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Posts from the ‘General’ Category

Taylor Hicks: Daryl’s & The Flying Monkey

©2016 Ontapblog All Rights Reserved

June 16, 2016: Daryl’s House Club, Pawling, New York 

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Opening his New England tour last week with stops at Daryl’s House Club in New York and The Flying Monkey Performance Center in New Hampshire, Taylor Hicks, along with Brian Less and special guests Jamie McLean and Joshua Logan, performed two memorable acoustic sets to large, enthusiastic audiences.

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Brian Less

Jamie McLean got the music started with his solo performance, infusing his new music with his well known originals before joining Taylor’s headlining set.  His guitar virtuosity added depth to the headlining set especially on his ‘In The Ghetto’ solo.

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Jamie McLean

What made this show different?  Taylor mixes new songs and covers with his familiar set list but it is his talking and reflecting in between songs on his life since winning Idol that enriches the experience. His story telling centers on the songwriting he has done with some of the best, most prolific and happy songwriters in the industry.

Taylor’s new travel and food show ‘State Plate’ on INSP TV has started filming around the country and with it comes a new and different litany of stories from the road. If you have ideas for an interesting food experience, Taylor said he wants to hear it. You never know. You might be part of the Story Teller Tour.

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Taylor Hicks

June 17, 2016: The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center, Plymouth, NH

The Flying Monkey is a little jewel of a theatre in historic Plymouth, New Hampshire. Taylor invited season 5 finalist Josh Logan to open. Josh’s voice is strong and his guitar playing unique. He played original music and covered soul artists, including Justin Timberlake. He said he was so glad to see Taylor, a brother in soul music, win Idol. Being a local favorite encouraged the audience and his performance made him new fans.

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Josh Logan

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Brian Less and Taylor Hicks

The set list came with twists and familiar turns. Songs were added on the fly. Bob Seger’s ‘Main Street’, done acoustically, was a spur of the moment addition. The music ebbed and flowed over the hour and a half Taylor and Brian were on stage with love ballads sung tenderly and road songs sung with vigor.

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The ‘take ’em to church moment’ came at the encore. With Taylor singing and Brian on keyboard, the audience joined en masse to sing the chorus to Bill Withers’ ‘Lean on Me’. The duo disappeared backstage as the audience walked from their seats humming, ‘we all need somebody to lean on’ all the way to the lobby. Catch a show on the tour that extends through December. By then, the new stories will be interwoven into the music and hopefully someone, somewhere, is writing a song about the road travelled.

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Next up: June 24th in Natick, MA; June 25th in Boothbay Harbor, ME; July 8 in Rutland, VT; July 9 in Old Saybrook, CT.

Taylor Hicks: Story Teller Tour Pt.2

Photos and audio recordings by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog

©2016 OnTapBlog All Rights Reserved

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Please enjoy a look back at Taylor Hicks’ and Brian Less’ four night acoustic tour of the East that began on April 21st in Connecticut and ended April 24th in Pennsylvania.

From the Fairfield Theatre where Jamie McLean opened and then joined Taylor on guitar for the headlining show, to the vintage, renovated Queen Theatre at World Cafe Live in Wilmington, Delaware, to the sold out Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland and then finally to the New Hope City Winery in Pennsylvania, Taylor and Brian managed to make more music from their two man band than many could with a full band.

Following are a few photo and audio highlights of Taylor’s acoustic Eastern tour.

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Audio: What’s Right Is Right/Tupelo Honey-Avalon Theatre, 4/23/16

Smooth, cool vocals, a little harp and Van’s Tupelo Honey tag.

Audio: Six Strings Are Hard On Diamond Rings-Avalon Theatre, 4/23/16

The best ballad for Taylor to date. Perfect anthem for a traveling soul man.

Taylor Hicks: Story Teller Tour

Audio and photos by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog

©2016 OnTapBlog All Rights Reserved

 

And he shall be Levon
And he shall be a good man
And he shall be Levon…

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Taylor Hicks returned to the Northeast last Thursday for four acoustic concerts in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania.  In each intimate venue, the two man band wrapped their stories into the music making the stage feel more like a living room than a concert hall.

The music and the story telling was all on Taylor and his keyboardist and musical director, Brian Less. The stories from before and after Taylor’s win on American Idol were humorously interlaced with tales from his life as an entertainer, writer and actor since his Idol win.

Taylor was first introduced to the TV viewing public singing Elton John’s ‘Levon’. Ten years later, Taylor still entertains through his songs saying “the vault is filled with music”. Letting the stories and music out one performance at a time guarantees that his story is to be continued…

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Please enjoy a recorded version of ‘Levon’ from Taylor’s April 22nd performance at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware.

 

OnTap Photo Focus: Flashback Friday:: Taylor Hicks at The Genesee Theatre

Photography: ©Louise Uznanski

©2015 Ontapblog All Rights Reserved

Please enjoy these photos of Taylor Hicks’ opening stint for BoDeans at the Genesee Theatre on December 28th and join with us in looking forward to all that is new for Taylor and his fans in 2015.

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BoDeans and Taylor Hicks Prove Fan Favorites at Genesee Theatre: Part 2

Review and Photography by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog

©2015 OnTapBlog All Rights Reserved

BoDeans entered the Genesee Theatre stage on Sunday warmly greeted by an enthusiastic audience already on their feet before the first note was played. Their headlining set on a double bill that included a well-received opening set by American Idol, Taylor Hicks, would be one of the rock band’s last stops on their current tour.

 

The typed setlist for the night’s performance was found lying by the Genesee Theatre’s soundboard operator as he awaited the start of the show. The list was drawn primarily from the band’s eleven previously released albums (BoDeans Discography) and consisted of songs that have become classic rock anthems for BoDeans’ fans since their emergence onto the music scene in the early 80’s.

Before the opening number, Kurt Neumann, the lead singer and one of the band’s founders, told the audience how thankful the band is for their fans continued loyalty to their music after over thirty years of touring. He added that their story began like so many other American rock bands had, when, as kids, they started creating their sound in the basements and garages of rural Wisconsin. Now, over thirty years later, the band and their fans are still together and still rocking.

BoDeans song lyrics are filled with the dreams and hopes culled from the American experience. Performing songs with titles such as ‘Dreams’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Texas Road Song’, ‘All the World’, ‘Angels’, ‘American’, ‘Good Work’, and their most well known, ‘Good Things’ and ‘Closer To Free’, the BoDeans have maintained a foothold in classic American roots rock music long after their 1983 critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams‘ was released. During Sunday’s performance, the band offered these themes in a continuous stream, switching from one classic to another, seemingly without taking a breath. ‘I Can’t Stop/Slave’, a song from their upcoming album ‘I Can’t Stop‘, served as a preview of what’s new for BoDeans ahead of the album’s April, 2015 release.

Kurt Neumann, lead vocalist and electric guitarist, co-founded BoDeans with Sam Llanas. Llanas left the band right after the release of ‘Indigo Dreams‘ in 2011, leaving Kurt with a difficult choice to make. Deciding not to disband, Neumann regrouped and pledged to write new, energetic rock/pop music for the band’s ‘rebirth’. 2012’s ‘American Made‘ is an homage to Neumann’s passion and determination to continue on as a band. Their musical performances after the release of ‘American Made‘ are classic BoDeans with some twists back to roots rock and a forward-thinking infusion of pop.

Joining Neumann on the Genesee stage were long-time friends Sam Hawksley on guitar and back-up vocals, Kenny Aronoff on drums, Zak Sparks on bass, Dave Duffy on violin and Stefano Intalesano on keys and accordion. The defining aspect of a BoDeans performance is the skilled musicianship. The transitions from band play to solos and back again are seamless. And, despite changing band members and musical directions over the years, the band has made it their trademark to always be on the same page when it comes to the music.

For their commitment to keeping their sound alive in each performance, BoDeans is rewarded by a loyal audience who becomes a sea of back-up singers, singing the words to the band with vigor and conviction. As if transported back to the time when the audience had dreams of starting a great American band in their parent’s garage, Sunday night with BoDeans at the Genesee Theatre made that dream feel real, if only for the few minutes they were on their feet singing the words to ‘Closer to Free’.

The following photo gallery contains some of the images captured at BoDeans December 28th performance at the Genesee Theatre.

Lead vocalist Kurt Neumann

Lead vocalist Kurt Neumann

BoDeans, Genesee Theatre

BoDeans, Genesee Theatre

Keyboardist Stefano Intalesano, Drummer Kenny Aronoff, Guitarist Sam Hawksley

Keyboardist Stefano Intalesano, Drummer Kenny Aronoff, Guitarist Sam Hawksley

Guitarist Sam Hawksley

Guitarist Sam Hawksley

Lead vocalist Kurt Neumann

Lead vocalist Kurt Neumann

Violinist Dave Duffy, Guitarist Kurt Neumann

Violinist Dave Duffy, Guitarist Kurt Neumann

Bass Guitarist Zak Sparks

Bass Guitarist Zak Sparks

Violinist Dave Duffy

Violinist Dave Duffy

L: Kurt Neumann, Zak Sparks, Dave Duffy

L: Kurt Neumann, Zak Sparks, Dave Duffy

Kurt Neumann, Dave Duffy

Kurt Neumann, Dave Duffy

Genesee Theatre Marquee

Genesee Theatre Marquee

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BoDeans Setlist

BoDeans Setlist

BoDeans featuring accordionist Stefano Intalesano

BoDeans featuring accordionist Stefano Intalesano

BoDeans Official Website

Link to Part 1 featuring Taylor Hicks opening set.

BoDeans and Taylor Hicks Prove Fan Favorites at Genesee Theatre: Part 1

Review contributed by Louise Uznanski and Holley Dey. Photography by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog.

©2014 OnTapBlog All Rights Reserved

Seemed an odd pairing when the show was announced, but on Sunday night at Genesee Theatre the performance bill suddenly made good sense and more importantly, made for good music.

American Idol winner Taylor Hicks opened the show. Perhaps best known for debut single “Do I Make You Proud,” Taylor’s post Idol career has also included lengthy and successful Broadway and Las Vegas runs. Now several years away from his 2006 reality show triumph, Hicks continues to work steadily with an album of new “country soul” music anticipated in 2015.

Legendary rock band the BoDeans headlined the Sunday evening show in Waukegan. The “Closer to Free” hitmakers continue to tour the country nearly thirty years after their smash debut, playing to devoted audiences who know and readily sing back the words. From roots to alternative to mainstream rock and back again, the BoDeans and their music have conquered the test of time. The band’s appropriately named twelfth album, I Can’t Stop, is targeted for a spring 2015 release.

Both Hicks and the Bodeans claim a foundation in American roots music and a sound that represents the fusion of rock, country, soul and blues influences. While the relative contribution of those influences differ between the artists, both careers reflect a dedication to craft that has found the ultimate reward – staying power.

On Sunday the audience stayed as well, and appeared to thoroughly enjoy both music sets. Hicks offered a mix of tunes and a mix of genres from his own catalog and his American Idol run, as well as a few select covers. The audience responded most strongly to a performance of “Nineteen”, the story of a young football player and fallen soldier that Hicks earnestly dedicated to first responders, police and firemen. An emotional, soul-filled rendition of the song prompted an equally heartfelt standing ovation.

Some may have remembered Taylor’s televised performance of Elvis Presley’s “In the Ghetto”. Sunday night the audience was treated to the Simon Cowell backstory that led to the song’s selection, and to a jazzier, updated version of the song. Other standouts from the set included a clap-along performance of Timmy Thomas’ “Why Can’t We Live Together”, the mid tempo opener “Country Living”, and roadhouse rocker “Seven Mile Breakdown” that featured a silky smooth solo from in-demand Nashville guitarist Guthrie Trapp.

He sang with soul and played his trademark harmonica, but Hicks also showed his skill at the organ, on guitar and tambourine, surprising many. At intermission the audience poured into the lobby where “so unexpected”, “such a good voice” and “he can play that harp” were among the comments overheard. The Idol winner and band proved a fine complement to the strong musicianship of the Bodeans.

A gallery of photos from the opening set is found below. Review and photographs of the Bodeans’ headlining performance in Waukegan, Illinois will follow shortly.

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Photo by Louise Uznanski

Photo by Louise Uznanski

Guitarist Guthrie Trapp

Guitarist Guthrie Trapp

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Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks Photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks Photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

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Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks and Band photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks and Band photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Guthrie Trapp and Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Guthrie Trapp and Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Taylor Hicks photo by Louise Uznanski

Photo by Louise Uznanski

Photo by Louise Uznanski

Coming up next! Part 2, The BoDeans! 

Link to Part 2 featuring headliner BoDeans.

Photo Focus: Anders Osborne:: ‘Peace’ and New Glasses

By Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog

©2014 OnTapBlog All Rights Reserved

Anders Osborne at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA.

Anders Osborne at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA.

At the start of his solo acoustic set at World Cafe Live, New Orleans blues singer/songwriter Anders Osborne announced he would run through the entire new album Peace, and then go from there.  Also announced was his return to touring after a three week hiatus.  AND, he bought new glasses.  They’re really sharp and go well with Anders’ newly cropped hair.  He didn’t mention the haircut.  I’m sure it was an oversight. Read more

Photo Focus:: Grand Ole Opry’s New Music Genre: ‘Discograss’

Photos by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog.

What do you get when you mix the Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs with the Disco-era Jive Talkin‘ and Stayin’ Alive of songwriting legend Barry Gibb of the BeeGees? Ricky Skaggs coined the phrase Discograss after ending the Tuesday night at the Opry show by performing two songs with Barry Gibb. He mentioned it only briefly when taking their bows but then decided he really liked it and so it stuck. A new country/disco genre was born: Discograss. Read more

Westside Cultural Arts Center Opening Sizzles with Sandra Hall and Taylor Hicks

Opening night review and photographs by Jennifer Jacobs
Full building mural photography courtesy of HENSE

The Westside Cultural Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia held its Grand Opening ceremony Thursday night, September 19th, 2013.  The brainchild of local arts supporter Dr. James Chappuis, the new facility is located in a converted 12,000 sq ft warehouse in Atlanta’s revitalized Westside.  The aim of the facility is to provide an arts and performance space for the Westside community and Atlanta at large.  The completed two year development and renovation finds the interior of the facility remodeled into a first class meeting space with a full service catering kitchen, two bars, and performance stage with state of the art sound system.  The centerpiece is a gallery space, curated by renowned Atlanta art dealer Fay Gold, who featured at the opening “Art in the Streets”, a collection of photographs that celebrates graffiti art around the world.  Co-Founder Anthony Liggins will be the artist in residence. Read more

Photo Focus:: Martin Sexton at Infinity: Friends, Family and Beautiful Angels

By Louise Uznanski for Ontapblog

Martin Sexton at Infinity Hall

Martin Sexton at Infinity Hall

Martin Sexton returns to the stage for an encore and lifts the mic over the front edge of the stage almost in the lap of the patron sitting in the front row. He squats down and lowers himself onto the stage’s edge with his guitar in hand. He is five feet from our seats in the second row center. This is where we can truly see his clear blue eyes and the intenseness of his handsome face. Read more