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June 16, 2016: Daryl’s House Club, Pawling, New York
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Next up: June 24th in Natick, MA; June 25th in Boothbay Harbor, ME; July 8 in Rutland, VT; July 9 in Old Saybrook, CT.