Woman's Gotta Have It
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!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Taylor Hicks Offers FREE DOWNLOAD from Workplay Theater!

In appreciation for his fan support during the last year, Taylor has offered a free, high-quality recording of his magnificent show at Birmingham's Workplay Theater, recorded on November 26, 2009! Download here. He writes:

"....It's been a non-stop 2009, and now it's time to take a minute, reflect over the past year, and enjoy time with your families. As a special "thank you" for all of your support, I've decided to provide you with an exclusive, free mp3 download of my show at Workplay Theatre (Birmingham, AL), which was recorded on Saturday, September 26th, 2009. Again - thank you for all that you do to support, share, and be part of my career. Have a blessed holiday, and think positive for 2010...."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ace Young to Join Touring Company of Grease

Taylor Hicks, who has been playing the Teen Angel in Grease for the better part of 2 years will be joined by fellow Season 5 American Idol contestant Ace Young in the touring company of Grease starting at Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC on Dec 1! According to BroadwayWorld, the producers of the Tony Award nominated new Broadway production of GREASE™ are pleased to announced the following new cast members for the national tour: Ace Young as “Danny,” Laura D’Andre as “Rizzo,” Allison Fischer as “Patty Simcox,” Jesse JP Johnson as “Doody,” and Jamison Scott as “Eugene.” The new cast members join the tour in Charlotte, NC, where the show plays Ovens Auditorium December 1 – 6.

Ace Young made his Broadway debut in GREASE™ in the role of “Kenickie” last fall. An “American Idol” finalist in Season 5 and a Grammy nominated songwriter, Ace has guest-starred on Fox’s “Bones,” co-hosted “American Idol Extra” and co-produced his debut album, Ace Young.

As was previously announced, Lauren Ashley Zakrin stars as “Sandy.” Lauren Ashley Zakrin was most recently seen as the understudy for “Elle Woods” in the first national tour of Legally Blonde The Musical. She was a finalist on MTV’s “Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.”

Laura D’Andre’s credits include Petra in A Little Night Music (White Plains) and Eponine in Les Miserables (San Diego). Allison Fischer originated the role of “Patty Simcox” in the new Broadway production of GREASE™ and the role of “Claudia” in the Broadway production of Lestat. Jesse JP Johnson appeared on Broadway and Off-Broadway in Xanadu, Glory Days and Altar Boyz. Jamison Scott originated the role of “Eugene” in the new Broadway production of GREASE™ and appeared in the Las Vegas companies of Hairspray and Saturday Night Fever.

“American Idol” Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks continues to star as “Teen Angel.” Taylor Hicks made his debut on Broadway in the role. He achieved widespread fame in 2006 as a contestant on the hugely successful FOX singing competition “American Idol.” The tour also stars Will Blum as “Roger,” Bridie Carroll as “Jan,” Kate Morgan Chadwick as “Frenchy,” Kelly Felthous as “Marty,” Dominic Fortuna as “Vince Fontaine,” Roxie Lucas as “Miss Lynch,” David Ruffin as “Kenickie,” and Nick Verina as “Sonny.”

The ensemble features Joseph Corella, Preston Ellis, Erin Henry, Ruby Lewis, Dayla Perkins, Mark Raumaker, Mike Russo, Matthew William Schmidt, Christina Sivrich and Elizabeth Stacey.

After spending a hopelessly devoted summer with Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, Danny Zuko's world is thrown upside down when Sandy appears at Rydell High on the first day of school. What follows is a rock n' roll celebration of growin' up, cruisin' with friends and goin' steady. The new production of GREASE™ features songs from the smash hit 1978 motion picture for the first time ever in a Broadway production including “Sandy,” the Academy Award nominated song “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” “Grease” and “You’re the One That I Want” - both of which were #1 hits on the Billboard Top 100 list. These songs will be heard in addition to the Jacobs/Casey songs made famous by the original stage production: “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’” and “We Go Together.”

Directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town), GREASE™ features book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Additional songs from the movie are by Barry Gibb, John Farrar, Louis St. Louis and Scott Simon. GREASE™ features scenic design by Tony Award winner Derek McLane (33 Variations), costume design by two-time Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Kiss Me Kate), lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Wicked) and sound design by Brian Ronan (Spring Awakening, Curtains).

GREASE™ is produced on tour by Paul Nicholas and David Ian, Nederlander Presentations, Inc. and Terry Allen Kramer by arrangement with Robert Stigwood.

The national tour of GREASE™ continues as follows:

- December 1 – 6, at Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC
- December 8 – 13, at the Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI
- December 15 – 20, at the Chevrolet Theatre, Wallingford, CT
- January 12 – 24, at the Fox Theatre, St Louis, MO
- January 26 – 31, at Proctor’s Theatre, Schenectady, NY
- February 9 – 21, at the National Theatre, Washington DC
- February 23 – 28, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee, WI
- March 9 – 14, at the Benedum Center, Pittsburgh, PA
- March 16 – 21, at the Auditorium Theatre, Rochester, NY
- March 23 – 28, at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, NY
- April 7 – 18, at the Canon Theatre, Toronto, ONT
- April 20 -25, at the Hershey Theatre, Hershey, PA
- April 27 – May 2, at the Times Union Center, Jacksonville, FL
- May 4 – 9, at the Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR
- May 11 – 23, at the Palace Theatre, Cleveland, OH
- June 1 – 13, at the Opera House, Boston, MA

Monday, November 23, 2009

Taylor Hicks & Brett Favre @ Grease!

Brett Favre paid a visit to Grease on Friday night! Here is a picture Taylor put up on Twitter! Two very handsome men, eh? (Click on picture for full image)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taylor Hicks Leaves Audience Swooning in Grease Performance

Taylor Hicks definitely left his mark on Minnesota's Orpheum Theater, when he apparently touched a lot of souls with his performance of the Teen Angel in the touring production of Grease. Check out this great reaction from the Twin Cities, Daily Planet. The rest of the review can be read at the link.

Of course, we can't forget one of the biggest reasons for a packed opening night theater crowd: a performance from the platinum-selling recording artist and American Idol winner, silver-haired country boy Taylor Hicks. Appearing as "Teen Angel," Frenchy's dreamy advice-shelling song bird, Hicks makes his theatrical entrance by bursting out of a giant 15-cent ice cream cone. Commanding the stage as his bluesy adaption of "Beauty School Drop-Out" encourages the puzzled pink haired Pink Lady to "turn in her teasin' comb" and go back to high school. Even in the darkened aisles of the Orpheum, I could see audience members—especially women in their 40s and 50s—light up with sheer glee to see the Bruce Springsteen vocal ringer and "Idol" star live and shaking his stuff in a glitter adorned, Vegas-style angel suit. And when Hicks pulled out a harmonica from deep within the tight pockets of his shimmery slacks to give the number that signature Hicks quality, I was sure someone in the crowd was going to have a heart attack. Whether or not Simon Cowell would approve of his performance is a moot point. This night it was all about the audience's opinion, and they loved it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

"My Trusty Harmonica" - Taylor Hicks in Never Before Seen American Idol Footage!

Taylor Hicks fans are in for a treat this week on American Idol Rewind, Season 5. Never before seen footage of his acupela audition of the Bill Wither's classic, "Ain't No Sunshine" was shown. After seeing this, it's no a wonder why Taylor completely dominated Season 5. In his own words, he was separating himself from the rest of the pact with his unique presentation, look and style - and boy, did he in a big way! I mean, really, how many other hopefuls ever got down on their knees and sang, ".... ain't no, ain't no, ain't no, ain't no, ain't no sunshine when she's gone ..." All this while getting his competitors in the audience to clap in unison for him to help him sing the song. All those years in the roadhouses learning how to entertain surely came in handy at that point. Bucky Covington, a finalist that year, was right when he said "Then I heard him sing and I said shit! He's going to win this thing"! I maintain he was the best all around performer ever to grace that American Idol show. Enjoy!

Taylor Hicks - Idol Rewind 5 - Hollywood Week from SoulForever on Vimeo.

Friday, November 6, 2009

First Look at the New Taylor Hicks DVD "Whomp at the Warfield" Available 1/5/10

The long awaited DVD from Taylor Hicks, "Whomp at the Warfield", filmed in May of 2007 at the historic Warfield Theater in San Francisco, is finally being released on Jan 5, 2010. These on-line outlets are filling pre-orders now, but will the DVD will be available in all retail outlets whereever DVDs are sold on the date of release. Amazon.com preorder is coming soon! In the meantime, order from any one of the following online sites.

DVD Universe

Movies Unlimited

Barnes & Noble


TMC - Turner Classic Movies

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Daughtry Bores Fans at Arena Concert

According to Madison.com, Daughtry's first arena tour flopped hard! The fact that tickets are being cut in half for his tour (some being sold for as little as $13.99 and still not selling out) and his new album flopping at the record stores (and soundscan), I'd say Daughtry's 15 mins are just about up. Read on...

Fifty-two years ago, when Jerry Lee Lewis pounded out that dizzy rock 'n' roll classic "Great Balls of Fire," could he have even imagined a time when actual balls of fire would thunder forth onstage to a flaccid version of the genre he helped define?

Probably not. He probably couldn't have imagined "American Idol," either, or the relentless stream of carefully packaged singers it keeps shooting out.

Yet here we are. Saturday night at the Alliant Energy Center, massively successful "American Idol" finalist Chris Daughtry staged a spectacle with his band Daughtry that copped rock's power without much heart.

Yes, there were great balls of fire, torrents of sparkly firecrackers and booming canon shots. Daughtry (the man) can posture all he wants, hold his arms up to the heavens in actorly distress and flex his sculpted and tattooed biceps, but he never called forth anything like the feral shiver of Lewis yelping "I want to tell the world that you're mine, mine, mine, mine!"

But let's forget Jerry Lee Lewis for now. He's such a distant cousin to today's hard rock that it's a bit of an unfair comparison. Even in the context of the hard rock genre that Daughtry places itself in, however, Saturday night's show fell short. There were many times during the show when the band came close. Lead guitarist Josh Steely would pluck out a nasty opening hook, and I'd think "Alright! Rock 'n' roll!" But then Daughtry (the man) would neuter it with a plodding melody and brooding lyrics.

So he's a sap and doesn't do anything Creed or Nickelback hasn't already done. This should come as no surprise to anyone who's heard the band's self-titled 2006 debut or this year's follow-up, "Leave This Town." But what's most disappointing is that Daughtry can't muster the emotions of the songs any better live.

Even the fans, who filled about two-thirds of the Coliseum, looked bored during songs like "One Last Chance" and busied themselves with cell phones and texting. In general, though, the crowd gave the band an enthusiastic reception, sang along to the radio hits and pummeled the ground like a stampede of animals for the encore. It's amazing what being on television will do for a band.

Like openers Cavo and Theory of a Deadman, Chris Daughtry is a gracious presence on stage and seemed genuinely grateful to be performing. His energy never lagged during the 90-minute show, and whatever he lacks in songwriting and emoting, he makes up partially with his fine, arena-ready voice -- all the more impressive on Saturday evening since he said he'd spent the day before sick in his hotel room.

Mid-show the rest of the band left the stage, and he sat on a stool for a faithful acoustic cover of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." ("Put that song on the top of the list of songs I wish I wrote," he said afterward.)

Daughtry can belt out a ballad, but his voice sounded best in arena rock mode. Likewise, the band seemed most comfortable and at ease battering out larger-than-life rock like the grand finale "There and Back Again." In between Daughtry's megaphone-distorted vocals and bassist JP Paul's slapping solos, "There and Back Again" was the only time during the show when the music seemed worthy of fire balls.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hicks Reinvents Career Post-'Idol'

Terrific piece by Randy Cordova from the Arizona Republic! It's nice this writer is perceptive enough to understand how hard it is to sustain the huge momentum coming out of American Idol in the short term and more importantly in the long term - and what unbelievably high expectations are demanded. Like Taylor Hicks says, "it isn't really about how many records you sell. The key is to be able to sustain yourself and to keep having gigs, whether it's Broadway or records or TV shows."

Taylor Hicks knows the rap he gets. Once "American Idol" ended, performers like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood went on to enormous recording careers.

Hicks, to put it bluntly, didn't.

After winning "American Idol" in 2006, his first album appeared in stores that December. The disc sold more than a million copies, earning platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Those are great figures for almost any new major-label act. But in Hicks' case, coming off the "Idol" tidal wave, it was viewed as a disappointment. He was dropped by Arista Records last year.

"When you come off of the show, it's pretty obvious that people can say whatever they want about you," Hicks says. "It isn't really about how many records you sell. The key is to be able to sustain yourself and to keep having gigs, whether it's Broadway or records or TV shows."

That's where the true level of post-"Idol" success can be measured, says Sandra Deane, AOL television editor.

"People have unfair expectations of the Idols," she says. "The bar was set really high because of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, and that kind of thing is lightning in a bottle."

Indeed, the Idols who have been dropped by their labels probably outnumber those who have kept their original deals.

Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee, Bo Bice, Blake Lewis and Diana DeGarmo all lost their post-"Idol" gigs with Clive Davis-affiliated labels.

Of course, it's not like the performers vanish. Beatboxer Lewis has landed on a new label and recently issued a disc called "Heartbreak on Vinyl." Glamour girl McPhee has turned to films and has a new disc due in January. DeGarmo is currently in the off-Broadway hit "The Toxic Avenger."

Southern rocker Bice still tours the country and releases products through his own label. He appreciates the boost "Idol" gave to his career.

"People know who Bo Bice is who didn't know me before," he says. "I can really see the blessings the show gave me."

Deane says the fan base these performers are handed from a prime-time TV showcase is one reason they can survive.

"They've had this mass exposure that gives them an automatic fan base," she says. "Then they just need to find the right thing for them to keep at it. Being a pop star who sells a lot of records is a very narrow niche. These people are finding their own markets."

It's working out nicely for Hicks, who landed at No. 10 when Forbes published its list of the top 10 earners from "American Idol" in 2008. Thanks to "Grease," record royalties and his solo gigs, he earned $300,000. It's quite a distance from David Archuleta at No. 9 ($1.3 million), but it's nothing to sniff at.

"Just because you don't have success on radio doesn't mean you don't have success anywhere else," Hicks says. "I think reinvention is the key in this business. If you don't reinvent yourself, you have a short life span."

Even more importantly: He's doing something that he wants to do.

"Taylor Hicks is still a household name," Deane says. "As long as he's making his money doing something he's really good at and something that he loves, he's certainly a success."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

American Idol Rewind Season 5! Another Chance to Watch Daughtry Voted Off Again! Wooo!

The new season of American Idol Rewind is fast approaching! It will start showing in syndication next Saturday, Sept. 26. Check your local listing for exact date and time in your area. This is a chance for America to see again why Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks bulldozed over the competition and show what a truly talented performer and singer he is.

At this time of retrospect, I must say that AI contestant, 4th place loser, the biggest smug slug I've ever seen, Daughtry, is the biggest tool in the music industry today. And being that, his second piece of crap album is flopping hard. A total waste of good plastic in my opinion. I guess sounding like and imitating Nickleback just goes so far until people start waking up and see the mediocre talent he truly is.

I can't wait until the week he gets thrown off the show so I can laugh hysterically and jump up and down all over again at his departure - paving the way for the rightful winner to get the crown. Taylor Hicks won that season and rightfully so. He's the best blues & soul singer ever to grace that show's stage.

This clip is the best AI moment EVAH!

American Idol Rewind is back, and this year the top rated syndicated series will rewind to what has been called one of the most extraordinary years in American Idol history – Season 5. Premiering Saturday, September 26th in syndicated markets nationwide, the new season of American Idol Rewind will give Idol fans the chance to relive the rise of a rock star, the beginning of the “Soul Patrol” and the birth of “McPheever” through exclusive 2009 Top 12 contestant interviews, season highlights, and never-before-seen footage from the world’s most popular television show.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Great Taylor Hicks!

From the Houston Chronicle, a wonderful interview and review of his Wherehouse Live show! This guy really "gets" him as the dynamic singer and performer he is! Enjoy!

I interviewed Taylor Hicks at the Hobby Center on Wednesday, the 9th of September, where he opened the night before in the National Tour of Grease, hosted by Theatre Under the Stars, which runs through Sunday, September 20th.

Hicks is accessible, down-to-earth, personable, and loves what he is doing.

I never had any musical theatre training. Every show that I do is a first-hand learning experience.

How long have you been touring the show?

Touring since December and I was on Broadway in the show the summer of 2008. I've really been able to expand that role. Some of the same thought processes that I have had creating music with somebody are very similar to the processes that I have had acting with somebody. It's so brand new and very exciting for me.

Isn't is tough going onstage for the one and only time during the middle of the second act?

It is, but my role as Teen Angel is so big and grandiose that it's tailor-made for me.

I like how you didn't copy Frankie Avalon's performance from the film and you made it very funny and campy.

The role is supposed to be over-the-top. Tongue and cheek. Snarky. His time is running short, hanging out in rock-n-roll heaven and he has graced Frenchy with his presence.They gave me as much leeway as I wanted, creatively. I was even able to create the design of my suit. As long as I get Frenchy to put down her hair-teasing comb and go back to high school, then I am successful!

Frenchy says during the first break in your song, "I voted for you!," and it gets a huge laugh from the audience.

There are millions and millions of people that want to tell me that personally and I think they live vicariously through that moment.

Has that line always been there?

Oh, no! We didn't do it that way on Broadway but it's been that way recently on the tour. I broke character and really laughed the first time she did it.

And then some gal was screaming at you from the audience later in the song and Frenchy says "Taylor, she loves you!"

You can get away with that in this show.

We talk about his leaving on Friday (September 11th) to do a concert at the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, MS, which has been booked since before the tour and also about his upcoming acoustic performance on Monday, September 14th, at Warehouse Live in Houston.

I was disappointed that more kids in the audience of Grease were not screaming and dancing.

I think there is a theatre etiquette of some sort, although, during my Broadway run, the audience was much rowdier.

By the way, when you come out at the end of the show after the curtain call and do a single from your new CD, The Distance, it is awesome.

I released my record within the context of the tour and it has given me a wonderful opportunity to reach my fans when I sign CDs in the lobby after the show.

Do you want to do more Broadway?

I think with the right role. I was offered roles before Grease but I wanted to make sure that the role was right for me. I have to really have the passion for it.

What do like the most about the tour?

I love the travel. I've been on the road for four years now solid. I am so lucky and so blessed to be able to travel the country and see and meet so many people. Doing this tour has made me realize how much this country has to offer.

How much longer is the tour?

I am committed to the Grease tour until June of 2010. I love it. I am a bit of a workaholic. I think you have to be in this business.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in concert on Monday.

I've been so full-band and hugely produced, it is great to do an acoustic stripped-down concert. I come from a very real place in music. I grew up in road houses. That's where I cut my teeth in a very real and raw way.

Warehouse Live's Studio space provided the perfect venue for the awesome music of Taylor Hicks. Have you ever wanted Taylor Hicks to perform in your living room? That's what last night's concert was like. If you missed last night, you missed one of the best concerts of the year. Hicks has been doing his music for years and years, road house after road house. By the time he got to American Idol three years ago, Hicks was already well-known in the South and had two CDs behind him. Hicks figured out a long time ago that there is no such thing as overnight success. He has built his house one song at a time, one fan at a time, one road house at a time. He's very happy to be back to playing to the smaller and more intimate crowds of his early days.

And all of us at Warehouse Live last night were the beneficiaries of his brilliant musicianship, which burns into a blinding light of soul and substance because he has surrounded himself with other brilliant musicians.

John Kulinich is on rhythm and lead guitar and cooks better than Julia Child with rifts that make you scream.

Jason Parker fingers a funky booming bass that goes right through your soul all the way to Minute Maid Park.

Brian Less jams on the meanest Yamaha electric keyboard you've ever heard.
Brian has been with Taylor for eight years and also sings backup harmony.
He's basically the music director of the four and arranges Taylor's kick-ass playlist.

Going way back to some of his first two CDs, Hicks and his band mix it all up, throwing in Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round In Circles," Van Morrison's "St. Dominic's Preview," The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down," Bill Withers' "Use Me Up" and covers of his own great tunes that bring the house down and leave us begging for more.

Hicks' soulful voice and rockin' rhythm Taylor guitar say it like a huge bearhug that keeps on hugging until he takes us to the next level with that badass trademark Hicks harmonica.

Hicks is back to doing what he loves. And it shows and we feel it. It's not about Taylor Hicks at all. It's all about the music.

He'll be in Grease at the Hobby Center through Sunday, September 20th, and you can meet him and greet him and take pics with him and get him to sign his new CD, The Distance, after the show. Don't miss the music and the man that makes the music, The Great Taylor Hicks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mary Travers, The Voice of A Generation, Dies

We lost a voice of a generation on Wednesday. Mary Travers, of the immensely popular folk trio of the 1960's, passed away from complications of leukemia. She was 72. During their career, Peter, Paul and Mary earned five Grammy Awards for their three-part harmony on enduring songs like "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Puff ," "Blowin' in the Wind" and "If I Had a Hammer." They sang beautiful, yet socially relevant songs throughout their five decade career that promoted peace and justice. Their music is as relevant today as it was the first time they sang together 40 years ago. I ask you, where is this sort of music today when we need it the most - when our country is torn apart and more divisive than maybe ever before? Rest in peace, Mary - your voice lives on.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Taylor Hicks Live Video Chat! Watch It Here....

Taylor was so cute today with his virgin video webcast at his new interactive website, taylorhicks.com! If you haven't signed up over there as a member yet, you should do it soon to catch the next one and read all the latest stuff going on with him. The chat lasted only about 20 minutes, but he was able to answer a couple of interesting questions. He said he and his people were looking forward to and preparing for his next 'project' after his run in Grease, which ends in June 2010. Hopefully that means a movie or TV project. We'll just have to wait and see!

He said he's going to try and do these events one a week, but I think it'll be more like once a month if we're lucky! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Here it is if you missed it! Enjoy....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Original Member of The Temptations Compliments Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks recently got one of the highest compliments from Otis Williams, the last surviving member of the original legendary soul group of the 60s - The Temptations. In an article posted on turkgeek.com, he says in part:

Q – You say, “Great singing will always prevail.” That’s what they push on American Idol. Do you watch that TV show?

A – Oh yeah, I watch it.

Q – What do you think of it?

A – Some of it is funny. Every now and then, you run across somebody who can sing, but a lot of those people up there are kind of funny. I really like Taylor Hicks.

Q – He’s good because he’s different.

A – Yes, he is. I like his deliverance and he can sing.

It's a great shout-out to Taylor from Mr. Williams - a guy who is a founding member of greatest soul group in history, The Temptations. A huge pat on the back from one of Taylor's musical heros, no doubt.

Never mind the fly-by-nights who pose as 'experts' in today's market. The opinion of someone like Otis Williams goes a long way and says a lot about Taylor's musical credibility and the depth of his talent as a soul singer and performer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spotted: Taylor Hicks, in search of Mason-Dixon line for sweet tea

From the Birmingham News:

Former American Idol Taylor Hicks, now touring the country as Teen Angel in "Grease," spent Monday, a travel day between Orlando and Fort Worth, in his hometown.

"I'm trying to find the Mason-Dixon Line for sweet tea," he said, sipping the sweet stuff at the Diplomat Deli on U.S. 31 in Vestavia Hills. "Some states have it, and some don't. I'm trying to find out where that line is."

While in Birmingham, Hicks taped segments for Alabama Public Television and BET's "N Contrast With Chuck Faush." While filming the BET piece, he also met with Birmingham City School students who are finalists in a talent contest produced by Faush.

Hicks also did some publicity for the upcoming Birmingham stop of "Grease" -- Sept. 22-27 at the BJCC Concert Hall. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster, and Hicks said it's the best of both worlds for him, since he gets to perform his single, "Seven Mile Breakdown," as part of the show.

"It's kind of a concert and a Broadway show all in one," he said.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

'Grease’ is frothy, fun homage to the ’50s

From the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, TX! Enjoy!

Hopelessly devoted fans of Grease won’t mind that headliner Taylor Hicks spends roughly four minutes onstage. Or that he doesn’t appear until almost two hours into the musical, in the middle of Act 2.

But Soul Patrol devotees might feel cheated. Hicks, who’s billed as the big star of the national tour of Grease presented by Casa Mañana that started Tuesday at Bass Hall, plays Teen Angel, who sings one song in the show — Beauty School Dropout.

But oh, what a cameo appearance it is: Decked out, Elvis-like, in a sequined suit, he descends from above a burger joint in an ice cream cone, then sings, hip-shakes and even blows his signature harmonica before heading back into "that malt shop in the sky." In a hilarious homage to, well, himself, Frenchy (a baby-voiced Kate Morgan Chadwick) declares to the 2006 American Idol champ dreamily, "I voted for you."

There’s a lot to like about this production of the beloved musical about high school friendships, jilted sweethearts, and all things cool in 1959. With its colorful set, frilly petticoats, upbeat choreography and live music by the "Grease Band," the show is one frothy, fizzy soda pop of energy.

Generally, the women in the cast outshine the men. Allie Schulz is stellar as the brassy Rizzo. And Erin Henry as the perky Patty Simcox will remind you how much you loved or loathed student council members.

But the leads, Eric Schneider as Danny Zuko and Emily Padgett as Sandy Dumbrowski, seem peculiar casting choices. Schneider just doesn’t give off that legendary Travolta-cool vibe; he seems sort of geeky. And Padgett’s exceptionally well-trained voice brought too much vibrato to some of her songs, including a Summer Nights that fell flat on the audience. Still, the two have sweet chemistry together, and Padgett sizzles as the "sexy Sandy" at the end.

Be sure to arrive early — you don’t want to miss Vince Fontaine’s (Dominic Fortuna) "warm-up act" that’ll have you singing and dancing along to some classic tunes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Taylor Hicks Live at Olde Smiths Bar in Atlanta, GA - Videos!

Wedding Day Blues

Taken By: Jan Paulus


Taken By: bonnie cheung

Don't Let Me Down

Taken By: 4Tay

Tupelo Honey

Taken By: 4Tay

Maybe You Should

Taken By: 4Tay

The Distance

Taken By: Janibeth

Wedding Day Blues

Taken By: JenniJac

What's Right Is Right/Tupela Honey

Taken By: JenniJac

I Live On A Battlefield

Taken By: Candy/Skeeter

Friday, August 14, 2009

Taylor Hicks: DVD Whomp At The Warfield - New Release Date!

There is new hope for those who've never seen Taylor's elusive DVD that he recorded back in May of 2007 at the historic Warfield Theater in San Francisco! It's back with a thud-delicious cover (GAH!)... pant, pant.... uh..... what was I saying? Oh yea... According to this Video Business, it's due to be released Oct 6, 2009. Stay tuned for updates!

Release Date: 11/03/2009
Label/Distributor: IMAGE
Prebook DVD: 10/06/2009
Retail Price: DVD $19.98
Genre: Music Taylor Hicks performs some of his biggest hits.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AmyH, Moderator @ The Boogie Board Implodes... Again! LOL!

More proof that your Mod at The Boogie Board, AmyH and her croonie, Cali50, have gone COMPLETELY crazy and are having a complete meltdown. This is more correspondance from the same person who posted their story in the blog before. Enjoy! Oh yea, one more thing.... For those who feel they can't and won't be apart of such hypocricy and lieing and deceitfulness anymore, come check out the new BB - New Found Freedom, where there are no restrictions, awesome pics of hot Taylor and most of all NO American Idol talk - except for snarking on the BALD one! LOL!

Because I was most assuredly banned from the BB this past Tuesday, August 11, 2009 for speaking the truth, and because AmyH, Cali50, and their ilk have proven that they cannot be trusted in private messages, I have chosen to bring the truth forward in public.

I was banned because of the post that appears on this site, in italics, that originally appeared earlier on the day in question (August 11th) on the BB. I had no intention of posting again on that site, which I have purposely avoided since May of 2008 (you can read for yourselves why). However, in light of the recent words and actions of AmyH and Cali50 who moderate the BB (Cali50 has the power to ban posters as well), my integrity compels me to speak my peace.

Below you will find the email that I had received from AmyH, who later that same day lied about banning me. Please note that her private email address and mine have been blocked from this public post. Look closely and you will see that the email is genuine; it did originate from her. The reason I have blocked the emails is that I do not wish AmyH to be harassed with messages to her private email. That is not right. Although my private PM’s to her, in May of 2008, were shared -- without my prior knowledge and in real time -- with Cali50 and others who were not moderators on that board and who had no business being privy to that discussion, I will not stoop to AmyH’s level, nor Cali50’s, by enabling anyone to communicate with Amy through her private email.

I assume you may contact her on the BB if you have anything you with to say to her.

Here is that email from her. Feel free to interpret her words, “I should have banned you’re a** a LONG time ago” (the shouting is Amy’s) as well as “That’s it – you’re out!”

Flag this message
I should have banned your ass a LONG time ago
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 9:11 AM
This sender is DomainKeys verified
"Amy Harrison"
Add sender to Contacts
To: xxxxxx@yahoo.com
If only for lying about your identity and being full of shit.

You're out!

I suppose she meant to ban me back in May of 2008 for speaking the truth then, as well. As Jesus Christ said, “Know the truth and the truth shall set you free”.

Later that same Tuesday, I was told by others, several people in fact, who still have posting rights on the BB, that my name still appears on that board’s member list. So – either Amy lied about her intention to ban me, or she reinstated me quickly as she feared further spilling of the truth from me – which she has now brought upon herself. Perhaps she wished me to return to the BB so that she could “make nice” to me in public and thus preserve whatever is left of her reputation, which surely cannot be much, at this point. Perhaps she feared the loss of other posters; I understand they have been dropping like flies in response to her recent behavior. Whatever AmyH’s intentions, I refuse to facilitate her behavior, and that of her associates, by returning to that board.

I wish my name removed from the BB’s member list. I cannot state this clearly enough. I do not wish to be associated with individuals who control a board that was originally established and, at one time, devoted primarily (not solely, but primarily) to one particular artist – a board whose moderators have perverted its intent. A board that disrespects the person it was intended to honor, well as his friends and fellow musicians, who are deserving of the utmost respect. A board working actively to silence the truth and attempting to intimidate those who speak the truth. Differences of opinion are always welcomed by intelligent, open minded people, but there is a way to phrase one’s difference of opinion without demonstrating disrespect, cruelty, or subterfuge. Those who run that board either have not been educated in that difference or have chosen to ignore it.

As for AmyH’s accusation of having changed my identity, that too is a bold faced lie. I post most places as kaitlin45, as I have since Day One of joining this community. I post on the HQ site as taylorssoul as I had blown passwords there a few times and was required to go through the entire process anew with a new screen name. I have posted on that site, publicly as well as privately, as to who I am and why I had to change my screen name. I post on twitter as KatfromNYNJ as that is how the musician that I follow, who has earned my highest regard, may know me best. I have never lied about my identity or anything else. I was not raised to be a liar. To call me a liar is to impugn the morals of my parents and grandparents, and I will not stand for that.

Neither will I stand by quietly while this man is disrespected. The music that he writes, arranges, and crafts instrumentally, the professional company that he keeps (please read his liner notes/credits) -- who obviously respect him greatly or they would not associate themselves with him -- and the way that he conducts himself both on and off the stage has earned my greatest respect. He is a man of honor, as both an artist and a genuinely compassionate human being.

I have asked that this message be posted here today as I am known within this community as a person of integrity. I invite any and all to review my posts on any and all boards. I have never once shown disrespect to any musician or poster. I wish my good name kept intact, and for this, I was compelled to come forward.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AmyH and Cali50 Bringing Down The Boogie Board!

Some of you Taylor Hicks fans might know by now, but the Boogie Board fansite is imploding at the moment - thanks fully to its two Moderators - Cali50 and AmyB. They have just banned a number of people, myself included, in an attempt to control, manipulate, and infest the site with everything non-Taylor related and insult the man himself - claiming boredom and redundancy - but most importantly, set their own agenda without regard to the best interests of the person they are supposedly representing. They are two-faced back-stabbing hags whose only purpose is to satisfy their own personal need for control and eliminate his most ardent supporters - long standing contributors to the community. They are nasty, ugly people. Below is a post from one of its long standing members (not me) for your information. Feel free to post it at any of the other sites out there. We want the entire community to know who they are dealing as members of the Boogie Board. I will have my own blog post up later on today, but this was so on-point that I wanted to get it up immediately. Feel free to comment - and don't worry, people aren't censored here. Stay tuned for information about new roads to be taken....

Some of you had asked me in Baltimore, this past February, why I no longer post on the BB. I took the high road and simply said, “If you want to enjoy your meal in peace, you don’t want to get me started on that”. I don’t mean to make this about me or those I will name below. I only mean to state publicly why I no longer associate myself with the BB. Having read things on the boards over the last few days, I feel compelled to come forward and have my say, as well as speak up in Taylor’s defense. The latter is my primary motive for this post.

If anyone wants to slam me, go for it. I’m an adult, and remember that you have brought this upon yourself. I cannot guarantee that I’ll be back to respond because I am so done with those in this fan base who denigrate and disrespect a man who has earned my highest regard: Taylor Hicks.

I stopped posting, and for the most part, stopped reading on the BB in May 2008, when I saw that two of Taylor’s musician friends were being disrespected for the third or fourth time, as well as Taylor himself. (I did post on the BB this past spring that I wrote the review of The Distance which one of my friends posted on Taylor’s IEEM page. It appears on other sites and to protect my friend’s privacy, her name will remain unspoken here.) Concerning the aforementioned disrespect shown on the BB, I put my two cents in, mostly in PM’s that I had assumed would remain private between me and AmyH. I disagreed with the disrespect that was allowed to be demonstrated on what was supposed to have been a large board devoted primarily to one single artist: Taylor Hicks.

When I told AmyH that, as a moderator, she had a double standard – something I meant at the time and still mean – I found that Cali50 and a few others came out of the woodwork as they had been privy to what I had assumed was a private, civil conversation between me and AmyH (who, by the way, seems to have difficulty reading my posts. Best grab the old dictionary, dearie, if you intend to read this). Oh, and Cali50 … you may wish to consider getting yourself to a nunnery. Hand-slapping, scolding, and supercilious behavior are cherished attributes among the nuns; they’ll no doubt welcome you within their ranks.

Now I’ll relieve you gals, AmyH, Cali50 and who-all else is in on the subterfuge over at the BB, of the onus of copying and pasting my comments to others; now you all know the truth. Oh and get set, here comes some more truth if you allow it to stand and do not delete it … but never fear, I’ll take this truth elsewhere.

Those of you who are not thrilled with Taylor working his tail off to do Grease 8x a week, and those of you who clamor for more and more shadow tours, have obviously never followed other artists. You may claim that you have, but your words prove that otherwise. I am a lover of good, contemporary music (‘60’s to ’90’s, mostly, when it was still good) and have followed a number of artists closely over the years. Here’s how it works, you jaloons. An artist or a band cuts a record, promotes it, and tours behind it for several months. Then the artist or band “goes away” for two more years, and the cycle begins again. Taylor not only toured for 10 months following the release of his self-titled CD, he now travels nationwide with the play and does as many interviews, shadow tours, and tweets as he can. What other artist works so diligently and maintains such frequent contact with his fan base?

If you truly follow other artists, you eejits, do you slam them for having external projects, as many do? Do you slam them for not showing up in or near your town, on your schedule, to give concerts on a regular basis? And do you even know what it means to be an artist – to live for your craft, as Taylor Hicks does?

He could have taken the easy way out and sold his soul to the devil, as some of the people y’all fawn over now have done. Don’t believe me? Listen to their music and tell me if it honestly moves you. Does it move you to tears, does it lift your heart even after thousands of plays; does it make you think and does it makes you glad to be alive in a world that can be so very ugly? Does it make you proud and ever so grateful that you have found an artist who possesses the talent to do this … to reach into your chest, grab your heart, and take it prisoner in the most gentle and honest way imaginable? Does it?!?

Taylor took the harder route in order to remain true to his craft and true to those who honor and love genuine music. He created his own label in order to have full artistic control, and this means that he, not the suits, calls the shots. It also means he pays all of the bills out of his own pocket, every single one of them. In my adult life, I have not found a single person who embodies such integrity and clarity of vision. To this, I add incredible talent, which only unfolds with time, like a lotus blossom, to reveal more and more depth and beauty.

The more I know Taylor Hicks through his music and compassion, and the way that he conducts his life, quietly, industriously, and with respect for others, the less tolerance I have for the two-faced, the back-stabbers, the children in adult’s clothing, and the cruel, the myopic, and the selfish -- including the aforementioned people on the BB and those in their camp.

Long live Taylor Hicks. I will follow that man and support him to the best of my ability until the day that I quit this earth.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tayor Hicks - Live Album in the Works!

Taylor Hicks recently gave an interview to Rodney Ho of American Idol Buzz. Seems we might get that elusive Whomp At The Warfield DVD yet as well as a new live CD!

Taylor Hicks three years ago said his life ambition was to live on a bus and just play music.

After winning “American Idol,” the prematurely gray-haired soul singer has gotten that wish. He has no house, no rent or mortgage, no utility bills. “I’ve been living out of a suitcase since 2006,” he said in an interview last month to promote his role as Teen Angel in the national tour of “Grease,” which is at the Fox Theatre. “My bills get sent to my parents.”

But even a vagabond like Hicks says he actually would to have roots again someday.

“I’d like to have some home setting in five years, some sort of anchor,” he said.

Of course, Birmingham is his hometown. But Atlanta, he said, is “like a second home,” given how many friends and family he has here. He will also make a return visit to Smith’s Olde Bar on Saturday after his final “Grease” performance. This is where he also performed in 2006 during the “Idols Live” tour.

I took this shot of Taylor back in 2006 at Smith
Hicks not only sings “Beauty School Dropout” in a shiny outfit during the play but during the encore, he gets to sing his latest single “Seven Mile Breakdown.” “It allows fans new and old to see me in two different lights,” he said. “One as an actor performer, the other as a singer songwriter.”

He also signs CDs after the show. So far, he’s sold about 38,000 copies of his current album, “The Distance,” a far cry from the 704,000 for his post-’Idol” victory self-titled album in 2006.

“I think 100,000 is attainable,” he said. “As an independence artist, that would be substantial.”

Hicks knows he helps get Soul Patrol fans into seats, which is why the touring company booked him. “The fan base is definitely there,” he said.

The Fox shows were added after Hicks had prior commitments so he’s only doing the shows from August 11 to 16, although the tour has been at the Fox since Friday.

Hicks is also unfazed by the fact Web sites such as TMZ mock him for not being a monstrous Carrie Underwood-level success. “If they talk about you, then deep down, they love ya,” he said. “If they don’t, then you have problems.”

Simon Cowell, for instance, could barely tolerate him during the actual show but Hicks was amazed to see him give Hicks a standing ovation earlier this year when Hicks came back to perform “Seven Mile Breakdown.”

The rest of the article can be view on Rodney's website!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Taylor Hicks Live at the Beau Rivage Theater, Biloxi, MS!

Show Dates & Times:
Friday, September 11, 2009 - 8:00 pm

Ticket Prices: from $19.95
Venue: Beau Rivage Theatre
Restrictions: No smoking.
Call 1-888-566-7469 for tickets or Buy Tickets Online

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From Showbiz Tonight, Taylor Hicks Comments on Paula Abdul's American Idol Departure

"I was really shocked. I really thought she would come back... she was a comforting voice for contestants who were not exposed or used to harsh critism. Her kookiness, or getting up on stage and dancing - everybody loved that about Paula Abdul."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taylor Hicks Relaxes at the Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale

From the Scene Miami Blog:

2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks relaxes at the Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale. He's in town for the Broadway series of GREASE at the Broward Center through Sunday, August 1st.

"I had such a great experience performing on Broadway," says
Hicks. "This is a great opportunity to visit old fans and new fans across the country while bringing them a great Broadway show!"

For fans that come out to see GREASE, meet Taylor Hicks after the show, where he signs his latest CD, The Distance, featuring the singles "What's Right is Right" and "Seven Mile Breakdown."

GREASE at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Friday, Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 7:30pm, Matinees - Thursday at 1pm, Saturday at 2pm & Sunday at 2pm

(More Pictures at the Link Above)

Saxophonist Johnnie Bamont Recorded w/Great Artists, Including Taylor Hicks!

When you're included in a list like below, you must be doing something right! Good for Taylor Hicks to get is named engrained in the psyche's of other respected artists/respected journalists as being a great musician/singer/entertainer....

"....Johnnie Bamont, multi-talented saxophonist and recording artist, a native of San Francisco is Filipino and Irish. His father is from Bayambang Pangasinan, Philippines. Johnnie has been singled out by 19 time Grammy¨ Award winning sound engineer Al Schmitt as having one of the best baritone sax tones he ever recorded. A San Francisco native who grew up in the musically diverse environment that the Bay Area offers, Johnnie had the opportunity to perform with numerous jazz, classical, Latin, R&B, and funk groups.

Johnnie tours constantly and has performed with many of the greatest artists ever including Boz Scaggs, The Temptations, Ben E. King, Huey Lewis and the News, Third World, Howard Tate, The Four Tops and Sly Stone. He has recorded with Celine Dion, Sammy Hagar, Chris Isaak, Todd Rundgren, Diane Schuur, Toni Tony Tone and Taylor Hicks, to name a few...."

The rest of the article here:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chris Daughtry's Newest Album Gets Blasted By the Miami Herald!

I never really liked Howard Cohen of the Miami Herald, but I have to give credit where it's due! He hits the bullseye with this scathing yet truthful review of Chris Daughtry and his other Tools newest album. So bad, in fact, that it only received 1 1/2 stars. Major Ouch! Enjoy!

Reviews | Daughtry
Leave This Town
* ½
American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry never met a cliché he couldn't steamroll his way over on angst-driven post-grunge rock. That was forgivable on his band's 2006 debut because you figured he probably didn't have that much say in its direction.

However, this baggage is damnable on Leave This Town, the sound-alike follow-up to the quadruple-platinum Daughtry.

Leave This Town is maddeningly generic and predictable. Hey, big dumb rock doesn't have to strive for Art. Chickenfoot's no-frills retro rawk, for instance, is a blast to crank while you try to drive 55.

Not so Daughtry's sullen rockers. The lyrics are little more than nonsensical, unrelated lines strung together so he can sing in rhythm. ``With time to kill and an empty tomb / I always find the way to pass the time with you,'' he yowls on the muscular You Don't Belong.

If the brooding music was occasionally fun and distinctly crafted, this would matter little. But Daughtry, who sings well but sounds as if he hasn't listened to any rock band pre-2003, merely apes Creed and Nickelback, whose leader Chad Kroeger cowrites two tracks, including the first single, No Surprise, an apt alternate title for this disc.

Daughtry's faceless group isn't well served by returning producer Howard Benson's glossy but tightly compressed sound. Guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock are mixed into flat bread when ear-grabbing solos should offer dynamics on otherwise catchy cuts like Ghost of Me, the CD's best. Country's smooth crooner Vince Gill guests on Tennessee Line but is similarly rendered ineffectual.


Daughtry's Balloon Head is Back!

It has come to my attention by a frigid anal tiny little gnome that this picture is "sick". WTF? LOL! Kiss my ass, bitch! I actually think it's beautiful and a perfect replica of Daughtry - uhm, maybe a bit too small, actually - the head. I'm going to post it here for now, and then switch it over to the side so we can look at it whenever we want. And little Deb, if you're reading this, go fuck yourself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taylor Hicks Plays 'Smith’s Olde Bar' in Atlanta!

From the 7-30 Club Website in Atlanta...

Okay, okay, before you say anything. He’s a GREAT singer. So great, in fact, that TAYLOR HICKS is playing Frankie Avalon in Broadways "GREASE". They don’t just let anyone do that part, you know. Fresh off the American Idol fame, he’s still holding tight, maybe it’s because he actually is talented. It may also have something to do with the fact that cougars are drawn to him. Either way, he’s got some show tunes, his harmonica, and that silvery hair and they’re aimed right for Smith’s. You can’t miss this show. Period.

Taylor Hicks Goes Clothes Shopping in Philly!

Philly.Com says: "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks stopped by Distante (1510 Sansom) the other day to pick up a tan linen sport coat, pinstriped vest and short-sleeve shirt. Hicks was here in "Grease" at the Academy.

Daughtry: Slant Magazine HATES Your New Album!

Being known as one of the official "Baldie Haters" in Taylorland, I might as well live up to my reputation and post this 1/5 star rated review from Slant Magazine for Daughtry's lame new album. They gave it 1/5 star rating. Heh! I'm glad to see people seeing and understanding the poser and tool for what he really is. Enjoy!

With Chris Daughtry's first album, the inexplicably caps-locked DAUGHTRY, authenticity was the question du jour: Could an American Idol also-ran, one uninspiring enough to be bested by twitchy soul man Taylor Hicks, front a genuine-article rock band? If you'll take your answer in the form of a Billboard chart, DAUGHTRY was a coup for the not-quite-Idol. While sounding indistinguishable from faceless radio rockers like Staind, Hoobastank, and Fuel, Daughtry has outsold its obvious influences by massive margins, their debut's quintuple-platinum certification a glittery mathematical reminder that the band's act has caught on in an era when rock bands rarely do. When so many hot young bands are releasing albums that are more blogged about than bought, Daughtry sells albums like the biggest rock band in the world.

Perhaps aware of their seismic crossover appeal, Daughtry opens their sophomore effort, Leave This Town, with all systems set to "anthemic," and, with the exception of a couple of acoustic ballads, they stay in that mode for the entirety of the album. Chris attempts to make every song a Big Statement, intoning dead-serious verses while the band gathers momentum behind him, inevitably culminating in a soaring chorus which, as a rule, will be repeated four times before the song ends. Brazenly—almost aggressively—artless in their approach to songcraft, Daughtry will surely draw its defenders from the "turn off your brain and have fun" camp, but Leave This Town is manifestly not a "fun" album. Daughtry's arena-scale ambitions can, apparently, only be fulfilled by rock of the most emotionally expressive variety, yielding lots of grim-faced confessions, clumsy attempts at introspection, and choruses drenched in its namesake's tortured howl.

What the band proves is that expressing emotion and evoking it are fundamentally two different crafts. To ensure that every mook in the stadium can pump his or her fist along, Chris employs blandly general lyrics, divorced from any of the particularistic observation or reflection that generates real emotional heft. On the opening track, "You Don't Belong," Daughtry sings what isn't so much a verse as a collection of unrelated statements that happen to appear in the same minute of a song: "No, you don't belong to me, I think you lied to me/And with my back against this wall, it's hard to be strong/No, you'd tell me anything, look what you've done to me/Still, I tell myself that tomorrow you'll be long gone." Significantly, it's the only song Chris penned on his own.

The co-writing credits for the 11 songs that follow read like a who's-who of lowest-common-denominator radio-rock, with luminaries from such risible acts as Nickelback, Three Days Grace, and Lifehouse contributing. It seems absurd to say that someone like Chad Kroeger or Ben Moody has a distinctive lyrical voice, but compared to Chris's general-to-the-point-of-meaningless confessions, Kroeger's tough-guy breakup drama ("No Surprise") and Moody's tears-and-roses gothica ("Open Up Your Eyes") seem rich. That doesn't mean the songs are better; in fact, Moody may deserve an award for contributing what, on an album as straining as Leave This Town, is the worst song by a fairly large margin. "Open Up Your Eyes" is embarrassingly overwrought, with Chris yowling clichés ("Welcome to the first day of your life/Just open up your eyes") between verses about grieving and the afterlife.

That the material on Leave This Town is clearly so meaningful to Chris makes the experience worse: The songs end up being turgid in spite of what appears to be a substantial emotional investment on the performer's part. It might all be easier to take if the band were simply mercenary about performing bad songs for giant heaps of money, but again, it all comes back to authenticity. Chris Daughtry has a real band that plays really serious songs, which are, almost without exception, really, really bad.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Daughtry's Album "Leave This Town" Predicted to FLOP in First Week!

I could NOT be happier. Why? Well, according to Hits Daily Double, this TOOL is predicted to undersell BIG TIME (240K-260K vs. 304K the first time around), despite the payola, ass licking, buying and pushing good 'ol fossil Clive Davis spent on his first CD. I thought for sure he'd sell at least as much as Carrie Underwood's 2nd album in her first week(in the mid 500K range) since both of their first albums did so well. In Daughtry's case, no thanks to any visible talent. Apparently, America is finally waking up to the arrogance of this no talent. He'll soon be selling his useless plastic out of his trunk. Here's hoping for a fast and speedy demise!

It's just a matter of time before we hear the words "Daughtry Who"?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Daughtry - A Disgraceful, Bland, White Bread Excuse For Music

Chris Daughtry is proof that anyone can sell anything with corporate $$ pushing, promoting, and buying airwaves and other forms of media. After listening to this piece of plastic called "Leave This Town", (I'd never actually buy this thing, God forbid), I can think of thousands of better songwriters, musicians and performers who sell far less - not because of an inferior product, but because of a lack of promotion. It's formulaic warm milk, a mass produced product, much like a Big Mac, geared for mass consumption without a shread of individuality or uniqueness - nothing you won't forget in short order. It's *disposable goods* at it finest. It's as bland as it gets. Save you money folks.

Here's just a sampling of the lousy reviews this terrible CD is getting. What a disgrace to true music lovers.

"Practiced, perhaps overly-practiced, is a good way to describe the soullessly glossy song."

"Leave This Town is only “rock” because of Daughtry’s jeans, silly facial hair and the fact that he had a more rocker-like persona than Idol co-stars Taylor Hicks and Katherine McPhee. (Seriously, shaved head and carefully sculpted beard-thing? Enough, already.)"

"There’s nothing about this mid-tempo pop that differentiates it from anything being produced by Katy Perry or the Jonas Brothers or any other pop star on the radio right now. In addition to the Nickelback track, the songs were co-written with members of the Click Five, Three Days Grace, Lifehouse and Evanescence/We Are the Fallen, guaranteeing the album a professionally-crafted pop-rock sound that sounds like it was written in a boardroom rather than a motel room or tour bus."

- Music Vixen, 2/5 stars

"Daughtry rips off Nickelback, Evanescence, Lifehouse ..."

"Maybe it's a result of Daughtry's "Idol" training, which favored imitation over innovation, but it's hard to think of another act with such fidelity to the fist-pumping, power-chord-flogging rock star ideal. Daughtry isn't trying to be another Eddie Vedder, which would indeed have required authenticity beyond his reach. He's an imitator of the imitators, Vedder twice removed."

"Leave This Town" single-mindedly adheres to almost every post-grunge cliche, even the bad ones: the constant loud-soft repetition (an ominously quiet first verse followed by a louder chorus, usually with layered backing vocals), the peevishness, the growling."

"Every song, with few exceptions, represents the entire album in miniature -- if you've heard the first two tracks, you've heard the whole thing. "Leave This Town" is an example of the broadest possible formulas being put to their least imaginative uses."

- Washington Post

"There's no way around it: Daughtry's new album is dumb."

"It's a collection packed full of groaning cliches and calculated banality, and while that's not so different from plenty of music in any era, "Leave This Town" is so formulaic it could have come from a laboratory at DuPont. Where they make plastic."

"Unfortunately, his dream sounds an awful lot like a compilation of outtakes from all the bands whose influence -- and, not incidentally, commercial successes -- loom large on this record: Creed, Staind, Nickelback, 3 Doors Down. Trouble is, there's nothing interesting about questing for fame and fortune by repeating what others have already done, and the only thing worse than playing dumb is being boring."

- Courant.Com

"Did you find Nickelback to be a little too underground and substantial with too much diversity? Your dreams are about to come true."

"Having sold 5,000,000 copies of their début album, we have on our hands the sophomore album, sure to sell less now they've stopped restocking Guantánamo. You should know the drill from us using the N-word, it's gut-wrenching nausea provided by ugly Americans with bad facial hair. Popstars may have given us Girls Aloud, but that's not remotely enough to excuse the travesty of the knock-on effect we have to endure."

"Yes, we have ourselves another American Idol Deadbeat Semi-finalist. Surely the point of these competitions is to reward the winner, not give everyone who finishes a record contract. It's the music industry, not sports day at the special school. Perhaps a new contract might be in order banning any who do not win from ever singing again. Scratch that, probably cheaper just to shoot them in the face."

Chris Daughtry is a special kind of hell though, every single song goes exactly the same way. Dire introduction, dodgy southern-tinged verses conveying appalling lyrics (stay tuned for examples), then the drummer pounds the snare and toms together eight times and we're at the chorus, wherein the vocals start to emulate the various faces from a laxative advertisement and the melodrama reaches levels not seen since the last time a TV movie aired entitled "My Daddy Didn't Love Me On Tuesdays: The Jessica Simpson Story"."

- Strange Glue

"The result: melodic hard rock that doesn't always rock that hard."

"The band's second album and first recorded with drummer Joey Barnes, bassist Josh Paul and guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock, all of whom signed on after singer Chris Daughtry finished cutting his debut — does little to answer that question. In fact, it mostly muddies the waters.

- USA Today, 2 1/2/4 stars.

"Too bad this is disappointingly generic hard rock with virtually the same formula that made his debut such a success."

"There are songs about sweating out tough times, learning hard truths, standing strong by his lover, searching for things to believe in . . . how many clichés did we leave out?"

- Boston.Com

Monday, July 13, 2009

Taylor Hicks Headlines the Beautiful Beau Rivage Hotel in Biloxi, MS

Taylor will take a break from his starring role as the Teen Angel in the touring company of Grease to headline and get back to his funky musical self at the beautiful Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, MS on September 11, 2009! This is sure to be a special evening for those in attendence as well as for Taylor. With a distinguished backing band, he will be performing songs off of his recently released, self produced 2nd album, The Distance, as well as from his earlier albums.

The theater holds a healthy 1,500 seats, but tickets are going fast. There are a very limited numbers of seats left, so if you're planning on treating yourself and your family/friends, do so soon before they are all sold out! Tickets start at $19.95 and you can buy tickets online here.

Follow Taylor Hicks on Twitter for continous updates from the road!

Monday, July 6, 2009

From Stolen Album to Stolen Hearts ... This Idol's In Heaven

From the Philadelphia Daily News

Philadelphia Daily News
takiffj@phillynews.com 215-854-5960

WE WERE supposed to be talking about his spotlight role in "Grease" (opening tomorrow at the Academy of Music), or maybe his current album, "The Distance," or maybe his tell-some memoir, "Heart Full of Soul," which recounts the guy's rise from a humble Alabama childhood to the Season Five winner on "American Idol."
But the morning I caught up with Taylor Hicks was a sad one. Michael Jackson had died the night before, and the shock hadn't worn off. First, we had to grieve.

"Of course I was a big fan," Hicks said on the cell phone from Detroit, where "Grease" was in residence and, ironically, where M.J. first got props as a member of the Jackson Five, recording for Motown.

Younger than his prematurely gray eminence suggests, the now 32-year-old Hicks first tuned in to Jackson during the age of "Thriller" - "at the height of his success and popularity. I think I wore a white glove to kindergarten. Yeah, I was a big fan. My generation was right there in the popular demographic, but the thing with Michael is that he didn't just reach us kids, he touched three or four different generations. There's very few that have done that."

Another Idol heard from
Ironically, the "blue-eyed soul"-styled Hicks is another singer who has won an unusually diverse fan base (dubbed the "Soul Patrol"), thanks to the inordinate reach of that TV talent contest which crowned him an idol - with 36.4 million viewers watching.

When I asked Hicks to describe whom he sees cheering when he makes his floating-from-the-clouds entrance as the Teen Angel in "Grease," he described them as "all over the board, people from 8 to 80.

"That's the great thing about a show like 'Idol.' It brings generations together and teaches a younger generation about music that has had an impact, and is why music is what it is today. How many 10-year-old children get to listen and explore the sounds of Tony Bennett in their own home? That's the amazing part of that show. I like to say it's a substitute for the decline of liberal-arts programs across the country. It's a kind of music class. Some of the liberal-arts programs in elementary schools have taken quite a hit in the past 10 years, and 'Idol' luckily has been able to substitute for some of that."

Doing it his (their) way
Maybe the least likely "A.I." candidate to ever win the competition, Hicks' taste in music and performing style skew a lot more towards old Cocker (Joe) or McDonald (Mike), a lot less to Usher or Timberlake (Justin).

At that legendary "A.I." tryout in Las Vegas that he went to on a fluke "after getting a free ticket from an airline for being bounced from a flight out of hurricane-torn New Orleans," Simon Cowell told Taylor that he didn't have a chance. Still, the guy won over Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson with a down-home treatment of "Swanee River Rock" lifted whole from Ray Charles.

The first record Hicks ever owned - OK, stole - from a store, he tells in "Heart Full of Soul," was an Otis Redding album, "Shake."

And even in his high-school years, his heart belonged to vintage (and mostly southern-fried) rhythm-and-blues music. "When everyone else was listening to Blind Melon, I was listening to Solomon Burke." [Actually from Philly, but maybe the first talent to successfully merge soul and country.] "You know, Burke was also the first guy to use the cape and the red rose in his show, and James Brown kind of stole his act, so to speak. Then they'd say of Michael Jackson that the last guy who moved like him was James Brown. Funny how things go 'round like that."

Hicks believes he won on "A.I." by taking control of the situation, playing by his own rules and staying grounded. "I'd spent so many years trying to make it, that I like to think I had the focus, once the big movement started happening. My life experience" - which included years of roadhouse singing in Alabama, two indie albums and an erstwhile recording project in Nashville under the guidance of another soul legend, Percy Sledge - "gave me a boost up. I used the harmonica to my advantage on the show, even when told it might get me disqualified." (The next year, 'A.I.' candidates were officially allowed to play instruments on stage.)

And Hicks had "another pioneering thought" that he put into play. "I was the first to write the endings of my songs. They gave me two minutes to 'play that funky music,' and I made sure my endings were powerful and signature enough to move me along in the competition."

Grease is the word
This whole alliance with "Grease" is another offbeat move that has left some scratching their heads, but which Hicks sees as a smart career strategy.

Cut loose under "mutual agreement" from 19/Arista Records after his cheesily produced debut album, "Taylor Hicks," sold only a million copies - the lowest sales figure to date for a winning Idol - Hicks went off and made a clearly superior album for his own Modern Whomp Records label. "The Distance" takes a more organic, gritty approach (no generic backing singers, no syrupy strings) with thoughtful, soul-pop and country-style songs (9 authored/co-authored by Hicks) and excellent backing by the same guys who tour and record with Eric Clapton (among other notables.)

But without the big-bucks tour support that he might have gotten from a major label, going out and promoting this project across the nation seemed daunting.

Enter "Grease" - that much-loved, cartoon-ish musical homage to the early days of rock and roll, hot rods, teen hoodlums and high school romance which was back on Broadway last year in a new production featuring winners of a TV talent contest (!!!) called "Grease: You're the Won That I Want."

Hicks joined the show in New York last spring for what was supposed to be a three-month special guest appearance, cast as the "Teen Angel" (played in the movie by aging Philly pop idol Frankie Avalon). You know the part - the handsome charmer who urges the "Beauty School Dropout" to go back to high school. Hicks got to do the number his way, adding some wailing, bluesy harmonica work. The creative team also popped him into the "Megamix" at the show's end, wherein he reprises the title song - one of four hits from the 1978 movie version added to this stage production.

Clearly, Hicks' self proclaimed "babysteps . . . walk before you run" participation in the Broadway musical constituted just a "cameo." But his name recognition and presence spelled "star power" for the production - translating into an extra $150,000 a week in ticket sales, reported the New York Post.

Then, at year's end, Hicks got an offer he couldn't refuse to join the national touring production. Therein, he'd also get to plug/perform a single from his soon-coming-out album as another encore treat. The deal sounded so good, he signed up to travel with the show until June, 2010.

"This is a wonderful way to be able to let fans new and old see me in a part and also see me as an artist," Hicks explained. "Nowadays, you have to be creative in the way you get your music and voice heard. The way the road tour is structured, it's a really cool way to exercise that concept. It's very rare that an artist, an entertainer, gets to go into a city to perform and stay in that particular market for multiple days or weeks, to work a Broadway show and work a record."

In some cities - though not this one - Hicks flies in his touring band and does a late night showcase at a club. Here, he'll surely be popping up on local TV and radio shows to plug stuff. And Soul Patrolers will find him out in the lobby after every performance "to sign merchandise and CDs and shoot the breeze" just like the down-to-earth "idol" he is. *

"Grease" plays at the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, tomorrow through July 19. Performances Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 6:30 p.m., matinees Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m., $25-$100, 215-731-3333, www.kimmelcenter.org/broadway.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Taylor Hicks Catches Some Sun Rays in Mexico!

Whoa!! Looking really nice there, Taylor! Glad to see you getting a few days of R&R! You deserve it with your hectic schedule!

Picture courtesy of TMZ

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Taylor Hicks Has Control Over His Own Career - Birmingham Magazine

Thanks to everyone who gave me ordering info for the July '09 issue of Birmingham Magazine! I ordered one from Barnes and Noble in Birmingham (205) 298-0665. Anyone who still wants a copy, can order through them.

Meanwhile on their website, the article is posted. Enjoy!

A sense of destiny, and his drive to control it, has made taylor Hicks more than a former American Idol. It has made him an entertainer and businessman with an eye on the future.

By Joe O’Donnell

Taylor Hicks has to be tired. Who wouldn’t be? Here’s the itinerary: Red-eye from Los Angeles; golf at the Regions Charity Classic; interviews. And it is still early in the afternoon. There is practically a whole day yet to come.

Hicks doesn’t seem to mind though. In fact, when he talks about the music business that has been his life since he was a kid, Hicks seems about as energized as a teen.

“I can remember at 17 saying I was going to be a successful entertainer. I had this sense of destiny about it, like it was going to come true. There was this great moment when I realized destiny had to be at work because I just felt it so strongly. Ray Charles brought his band to City Stages and I sat in the bushes and cried the whole show. I knew this is what I wanted,” Hicks says.

“It is a demanding business, 24/7. I’m not tired of it, though, because I know this is what I am supposed to be doing.”

The risk inherent in believing in a destiny has been a companion to Hicks since the very beginning of his forays into the entertainment world. Out there on a stage, reaching out to an audience that may applaud or may look back at you stone-faced or just keep on talking to the rest of the people at their table, that was Hicks’ early life on the road. Then, of course, there was always the risk you might not get paid.

“The risk I took at an early age helped me to get used to the risk at this stage in my career. The biggest risk of all was taking that initial step to do what you imagine yourself doing,” he says.

In the three years since Hicks became the fifth-season winner of American Idol, Taylor Hicks has seen his debut album certified platinum, performed with the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, The Allman Brothers and Willie Nelson, toured through Asia, penned a briskselling Random House memoir and made his Broadway debut in Grease.

Currently Hicks is promoting his new album The Distance, which came out in March. The platinum- selling singersongwriter has complete control of direction and ownership of his masters on his solely owned and operated, Modern Whomp Records label via Artist To Market.

Produced by Simon Climie (Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Faith Hill), and tapping the talents of guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, bassist Nathan East and drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., The Distance features 11 tracks, including the first single “What’s Right Is Right.” “‘What’s Right Is Right’ is the soulful love song of the album,” says Hicks. “I think its wonderful message about love that people can relate to. The saxophone subtones as they are called, is where you can actually hear the breath from the instrumentalist before he actually plays the next note. Capturing the sound is almost like a music lesson within a soulful love song. Subtones are a lost art in music today. These musical nuances do not limit themselves only to ‘What’s Right Is Right,’ but are heard throughout the whole album.”

While the entire economy has been in flux for the past year or more, no industry has seen as much change as the music business. When he won American Idol, Taylor Hicks found himself at the heart of a changing business, a new shiny cog in a publicity machine and American phenomenon. But there are very few rules left and very little protection or care for an artist searching for an audience.

So instead of being tethered to the American Idol machine, Hicks changed the direction and went his own way—and with a little help from his Birmingham friends—took control of his career his destiny.

Mike Douglas is an attorney at the Birmingham law firm of Friedman Leak. “Taylor and I met in college at Auburn. He was recommended to me through a couple of friends to sing in the band I was in. He came to the house one day when he was a freshman.

We were juniors at the time. He sang ‘The Thrill Is Gone’ and it was an amazing vocal performance. I recognized immediately he had immense musical talent,” Douglas says.

They played together in a band, Passing Through, touring the college circuit throughout the South. Douglas graduated and went on to law school.

“Taylor and I were still very close. He was still playing the local circuit. It was difficult and tough to watch sometimes. He is very talented, but he did not have much negotiation power. He moved to Nashville and recorded an album. We were keeping up with each other, and I was helping with some legal work then on a pro bono basis,” Douglas says.

“He called me from Las Vegas to tell me about American Idol. I went out to one of the taping of the shows. It is amazing how big and how much of a machine that all is.”

Once Hicks won American Idol, he fulfilled all of the obligations he had under the original agreement and then he went out in search of a new destiny. “We met with [record industry legend] Clive Davis to discuss future deals and we made a mutual decision to part ways with American Idol,” Douglas says.

“At that point we had our own touring company set up for Taylor. We set up two national tours for Taylor as a solo artist,” Douglas says.

“It was a good-size national theatre tour so that he could keep developing as a national touring artist, but under Taylor’s control as a business entity.

Both tours were profitable. In 2007 he had the 27th highest grossing tour.

That gave us the financial lift to start our own company.” Modern Whomp Records was born, along with a touring and merchandising company, all controlled by Taylor Hicks.

Taking advantage of new tools in the entertainment industry and new developments in the way artists reach audiences, Taylor Hicks took control. “Taylor is instrumental in all of this. He is very attentive to detail.

He wants to be totally in control of the artistic side—having more control over what comes out,” Douglas explains. “Gaining total control was important, and this way made the most sense.”

The music has always been paramount to Hicks. The latest album is being supported nationwide by Hicks’ role in the national touring company of Grease. In city after city, he plays the role of Teen Angel singing “Beauty School Dropout” on stage. Then he will play club dates late in the evening, playing the music he loves to a totally different audience.

Add in the regular media interviews and you have a potent marketing mix to build an audience. The goal is to sell his album steadily for the next 18 months, releasing two or three singles, while performing on the stage. “He stays very, very busy,” Douglas says.

“My management has really kept up with the cutting edge of how an artist gains an audience. That’s not easy because it is an ever changing mode of business in the recording industry. My antenna is always up for wisdom after all these years on the road,” Hicks says.