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Taylor Hicks: The Year in Photographs 2013:: Gallery and Giveaway!

by Holley Dey and Louise Uznanski                       ©2013 OnTapBlog All rights reserved

Regis Philbin had a question for Taylor Hicks following the American Idol winner’s 2008 Broadway debut.  “This is what you want then……to be an actor?”  Replied Hicks, “I want to be a musician, and I want to be an entertainer.”  In 2013 Taylor made good on that intention, enlarging his artist brand with ventures into scripted television and celebrity cooking, while maintaining a primary focus on live performance music.

He had his fingers in many pies, borrowing from one recipe to enhance another, blending fun, food and football with the occasional falsetto to create an entertainment potpourri that satisfied even the most finicky.  Here are a few facts and photos attached to a musician who grew and diversified his brand in 2013.  Look for the giveaway that follows the photos; this features one of Hicks’ new ventures!

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 15 Photo:  ©2013 Michael Parmelee/NBC

Following a successful debut at Bally’s during the summer of 2012, Hicks was offered and accepted a year long extension of his popular show on the Las Vegas Strip.  Now located in Napoleon’s at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, the show’s run has been continued at least through February 2014.  Tickets are available through the Paris box office and at Ticketmaster.

TaylorZonesLU

He brings a unique “roadhouse” sound and show to the Strip that have proved popular with visitors and reviewers alike; they describe Hicks’ “engaging personality” and appreciate his gritty vocals and instrumental skills.  Said one attendee, “Without a doubt (he is) the most original artist to ever come out of American Idol.  Even if you don’t like or have never watched Idol, this show is not to be missed.”

Photos: @2013 Dave Morton

His Las Vegas show went on the road this year when Taylor traveled to Caesars properties across the country for time limited engagements that included appearances in the west, midwest, on the east coast and in the southeastern United States.  During a December weekend of holiday shows at Harrah’s New Orleans, Hicks was joined on stage by the legendary Leo Nocentelli, a founding member of funk band “The Meters” who added zest to performances of “Ain’t No Use” and “Why Can’t We Live Together”.

Photos: @2013 Louise Uznanski

He was supported by a full band, but both in Las Vegas and on the road Taylor demonstrated his multi-instrument skills. In addition to his trademark harmonica, the musician played organ, guitar and tambourine. Might have also whistled…snapped his fingers…clapped his hands…danced a bit…anyone have the kitchen sink?

Photos: @2013 Louise Uznanski

His home state of Alabama was not neglected during the year. Taylor headlined the 1st annual “Shindig on the Sand” at the Flora-Bama, a June 2013 event that celebrated local Gulf Coast talent, presenting 50 acts across five stages on both sides of the Florida-Alabama state line.

shindig on the sand mullet wrapper two Photo: @2013 Mullet Wrapper

Hicks also traveled home to perform during Empowerment Week, a September commemoration of important civil rights events that took place in Birmingham fifty years ago. He returned to to the State to headline “Tailgate for the Cure”, an October fundraising event for the the Alabama Institute of Medicine.  The latter program also featured SEC football; the day’s games were shown continuously on large screens behind the performers.

A fierce and vocal fan of both college and professional football, Taylor’s strong social media presence and unvarnished opinions on game days led to some other interesting opportunities in 2013.  The American Idol season 5 winner is now an expert NFL game picker for Lindy’s Sports, included on a panel of five that predict each week’s winners against the spread.  Taylor was a guest on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, and was spotted with Charles Barkley and the ESPN College GameDay crew at the Alabama-Auburn showdown.

Photos: @2013 Greg McCallister

Radio guest spots were supplemented by numerous television appearances on both local and national levels.  Notable among these were appearances on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Miami” in support of the Blacks’ annual charity gala, on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in support of fellow headliner Penn Jillette and Las Vegas charity Opportunity Village, and on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family series.

Hicks also appeared on NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU.”  In his first scripted acting role, Taylor played a judge on fictitious reality singing competition “American Diva”, asking the nervous young teenager who stood before him, “What are you singing tonight, honey?”  In a performance worthy and reminiscent of Simon Cowell, Taylor’s initial skepticism disappeared in a broad smile as the young girl (played by Carly Rose Sonenclar) delivered a soaring vocal.  Musicians Clay Aiken and Ashanti joined Hicks at the judges table, and in his appreciation of the young talent.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 15 Photo: @2013 Michael Parmelee/NBC

The singing, the acting, the intensity of fall football – well, it can make a man hungry.  Fortunately, foodie and restaurateur Taylor Hicks has the resources and know-how to satisfy the occasional craving for good southern cooking. During 2013 Saw’s BBQ was included in Parade magazine’s list of top new barbeque restaurants, was voted Birmingham’s best BBQ by local area residents, and earned a mention on Craig Ferguson’s late night television show!

Recipes from the Hicks co-owned Saw’s Juke Joint are included in Recipes Across America, the newly released Taste of Home cookbook. Taylor demonstrated how to prepare, and more importantly how to eat, BBQ stuffed jalapeno poppers in several television appearances that promoted the book. Paired with Food Network star Martie Duncan, Taylor also presented at Houston’s Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining show where he serenaded attendees with his voice and guitar before turning his attention to a mixing bowl.

Photos: via Saw’s Juke Joint and Taylor Hicks

In 2013 Taylor Hicks earned strong reviews and a contract extension for his groundbreaking Las Vegas residency. He revealed multifaceted interests and strong business acumen, expanding his entertainment brand to include an increased television presence through his first scripted acting role. He brought a demonstrated interest in cooking and the restaurant business to a new level, and married that interest to his first talent, music. The performer who once played the local Steak and Ale now invites rising artists to find an audience at his own Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham. When asked to demonstrate his cooking skills and original southern recipes for live or television audiences, Hicks is always ready with a song and his harmonica. And a spoon.

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GIVEAWAY: For your chance to WIN one of two Saw’s Juke Joint trucker’s hats (pictured above), leave a comment below. Your comment is your contest entry. For a second chance to win, click on the button below to tweet the link to “Taylor Hicks: The Year in Photographs 2013”. One winner will be randomly selected from all blog entries, and a second winner from all Twitter entries. Contest closes on Monday, January 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Winners will be notified the following day.

For those who just can’t get enough, the Supplement includes several additional photographs and memories from Taylor Hicks on the road in 2013. Click here!

Addendum January 7, 2013:
CONGRATULATIONS to Julia M. and @ParleyBlueHenry, our two contest winners! Please drop us an email with shipping details; we’ve got you covered!

61 Comments Post a comment
  1. Love that man! (and his hat)

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you! We feel the same way.

      December 30, 2013
  2. Debbie Troxell #

    Louise, you did a great job as usual summing up Taylor’s great year. The write-up was perfect & the pictures are always great.
    Taylor has had another busy, amazing year. Looking forward to more trips with Family & friends in 2014. Thanks!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Debbie. Holley and I and all of Taylor’s fans who contributed appreciate your nice comments. On to 2014 and more memories.

      December 30, 2013
  3. mb #

    Great article and beautiful pictures….as always. Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks! We look forward to more music, TV shows and more photos!!

      December 30, 2013
  4. Good job! As always, gorgeous pics! Can’t wait to see what Taylor has for us in 2014.

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks so much! Looking forward to seeing many more Taylor Hicks moments next year! PLEASE CLICK ON THE MULTI-photo GALLERY TO ENLARGE EACH PHOTO,

      December 30, 2013
  5. Pattiebelle #

    Beautiful job as usual!! He rocks and you girls do too!!!

    December 30, 2013
  6. ontapblog #

    Thank you! It was so great sharing part of this year with you in AC and NOLA! Thanks for reading!

    December 30, 2013
  7. taysladybug #

    Taylor is the best entertainer I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I’m proud to be his fan.

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      That is well-deserved high praise, TLB. Thank you so much for being a loyal fan of ours and of Taylor’s!

      December 30, 2013
      • taysladybug #

        Thank you, & You’re very welcome Holley. You are an amazing blogger & thank you for keeping the Soul Patrol informed of Taylors whereabouts and what he’s been up to all these years.

        December 30, 2013
  8. Tammy #

    amazing as always! Thanks ever so much for brightening my dreary rainy monday morning!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Tammy. Sorry your day is gloomy but am so glad you found Taylor here to brighten up your day. He does give off a lot of energy and a good vibe! Looking forward to 2014!

      December 30, 2013
  9. Linda T #

    I see you’re up to your usual entertaining writing and phenomenal photos (some of which I may have gazed at longer than was absolutely necessary…LOL!). Thank you so much for all that both of you do to support Taylor’s fans and his career. Looking forward to 2014!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Aww, thank you, LInda! Drool away! It’s what we need until the next Taylor Hicks adventure. We appreciate your comments. So nice of you. Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2013
  10. jerseyirish #

    Another great year end wrap of! Your pictures are always perfect, thanks for sharing

    JI

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, JI. Glad you enjoyed. Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2013
  11. What awesome photos. Taylor should take the photographer on the road with him. He gets getter looking the older he gets.

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Well, if he had a chance to read these comments, suspect that yours might be a favorite, Karen ! And yes, Louise needs to go on tour! Thanks.

      December 30, 2013
  12. thats it ..im convinced…. louise is trying to kill me! LOL 😉 love u girl thanks for sharing! ❤

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Glad you enjoyed the photographs! Happy New Year to you and yours!!

      December 30, 2013
  13. medolark #

    Great article as usual but I’m a little disappointed that there was no reference to his show in Sandpoint ID on August 10. It was an outstanding show and we don’t get many shows up of that caliber. Ü

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      So sorry that we did not have the media to cover the ID show. Hope you enjoyed the other shows featured. Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2013
  14. medolark #

    I can’t find a way to edit my comment but it should have read ‘up here’. Ü

    December 30, 2013
  15. D_InLV_NV #

    Great read and the pictures of Taylor are well ….. Great. I’d like to see more of this busy entertainer on t.v… movies?

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you! We anxiously await the news that Taylor will be featured on a TV show and/ or movie in 2014. He returns to Vegas on Jan. 27th. Hope you can catch him there!

      December 30, 2013
  16. Debbie Trixell #

    Holley, great job as well! You & Louise always do an awesome job!

    Can’t wait for 2014 and to see what’s next for Taylor!

    Happy New Year.

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks again, Debbie. Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2013
  17. Karen Emory #

    I always enjoy your blogs….but with such a great subject …how can u go wrong !

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      You make a good point! Thanks for reading and commenting, Karen. All the best to you in the new year!

      December 30, 2013
  18. Excellent summary! I always love your pictures, Louise! And back in Atlantic City, you and Holley certainly saved my face from sunburn with the loan of your umbrella! What a trip that was too!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Mandy! Too funny; glad to help, but a little sunburn might feel pretty good right about now!

      December 30, 2013
  19. jerseyirish #

    This bog post always makes me smile!!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Aw, thank you! Glad to hear that. Have a great day!

      December 30, 2013
  20. Bonnie Bannister #

    Love Saw’s Juke Joint, one of my favorite places to eat!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      We’ll, now we’re a bit jealous! That burger looks unreasonably good, and I’m sure the BBQ is, too! Have an extra helping for us. 🙂

      December 30, 2013
  21. Julia Merchant #

    Thanks so much for another informative and fun blog. Love, love, love the pictures! Hope 2014 brings a new CD and lots of surprises.

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you! We hope the new year brings lots of good music and fun!

      December 30, 2013
  22. Victoria Jordan #

    I WENT STRAIGHT TO THE …CAN’ T GET ENOUGH? CLICK HERE SECTION 🙂 I really want to go to Taylor’s resturant but don’t know when I’ll get to. 😦 Would love to have this hat.

    December 30, 2013
  23. ontapblog #

    Thanks, Victoria! Would love to go to Saw’s. Hear the owner makes wicked wings! Happy New Year.

    December 30, 2013
  24. tishtx #

    This is one of your best articles about Taylor yet!! Thanks for taking us down memory lane for a great year. I feel so lucky to have been able to see Taylor in Vegas, Birmingham and New Orleans this year. 🙂

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Tish. Here’s hoping you have a repeat next year when that new music comes out and we can start all over again. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2013
  25. Eileen #

    The pictures of Taylor and the recap of his year was GREAT! Can’t wait for next year!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks so much, Eileen. So glad you came here to read and enjoy. Looking forward to next year as well.

      December 30, 2013
  26. Jenni Jac #

    Good job and thanks! Here’s to 2014!

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you Jenni. Here’s to 2014 and lots of new music and memories. Thanks for your contribution to the blog from the Atlanta show. It was great to hear it all first hand.

      December 30, 2013
  27. jonibug #

    Don’t know what I can add that hasn’t been said….love the photos, love the prose and love the reason for all of it! Yes, the wings at SAW’S are excellent….hope to enjoy some again in 2014 and lots of music from that guy with the red apron and the brilliant smile, as well! 😉

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Joanie. We have good reason to celebrate. Let the celebration continue in 2014. Here’s to many more shows for you and a bright 2014 for Taylor.

      December 30, 2013
  28. Gail Hagen #

    Louise you capture the emotion and spirit of Taylor with your photography. Amazing pictures as usual! Gail

    December 30, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Thank you, Gail. We truly appreciate your nice comments. Taylor has one thousand faces. Looking forward to capturing more of the same next year. Happy New Year!

      December 30, 2013
  29. Your article and the pictures just made my birthday perfect!! Love the year end recap of Taylor’s busy schedule. You did a fantastic job!! Thank you. We are looking forward to our trip to Lewiston Jan 11..hope to get some pictures to share for 2014.

    December 31, 2013
    • ontapblog #

      Wow! Happy birthday, Judy! Hope your day is wonderful. Thanks so much for the nice comments. Have a great time in ID. We know it will be a great show.

      December 31, 2013
      • ontapblog #

        Thanks to hubby Dave for his beautiful photos from Las Vegas. Hoping to see more of the same in 2014!

        December 31, 2013
  30. Linda #

    Always love your photos and comments

    January 1, 2014
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Linda. Taylor had a great year. Looking forward to new music and shows in 2014. Happy New Year and thanks for reading.

      January 1, 2014
  31. Kristen Campbell #

    Great stuff, Louise!!! This is awesome; thanks!!

    January 1, 2014
    • ontapblog #

      Thanks, Kristen. Glad you found us here. It was an awesome year. Happy 2014!

      January 1, 2014
  32. Evelyn #

    I am always anxious to read through & view all that you place here for us to enjoy. Never disappointed. Great read & fabulous pictures♥

    January 8, 2014
    • Thank you so much, Evelyn. The end of the year recap is always a fun project especially when we have so much that is enjoyable to relive. Thanks again!

      January 9, 2014

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