe it or not."
The artist, whose inspirational memoir, "Heart Full of Soul," was released last July, added, "You could write a pretty good book" on the intricacies of the contracts "Idol" contestants sign.
In a post on his MySpace.com site just before Christmas, Hicks said he was planning on releasing a new album and DVD in 2008, as well as touring, but did not provide further details.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
By Rod Temperton
Sung by Michael McDonald
No more runnin down the wrong road
Dancin to a different drum
Can't you see whats goin on
Deep inside your heart
Always searchin for the real thing
Livin like its far away
Just leave all the madness in yesterday
You're holdin the key
When you believe it
Shine sweet freedom
Shine your light on me
You are the magic
You're right where I wanna be
Oh sweet freedom carry me along
Well keep the spirit alive on and on
Well be dancin in the moonlight
Smilin with the risin sun
Livin like weve never done
Goin all the way
Reachin out to meet the changes
Touchin every shining star
The light of tomorrow is right where we are
There's no turnin back
From what Im feeling
Coz therell be starlight all night
When were close together
Share those feelings dancin in your eyes
Tonight theyre guiding us
Shinin till the mornin light
Saturday, January 5, 2008
- Taylor Hicks
Yes, Taylor is in an enviable position today, folks. He's now a guy who has the creative freedom to make the kind of record he envisioned for himself the first time around. He's maintained ownership and rights to his 2 independent albums that brings in a ton of money for him at the merchandise table at his concerts (along with all those t-shirts, hats, and cute little gray Taylor Bears). See, he gets to keep most of that profit (unlike the major label album, which goes to JRecords and into Clive's pocket). Thanks to his triumphant win in Season 5 of American Idol, he is now a household name with creative freedom to do as he pleases and a very large and loyal fanbase that believe in him. Yes, imagine having all this and not having to answer to "Big Daddy" anymore. Now *that* deserves a couple of "Woooo's"!
If she hasn't already done so, Kelly Clarkson should place an immediate call to Taylor asking him how he managed such a sweet deal, considering that she too, got the shaft from Clive last year. Come on, Kelly, break free! We're with you too!
Friday, January 4, 2008
Obviously, Taylor bought out his contract from J Records. That's the only logical conclusion I can come up with. I mean no record label in their right mind drops a platinum selling artist, do they? Hopefully more details with be forthcoming from Hick's camp in short order.
To date, Taylor has sold approximately 825,000 copies of his album WorldWide and 700,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan totals - with Gold and Platinum Certification from the RIAA. His debut album placed #74 on Billboard's Top 200 albums of 2007. That's not half-bad considering he achieved this with no airplay on Top 40 radio, no payola, no push and no support from his own record label - JRecords. Wow! Talk about climbing an uphill battle, eh? Could these totals not be good enough for Clive? Holy Crap!! Does he need a pint of blood too?
But seriously, here are my thoughts on the matter. I personally see this is as a monster weight off of Taylor's shoulders. Obviously he was forced to rush out an album in a mere 6 weeks after the Idol tour, compromising both on his choice of producer (Matt Serletic) and on the songs he was given (it must have taken Taylor's last ounce of strength not to gag when singing that insipid Diane Warren song that Clive pushed down his throat). Even so, I thought this was a good album and I still listen to certain cuts to this day. But I know that Taylor is capable and has the talent to produce a GREAT album - an album that will show off his deep soulful voice and the emotional connection he can attach to the right song. With a producer with the same vision, a producer who knows how to showcase Taylor's unique talent and voice, well, the possibilities are endless for that "masterpiece" he talks about from time to time and most likely dreams about on a regular basis.
Last week Taylor told us in an interview with the Sirius Satellite Network, that he'll be writing with Steve Cropper, one of the founding members of Booker T & the MG's and co-writer on two classic soul songs - 'In The Midnight Hour' and '(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay'. He has strong connections to the STAX Record Label - a label that produced some of the greatest soul singers of my generation - a label that Taylor has been promoting and wearing proudly on his chest for the past 6 months. If I were a betting person (and I am), I would put my money on this label as the next step in Taylor's recording career. I have no inside info, and I look forward to reading the next chapter.
You have to give Taylor kudos for staying true to his musical truths and being stubborn about the integrity of his music. He refused to sing the initial coronation song American Idol wanted him to sing on the finale - even walking out of the gab session. You show 'em Taylor! Apparently, he will not cow-tow, under any circumstances, to the whims and winds of the current music trends or stupid enough to sing a piece of garbage music. That's what 10 years in the business does for you. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Seems so in this case.
It takes a person of great integrity and a strong sense of self and self confidence to acquire the willpower not to surcome to the pressures of the BMG music conglomerate such as the one headed by $Clive Davis$. We are behind you 100%, Taylor! I'm a true believer in things happening for a reason - that nothing is coincidental. It's so reassuring to see people like Taylor with some real guts to do what needed to be done and not be strung out by his balls by this corporation. Good riddence J Records, Clive Davis, Nigel Lythgoe, Simon Cowell and all the rest!
Bottom line is that Taylor is a working musician and lives and breathes to perform for the people. This is his life. In his autobiography, "Heart Full of Soul", he says, "Ultimately, music is all about the people you can connect with - not those with whom you can't." I trust he will continue on his merry way, making albums, touring the country, riding on that tour bus and singing the blues!
Look at the people around you
stabbing at your heart
but you still smile in kindness
for not knowing who they are
And their stories have ended
And they've lit up the town
And it's time to go home
As they go and lay their bodies back down
There's too many things
Left to be unsaid
So I live in a dark hole
Sometimes in my head
But I'm all right
I'll get by
Taylor Hicks talks about 'Asian Idol' and plans for 2008
Friday, January 04, 2008
Taylor Hicks was at home - almost.
The familiar "Idol" set was behind him, and he was on stage singing "Do I Make You Proud."
But the Birmingham native was nearly 9,000 miles away from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, where he won the "American Idol" title in 2006. This was Jakarta, Indonesia, and the leader of the Soul Patrol was gyrating on stage during "Asian Idol."
"It was definitely an eye-opening experience having been to that part of the world," Hicks said last week, shortly after returning to the U.S. "The set was very similar, but the singers were sure different."
Hicks, 31, had never been to Asia, much less performed there, so he jumped at the chance to perform on "Asian Idol," followed by a concert in Manila.
"I've done two pretty extensive national tours in the past year, so we started looking for some interest overseas," Hicks says. "It was amazing the interest that was there."
Hicks says his reception in Asia was "warm and gracious."
"As soon as I hit Indonesian soil, they knew who I was, and it was a little nerve-wracking at first," he says.
Turns out "Do I Make You Proud," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart just after Hicks won "Idol," made its way around the world.
"`Do I Make You Proud' is a nice-sized hit in Asia," Hicks says. "People know me over there because of that. It's amazing that the song I didn't think was right for me has taken off over there."
Something else made an impression on the Asians as well.
"As soon as I walked on stage in South Jakarta in Indonesia, I saw this big, huge `Soul Patrol' sign," Hicks says with a laugh. "They were yelling `Soul Patrol!' and the whole nine yards. I never knew the Soul Patrol would go internationally this quickly, but it has."
So Hicks gave them what they wanted, singing three songs during the show.
"I don't think they get to see too many white soul singers dance and get funky like that," he says. "The key for me to be able to communicate my music to them was the dancing and more of the visible aspects of the performing as opposed to the lyrics."
Hicks is looking forward to a busy 2008 with a primary goal being a new album out in stores.
"I think I'll have a lot more freedom creatively this go-around," says Hicks, whose self-titled last CD came out seven months after he won "Idol."
"I'll also have the time now to create an album without the post-winning-'Idol' constrictions," he says. "I have time for the album to breathe artistically."
Hicks also has time for other things.
Although he still declines to discuss his personal life, he has been linked to Milwaukee TV anchor Caroline Lyders. After his appearances in Asia, Hicks headed to Milwaukee before heading back down South.
Hicks is affably evasive about where "home" is these days.
"For now, if I'm in one place for two weeks, then that's where I live," he says. "Milwaukee is one of those places."
And he's working out the details of the club he hopes to open in downtown Birmingham's planned entertainment district. He and 2003 Idol Ruben Studdard have committed to opening nightclubs in the district.
"I haven't signed anything, but I'm planning on it," Hicks says. "Some fine-tuning needs to be done, and they're working the details out."
But you can bet on one thing - Hicks won't have a club in name only.
"I'm kind of a hands-on kind of dude, you know?" he says. "I wouldn't get into something like that if I didn't feel like there was a call for it and that I could add to it. A place for some songwriters and some musicians to go is always a good thing."
Right now, Hicks is still taking in "Idol" and what his against-all-odds win has done for his career.
"Playing at Ona's and WorkPlay and all those places a couple of years ago to playing in front of millions of people in Asia is mind-boggling," he says. "I couldn't have done any of it without the massive support I got from the people in Alabama, and I thank them for that.
"It's a very cool opportunity to go somewhere in a different part of the world and then come home to talk about it," Hicks adds. "That was the furthest this Alabama boy has ever been."
Alec Harvey is features editor for The Birmingham News.
E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Souce: The Birmingham News
Thanks lynnluvstaylor for the gorgeous picture!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
"Carrie Underwood, Chris "Daughtry" Daughtry, Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana ... is this what has become of music? What happened to the bands, the singer-songwriters that lived, breathed and, occasionally, died for their muse? It's like "American Idol," once just a boil on our TVs, has mutated into a pox. Carrie is no more country than Loretta Lynn is pop. Miley Cyrus? We're weaning our future music lovers on meaningless crap. We won't even talk about Chris, who sounds like some opening act for the Clarks. Where are today's Bob Dylans and Janis Joplins, our Jimi Hendrixes and Aretha Franklins? Let's stop rewarding phonies. New Year's resolution: Less B94, more YEP." Source: Pittsburgh Tribune
So I ran across this little blurb from the Pittsburgh Tribune a few days ago, and breathed a heavy sigh of relief that someone out there had the guts to write something that I've been saying forever. I was beginning to think I was living on an isolated planet wondering what had happened to pop music. Was I the only one who had noticed how far downhill the music industry has gone in a mere decade - how low the 'bar' of greatest has fallen. Who threw MY music in the trash without telling me? And when did this happen? Certainly American Idol couldn't have destroyed the music industry by itself - or did it?
Well if you go by their 2 biggest sellers this year - Daughtry and Carrie Underwood, who are relentlessly promoted, I would say they have a big hand in the state of music today. Certainly there is LOTS of other crap out there, but the American Idol karaoke machine is to blame for much of the current musical drivel. I don't get it, though. Daughtry is nothing more than a copy-cat chain-bearing pseudo rocker that doesn't have an ounce of ingenuity in his entire body. Carrie is barely more than a country robot who couldn't show any emotional involvement in a song if her life depended on it. Sing what you're given and play nice, Carrie. Don't ruffle any feathers. Clive loves that. And speaking of Clive, I wonder if he is happy how AI6 turned out. The best singer of that season, Melinda Doolittle, losing to Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks
Oh well. Such is the society we live in now. It's sad. There are no musical innovators on the horizon - or is there?
You guys can have your mass-produced music pop drivel from the Daughtrys and Underwoods of the world.
I'll pass, however. It's okay. Really. I'll find my music elsewhere - maybe from someone a little more 'under the radar'.
I also found this hilarious picture on the set - seems Taylor and Elliott are trying to get a piece of the action - naughty boys!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
‘Idol’ sings the blues in Manila
By Fran Katigbak
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:07:00 01/01/2008
It’s not easy singin’ the blues to an audience whose daily dose of music comes from skinny teenyboppers, booty-shaking divas and bling-clad “boys from the ’hood.”
Not if you are gray-haired and inclined to play the harmonica or if your dancing looks drug-induced.
But just as he defied pop stereotypes when he won “American Idol” Season 5, soul singer Taylor Hicks also proved it pays to stay true to his style and brand of music.
Filipino fans, even those as young as 6, watched the 31-year-old artist in a series of shows recently sponsored by the Ayala Malls in Manila.
At the show in TriNoma, Hicks was in his element singing tracks from his self-titled album as well as songs he composed early in his career. Of course, not to be missed were the Alabama native’s harmonica-playing and the manic, footloose moves that became his trademark on “AI.”
The chemistry was apparent between the artist and the all-Pinoy band led by composer Louie Ocampo, who had arranged the songs in the program. In fact, the audience would erupt in cheers and wild applause each time Hicks and Ocampo matched antics on the harmonica and keyboards.
The rest of the band had the chance to shine as well. At one point in the show, Hicks introduced each member who then worked up a brief solo on his or her instrument.
Perhaps the only hitch was the fog machine, which produced more artificial smoke than necessary. A wide screen should have been installed to project close-up video shots for the benefit of those behind the VIP/special-pass area.
We also wish Hicks had walked to the audience in “Taking it to the Streets,” like he did on the “AI” finale, but we understand the danger it might pose to security.
The mini-concert put the spotlight on the 2006 “American Idol” as artist and performer. Soulful, energetic, passionate with his music, Taylor Hicks has, indeed, given us reason to be proud of him.