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!

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