CD Review – Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa / “It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Day”
Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa
“It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Day”
Released: September 2011
By W.J. Hallock
Experience, knowledge and age share common ground….. and the sum total of all three adds up to “comfort.” And comfort is a gift. And with this gift, you can find comfort in what you do, what you know, and most importantly….. in just who you are. From the sounds of Wayne Taylor’s new release, Wayne has found his “comfort” zone. “It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Day” is a perfect title for this release.
It’s also one of the best cuts on the CD. Driving on the interstate, about two minutes into the very first song, “She Put The Tears In My Eyes“, I realized I wasn’t fighting traffic any more……. I was cruisin’! Comfort IS a gift….. Thank you Wayne.
He has the experience, starting with eighteen years in the Navy band, “Country Currents.” He also has the credentials…… playing for four Presidents and with the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. He’s been all over the world with his music.
He’s recorded half a dozen CD’s. His guitar playing has put him in the company of hot pickers passing their knowledge on to the next generation. He’s been there….. he’s done that…… and he’s written a bunch of songs that prove that he’s only getting better with age. He’s a master of keeping it simple, yet interesting and refreshing. And comfortable!
Wayne produced this project with band mate Emory Lester and George Hodgkiss of Phoenix Recording Studio, Browntown, VA. George also did the mixing and editing. In his liner notes, Wayne stated that they wanted to stay true to the bluegrass genre, and they stuck close to that vision. With Wayne on guitar, Emory on fiddle, mandolin, low violin, piano and guitar, Kene Hyatt on bass and Mark Delaney on banjo, the bluegrass basics were well covered. What I found most intriguing was when they added little steps over that “blue” line that made Wayne’s songs that much more personal, and personable. Emory’s piano playing on “The Pain” gave it a touch of class. Emory Lester is Wayne’s secret weapon, and should be given due credit for his contributions. The producers were paying attention to what the songs were saying to them….. and they heeded each song’s advice. Sweet!
Also sweet, are the guest vocals of Melissa Keech-Armstrong. She duets with Wayne on “The Pain” and “Two Kindred Hearts.” To hear these two sing together is pure joy. Her voice is so different from his that when she comes in with her parts, your ears are immediately on alert. Her song-writing skills were also utilized on “A Time To Fly,” which she co-wrote with Wayne. Of the fourteen songs presented here, Wayne wrote eleven, co-wrote two more and used David Parker’s song “Mash Your Finger” to round out a diverse and enjoyable set of songs. Humor, heartfelt emotion and sincere happiness were the order of the day for this CD.
For an artist to step up and do all original material is self confidence at it’s best. Wayne should be proud of his work here. His talent, his vision, his individuality and his song-writing skills make this a “must have” CD in my book. He has surrounded himself with top musicians and state of the art facilities to show his band in their best light. “Comfort” is a gift, and a fine AND comfortable gift this CD is.