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Taylor Hicks on Patrol: Taylor Hicks Band Ready to Roll?


Taylor Hicks fans have finalized their plans and will travel from far and wide to attend the weekend concert series that begins at Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola, FL on February 24th.  The tour then continues to Tunica, MS and the Gold Strike Casino for a February 25th show, and on to Biloxi, MS at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino for a show on February 26th.

The band leader has yet to name the musicians who will accompany him on the road, and so I’m left to guess the identity of those band(its).  Based on recent tour history, here are my predictions for the makeup of the 2011 tour band. Comment/discuss/disagree/list your own band!  And remember to click on the images to enlarge.

Taylor Hicks: Vocals, guitar, harp: It goes without saying that the leader of the band and Soul Patrol will be there, warming the South with his mix of soulful country and rock & roll music.  Understudy: George Clooney.

High Noon

Brian Less:  Keyboards, Organ: Musical Director Brian Less graced the summer stage in 2010, tickling the keys across the country as Taylor Hicks took his show on the road for a four month tour.  Brian provided the backbone to the music, especially on the acoustic encore numbers when Taylor and Brian shared the spotlight together on stage.  Understudy:  Kenneth Crouch

Mexicali Cafe

Sam Gunderson: Guitar, vocals:  Sam was the man on guitar during the summer tour.  Starting in New York City at Highline Ballroom, the audience could see how happy and nervous Sam was to be on the big stage.  His guitar playing did all of his talking for him.  Sam was always just ‘happy to be here’.  And so were the fans!  Understudy: John Kulinich.

WorkPlay, 2010

Jeff Lopez: Saxophone, tenor sax, part-time conga player: Nicknamed ‘Soulful Sax’, Jeff Lopez made his mark on tour by providing the Latin beat under Taylor’s performances of Once Upon A Lover and the heart stopping flute tribute to Dixie in 19. Known to play two saxes at once, Jeff has inspired many musicians to play wind instruments because the sax is the pathway to the soul.  Understudy:  Would love to see Brian Gallagher….

Ft. Walton

Leif Bondarenko:  Drums.  Drummer extraordinaire, Leif is the rock that centers the band.  The song Runaround will never be the same since Leif got his hands on it! Going mostly unseen at the rear of the stage, there is no doubt that Leif can bring down the house, or at least the drum shield, as he pounds out the heart to the soulful sounds of Taylor Hicks.  As a photo enthusiast, I remember to ‘not forget the drummer’ in my photos.  He never disappoints although his energy is hard to capture in a single shot.  Understudy: Gary Novak

Crocodile Rock

Brandon Peeples: Bass guitar.  Dunt, dunt,da, dunt, da dunt. That’s the sound of the beat provided by the young, but experienced bass guitarist Brandon Peeples.  In a word, Brandon is an entertainer. He rocks, he jams, he riffs with Brian and Taylor and is always having fun on stage.  Understudy:  Jason Parker.

Epcot Center

Jay Smith:  Congas  or Coooooongas, as Taylor would say…  Jay was on fire during the summer tour stop in Jamesville, NY.  The outdoor venue, the smoke and lights and sun setting behind the stage laid a perfect backdrop for Jay’s nifty Calypso beat.  Understudy:  Jeff Lopez


Clay Connor: Stage Manager, Guitar, Vocals:  Clay was a big hit when he performed solo as the opening act for Taylor at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. Often seen juggling several issues at once, he was still able to get it all done seamlessly and even found time to jump in and jam on the stage with his guitar. At WorkPlay, Clay made a big impact with his energetic guitar playing and rock star moves.  Understudy:  Bill Will…..


Javier Colon: Opener. Javier was a delight in the New England swing on the summer tour. Runner up: Open to suggestions!


So, who is it going to be? Taylor’s fans have much to remember from 2010 and much to look forward to in 2011. Who will go along for the musical ride? Who would you love to see play with Taylor Hicks on Tour??

All text,  photos, and opinions expressed about the tour band provided by Louise/4Tay.

Click here for Taylor’s tour dates and ticket Info.

13 Comments Post a comment
  1. hicksfan7 #

    Fun post THN – so exciting to think about, alas, until I see a MN date I won’t actually be EXPERIENCING it! I agree with all your ‘bandit’ choices! Love the pics, excellent job capturing each of them in their own element! Thanks for a fun read on Sunday morning.

    February 20, 2011
  2. hicksfan7 #

    Oh yeah…Brian Gallagher – our MN Claim to Fame! – he is awesome!

    February 20, 2011
  3. These are great picks and I like them all, though I’d love to see Josh play with the band again. Can’ t wait to hear about these shows!

    February 20, 2011
  4. Blues Rider #

    Great blog Louise4Tay on the man, his band, and the “digital exposures”. Thoroughly enjoyed it with my morning tea and crumpets. Where does one buy tickets for the “Magical SoulPatrol Tour”?

    February 20, 2011
  5. LATeacher2 #

    Great!!! But would love to see Josh Smith, Brian Gallagher, Felix Pollard, and Al Carty playing

    February 20, 2011
    • Oh yeah! The 2007 tour line-up! The Blast from the Past Tour of 2011! It’s hard to choose just one. Taylor selects the best talent!

      February 20, 2011
  6. I think THN wrote this one. (sorry if that’s nit-picky!)

    February 20, 2011
  7. Thanks everyone! Caryl, this article was written by Louise for THN. Thanks for viewing it and commenting. It means a lot to hear what you have to say. You’re not being nit-picky. The credit is at the end of the article this time and perhaps you missed it when you were reading.

    On to Pensacola!

    Discussion of the tour band continues……….

    February 20, 2011
  8. hdey #

    Louise, thank you for the look ahead at next weekend’s fun! All of these musicians are so talented; I’d very much like to see Josh Smith and Brian Gallagher at some of the shows as well.

    February 20, 2011
  9. hicksfan7 #

    I agree 100% that Taylor sure has a knack for picking the talented musicians to perform with him, and follows through by his inspired leadership and always acknowledging that talent throughout their performances. They deserve it!

    February 20, 2011
  10. Gr8fulheart #

    Whoever Taylor grabs for his 2011 tour will be a treat to us all. I would, however; love to see Jay once again. He makes his guitar do the singing for him. Simply Magical♥

    February 26, 2011
  11. Gr8fulheart #

    OOPS!!! I meant Josh♥♥♥

    February 26, 2011
  12. I just read this quote, what do you think” Without passion, there isn’t energy; without energy, you haven’t anything. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. Ps your RSS feed isnt working right at this moment?

    March 4, 2011

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