People have been talking about Eric Taylor and his songs for years, since the early 1970’s when he was an integral part of a Houston songwriting scene that included Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. As Taylor’s reputation and song catalogue has grown, he has enjoyed a following that includes Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Steve Earle.
“Eric Taylor was one of my heroes and teachers when I started playing around Houston in the early 1970’s,” he’s the real deal.” ….Steve Earle.
Folk/blues singer-songwriter Taylor, whose songs have been recorded by household names such as Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett, has all the rock star credentials you could ask for. He peppers his lethargic, dreamy delivery with tales and confessions of a long-defeated addiction to heroin, shooting a bar’s noisy popcorn machine, and a chance encounter with Johnny Cash at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Taylor’s performance sneaks up on you, drifting from introductory banter to a curious story of a circus train crash, and then set opener Carnival Jim & Jean is in full flow, not dissimilar to Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms in both vocal tone and guitar work.
A lot about Taylor draws easy comparison to other artists. Most noticeably his ethereal style is frequently redolent of Jim Morrison, with the portent atmosphere of The Doors classics Riders On The Storm and The End being felt through much of Taylor’s work.
Yet there is no sense that Taylor is an imitator. This is a man whose larger-than-life talent sets the agenda, rather than following it. With a simple heel tap for rhythm and a voice of velvet brushed backwards, he gracefully picks a gutsy soundtrack from his custom-made Ross-Kinscherff Dreadnought guitar and holds his audience entranced.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).