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Taylor Hicks Walks the Line at Avalon Theatre

TH-BlogHeader-Avalon-800

by Richard Uznanski, Louise Uznanski, Holley Dey

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” explained Taylor from the stage.  “It’s a song we do often, and do well.”  Before launching into the band’s cover of “Gonna Move”, he paused to note that “ain’t” is southern for “isn’t”, and then wondered aloud which word he should use.  Does the Avalon Theatre lie north or south of the Mason-Dixon Line?

Well, I’m fixin’ to tell you that Easton, Maryland lies nearly on and just south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Baby, that ain’t no lie.  Truth is that the Theatre lies close enough to the boundary that the Mason-Dixon line ran right through the Taylor Hicks Band as well.  That’s right; the bandleader, the man on sax and the man on keys hail from Birmingham, Alabama and represent the core of the Taylor Hicks Band.  The three members of the Jamie McLean Band who provided support on guitar/vocals, bass and drums call New York their home.  The band backing Taylor Hicks at the Avalon straddled the line north to south, bagels to biscuits, rock to country soul.

The audience was even more diverse.  When asked how far they had traveled to see the American Idol winner perform on St. Patrick’s Day, some had come from California, Florida, Missouri, and Toronto, Canada.  Those without reserved seats stood in a line that stretched from the lobby down the sidewalk in front of the Theatre, waiting and hoping for a stage-side view.  Six years following his television run, Taylor Hicks continues to enjoy a loyal fanbase that on Saturday night cheered his arrival to the stage, his new song, and well, his T-shirt.

That new song has a country flavor.  Composed by Victoria Shaw and Candy Parton, “Teach Me to Dance” offers a straightforward melody line that allows Hicks the room to stretch, showcasing the sincerity and soul in his voice.  The love song portrays a gentle, self effacing courtship with lyrics that admit “Sometimes I can’t get out of my own way, sometimes I can’t find the right words to say” but “I could waltz into heaven in working man’s shoes, if  you teach me to dance with you”.  Written with a waltz time signature, the young bride and groom who posed for pictures outside the Avalon could easily have shared a first dance to this tune.  On Saturday evening the arrangement featured Jamie McLean on guitar and vocal support; it was a winning blend.

I suppose that the onstage fusion of two bands with different styles could have led to a musical skirmish, but instead the evening featured a comfortable truce between the crisp, cool play of the north and the more flamboyant tone of southern clubs and honky-tonks.  By the end of the evening that truce had been cemented, and all six musicians combined for a rousing encore rendition of the Jamie McLean Band song “Country Living” with Jamie and Taylor alternating on lead vocals.  Other standout songs during the set included “What’s Right Is Right”, the lead single from Mr. Hicks’ 2009 album, The Distance, “I Live on a Battlefield”, featuring a guitar solo from Jamie McLean, and “Maybe You Should”, co-written by songwriter and former football player Mike Reid, again featuring Taylor’s heartfelt vocals.

Before joining Taylor on stage in support of his headlining set, the Jamie McLean Band played several songs to open the evening.  Most of those were drawn from the Band’s most recent album Sunday Morning, including “Open Up”, “Summertime on Main Street”, and “I Been Low”.  While many in the audience were unfamiliar with the Band’s music when the set began, they were on their feet at set’s end to applaud a truly rocking performance.

For more on Taylor Hicks, including tour dates and up-to-date news, visit his official website here.  For more on the Jamie McLean Band, including tour dates and music, go here.  On April 27, 2o12 the Jamie McLean Band will support Taylor Hicks in concert at Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, Connecticut.  For tickets to what is sure to be an excellent show north of the Mason-Dixon line, go here.

© OnTapBlog 2012 All rights reserved

Jamie McLean

Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks with Ben Mars (Jamie McLean Band) on bass

Excerpt of some fine guitar work by Jamie McLean on Battlefield

Taylor Hicks performing What’s Right Is Right

That’s not all!  A gallery of many more photographs from the March 17 Avalon Theatre concert follows.  To see additional photographs of the event, including the opening and headlining sets, as well as the new Taylor Hicks 2012 tour T-shirt, click the gallery.

36 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jenni Jac #

    Excellent recap and pictures! That first one of Jamie could be a promo shot. Thanks Richard, Louise, & Holley. Let’s hope they do some shows a little more south of the Mason-Dixon line.

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Jenni! I don’t know if Taylor Hicks and Jamie McLean will schedule additional dates together, but the Jamie McLean Band will be in Atlanta on April 19 at Smith’s Olde Bar. Hope you can catch them!

      March 20, 2012
  2. jerseyirish #

    Wonderful recap!! The pictures are awesome!! Hopefully these guys will “blend” together again.

    JI

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      I hope so, too! The band seemed to really enjoy playing together at the Avalon. Thanks, jerseyirish!

      March 20, 2012
  3. karen #

    “FUCKING A” RIGHT ON THE SPOT!!

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Glad you enjoyed it! Great show south of the Mason-Dixon line!

      March 20, 2012
  4. SegerHicks #

    I am in TAG heaven. Thank you!!

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, SegerHicks! It’s nice to see the Taylor Hicks Band back on the road, isn’t it? The audience certainly offered a warm welcome at Avalon Theatre.

      March 20, 2012
  5. jonibug #

    G R E A T…..just like the show!!

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      It was a fun time! So nice to meet you in Maryland, jonibug. See you soon, I hope!

      March 20, 2012
  6. MN Sue #

    Super account of a fabulous night at the Avalon. The photos? To die for, as always!

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, MN Sue! We certainly enjoyed the show and are looking forward to more good music when Taylor’s new album is released and the band hits the road in earnest.

      March 20, 2012
  7. MN Sue #

    “hits the road in earnest”

    Amen to that.

    March 20, 2012
  8. Connie Simpson #

    That was great, Louise! Thanks so much!

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed the post and hope to see you at an upcoming show.

      March 20, 2012
  9. Debbie Troxell #

    Richard, Louise, & Holley: This was another great photo shoot & recap of Taylor’s St. Patrick’s Day concert in Easton, MD. It was a fantastic night. Taylor, Brian, & Jeff were wonderful, and adding Jamie McLean & band made for an electric night!!

    It was great seeing you & Richard in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday night. Until next time. Thanks for the recap.

    Debbie Troxell

    March 20, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Debbie. We had a wonderful time in Wilmington and Easton, and look forward to sharing another show with you soon!

      March 20, 2012
  10. Thanks again for a wonderful reviews and pictures. It means a lot to those of us that can’t attend a lot of Taylor’s concerts.

    March 21, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Tish, for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the recap and the photos. This seems to us that this concert is just the start of something new for Taylor. He will be in your area soon. He did come to Texas 3 times and was well received last year so we’re keeping our fingers crossed for you and the fans in the South.

      March 21, 2012
  11. Gr8fulheart #

    I continually look forward to ‘seeing’ all the input from those who attended the concerts. And ~ I am never disappointed. Great picture to go along with the comments. Thanx♥

    March 21, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks so much, Gr8fulheart. It was a very nice show and a reunion for Taylor’s fans. Hope the show comes your way soon!

      March 21, 2012
  12. Mary Ann Nejako #

    Outstanding recap and photos, as always, Louise, Richard and Holley. It was a St. Patty’s Day we’ll never forget…a “chicken, finger-lickin” good time! That second photo of Taylor is Elvis revisited.a great new album cover perhaps??? It was great to see you in our home town, Wilmington, DE the evening before. Many thanks,

    Mary Ann Nejako

    March 21, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      It was a good time, wasn’t it? We really enjoyed sharing the beautiful weather, the festive atmosphere and the rocking show with friends. Thank you; looking forward to seeing you again soon!

      March 21, 2012
  13. Vicki Lofland #

    It was an awesome show! The guitar rifts by Jamie McLean were absolutely crazy mad good. Taylor Hicks had me when he announced he had a harmonica in his pocket!!! Just soo good! Can’t wait for them to hopefully return to the Avelon!

    March 21, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      I have to agree; Jamie brought down the house with that guitar, and it’s been too long since we’ve heard that harmonica. Fun, fun show! Glad you were there and enjoyed. Thanks!

      March 21, 2012
  14. dnjmorton #

    I knew you were going to the show and would bring back the goodies!! I have been looking forward to your “take” on the show. Thank you so much for your recap of the concert, the pictures and the added videos. Is there anyway we can get a download of WRIR? That was an outstanding performance.

    March 21, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Judy. It was a memorable show filled with new little details and funny comments. The video will be available soon on youtube. I agree about WRIR. 7+ minutes of Taylor tagging WRIR was incredible. Thanks again.

      March 22, 2012
  15. Makes us feel not so left out! T for everything IT was awesome! :)

    March 24, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, vicki, for the compliment. I hope you get to see a show soon. If you have to wait a little, it will be worth the wait! Thanks again!

      March 24, 2012
  16. Brenda Hadsock (AKA Coder) #

    Beatiful pictures as always! Fun show and so good to see you all again. See you later this year on the road somewhere!

    March 24, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Brenda. It was soooo great to see you again, too. It was a rockin’ fun show and how lucky were we to hear Teach Me To Dance for the first time live?? See you, too. Thanks again.

      March 24, 2012
  17. mond105 #

    Add Indiana to where everyone came from. Had a great time and loved the concert. Also loved seeing and meeting my soul patrol friends.You Pictures are always great.

    March 24, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, mond105. You came a long way!! Glad you had such a good time; I hope you were able to enjoy the eastern shore a bit while you were in town; it’s such a pretty area of the country. Hope to see you at another show soon!

      March 24, 2012
  18. wings #

    Wonderful to read this and what amazing pictures. Thanks.

    April 2, 2012
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, wings. We appreciate the comment. Looking forward to more of Taylor in the very near future.

      April 5, 2012

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  1. Tour with Taylor Hicks | Brian Griffin | Touring and Recording Drummer

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