Eric Taylor brings his cinema verite technicolor songs to Seattle ~ June 19/20 ~ Co-Sponsored by KBCS 91.3fm & Puget’s Sound Productions
Besides performing and recording, I am on the board of a local non-profit, Puget’s Sound Productions (www.livelocalmusic.org). We’ve presented several concert series in Seattle (Meadowbrook/Concerts at the Pike co-sponsored by KBCS) and up north in Snohomish/Everett (Flying Pig/Wired & Unplugged co-sponsored by KSER). Those venues went by the wayside as venues are wont to do and beginning this past March we took over the booking of Egan’s Room For Roots Americana Music Series. So far we’ve presented Barton Carroll, Del Rey, The Starlings, Moe Provencher Project, Rachel Harrington & Darren Smith.
For our finale show we lucked out big time and are wrapping up this first round of booking the series this June 19 with the amazing and mesmerizing Eric Taylor. Visit our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Room-For-Roots-Egans/119056264793056?ref=sgm.
I’ve been aware of Taylor for years but have become more and more hypnotized and captivated by the depth and beauty and cinematic quality of his songs since becoming more involved in songwriting. Then with the advent of easy access to youtube, videos of Taylor’s performances began to proliferate and my desire to see him perform live increased apace. I thought I’d have to go down to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas to see him. But sometimes fate intervenes and in this case has brought Kerrville to me…and to all of us here in the Pacific Northwest !
The fact that artists like Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith cite Taylor as a massive influence speaks volumes. Along with those artists he was a part of the legendary Houston Texas music scene documented in the 2010 SXSW Film Festival pick “For the Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair” (www.andersonfairthemovie.com).
The fact that Taylor is not quite a household name (at least in the USA- he tours the UK & Europe regularly) is rather mystifying. That said his music invites contemplation and deep listening. Each phrase contains an entire movie script complete with props & costumes & actors. However the scenes drawn and characters inhabiting Taylor’s songs resonate less as merely fiction and more like relentlessly real. What is most striking is the compassion with which they are conceived and performed. The song Big Love is sung in first person from the point of view of a 459-lb. man working in his mother’s flower shop. Joseph Cross is a song about a Native American boy taken from his family during the forced enculturation of America’s Native Americans. My great-grandfather was head of one of those missions in the 1800’s. This song made me cry so hard…it is beautifully written & sung.
Eric Taylor’s lyrics are only one piece of the puzzle. His guitar playing is massive and powerful at times with a thumping groovin’ right hand. Then it changes to a delicate lacy affair of finger-picked beauty. Taylor’s voice is rough and tender at once and filled with absolute clarity…one doesn’t have to work at catching the words. So it’s possible to savor each phrase.
We are incredibly fortunate here in Seattle that Taylor was touring as far as Portland this summer and wanted to push a bit further north into Washington. He will perform at 9pm on Saturday June 19 at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St ~ 206.789.1621) as part of the Room For Roots Americana Music Series sponsored by Puget’s Sound Productions and KBCS 91.3 Bellevue/Seattle.
Even more fortunate for Pacific NW Songwriters is that Taylor will present a Songwriter Master Class on Sunday June 20. Please visit www.livelocalmusic.org for more information or to reserve a spot in the Master Class.
Tickets to Taylor’s Egan’s show @ brownpaperticket.com. If needed, a second show will be added.