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Monday, February 27, 2006

Tay Hicks in the Spotlight

This first link takes you to where 'the betting folks' go... PRNewsWire
and for the local information:
Just a sample of things to come...it's just starting for Taylor. Glad to be sitting on the front row.

Groove on Soulman.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Birmingham News; Mary Colurso

Taylor Hicks has not even had his first competition performance and he is already garnering a big buzz. And nicknames. Take Mary Colurso's article dated today;

"Soul patrolman"

..."Struggling and scraping have been his lot since age 18, when Hicks performed one of his first professional concerts at the Flora-Bama Lounge & Package Store in Perdido Key. He was inexperienced and green, while already sporting the prematurely gray hair that has become his trademark.
But Hicks had a talent for the harmonica and a love of classic tunes by R&B greats such as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Etta James.
"Taylor always liked the blues," recalls his grandmother, Joni Hicks, 78, of Gulf Shores. "I can remember him at age 12, bursting in the room doing a Mick Jagger strut. He'd say, `Grandmother, you've got to hear this!' And then he'd play `Try a Little Tenderness' by Otis Redding. What other kid do you know who does that?"

What is it with Alabama musicians and their Grandmothers. Must be that Southern upbringing. Makes a kind and respectful man out of a boy.

Taylor Hicks explains in Ms. Colurso's article:
"..."I can't read music," he says. "I can feel it, though. I started playing and the notes made sense. That was it for me. I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could be good at this."

"Bo (Bice) broke it open for somebody like Taylor to be looked at as a possible `American Idol' winner," says Sam Gunderson, 32, the guitarist in Hicks' band. "He's not a cookie-cutter pop singer, but he has a dynamic they need to make the show interesting. He's a consummate professional. And he can pretty much sing anything."

Hicks says producers for the show, Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe, have encouraged him to be as flamboyant on camera as he might be in the grittiest Southern saloon. During his audition for the judges in Las Vegas, for example, Hicks says he first approached Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell in a subdued manner.
Warwick and Lythgoe, who had seen Hicks in earlier rounds, missed the Joe Cocker homage and Ray Charles movements they'd seen him perform before."

Hicks is the most interesting individual to date on American Idol. This is a man without any musical training, just a natural gift, a young man with already silvered hair that sings like an old bluesman. Interesting, intriguing. American Idol does it again, and hooks me in...

Taylor Hicks; American Idol 5 Debate

Can a gray-haired young man who sings like he is possessed by the Soul of Joe Cocker (or one of the Lost Blues Brothers) make it on a show in which appearance plays such a huge role?

According to Steve Tilley, in his article posted in "Jam! Televison" Taylor won't even get into the top ten.
"Singing cowboy Garet Johnson didn’t make the final cut, but grey-haired Taylor Hicks, easily the coolest dude of the season, sailed through. Too bad his ashen mane and Joe Cocker channeling will keep him from the top 10".

Published in "The Ledger.com", in an article by Johnny Diaz, ....'HIS SILVER LINING
For Men, Going Grey Has Become Sophisticated' and Gray is the new Black...

Some of these men and some hair stylists credit the look to a baby boomer attitude that one can gray gracefully, but there has also been an increase in the number of younger celebrities and newsmen who are letting their salt and pepper shine.Movie star Clooney, 44; Comedy Central quasi-news anchor Jon Stewart, 43; and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, 38, see the silver lining in their own hair. There was Taylor Hicks, 29, who stood out during this season's "American Idol" auditions more for his gray hair than his singing. And there was Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, 36, gracing a recent cover of Men's Journal magazine with his silver buzz cut and beard."

The fact that Taylor Hicks is 29 years old, but looks, by his gray locks closer to 50, may have an unexpected effect on the TV Idol watching faithful. Will we see a trend to not cover that gray, or even a push for hair color that looks gray becoming a new trend? Since last season's rocker Bo Bice, longer hair in men is seeing a resurgence. A big part of the Bo Bice fan-base consist of former 'hippy-chicks' from the '70's when guys with long hair were in vogue. Bice's mane and great rocker voice providing them memories of their youth.

I am intrigued by HIcks, but not for his thick mop of gray. I like his voice. His unique blues influence is interesting in that with today's young music afficianadoes you don't find an interest in the Muddy Waters, Blind Lemon Brown, and others such as you will find in this link. http://www.bluesworld.com/OTHERPRE.html

The fact that someone with Hicks' musical taste to decide to enter a pop-themed music contest like Idol is intriguing. Back in my day of studying the Blues and jazz music I encountered a huge bias from scholars of these musical styles against the type of tunes produced in pop and promoted in the "American Idol" format; a downright snobbery against the mainstream. Hicks has probably found a limited scope and potential in getting his voice and music heard. Music is a tough business. Hicks is also at the age where if you haven't "made it" by now, you just may never. AI 5 will quite possibly give him a venue to become a public entity to further his career. Do I think Hicks will take the AI5 title? I will not voice a prediction on that yet. Hicks is going to have to show he has the versitility and vocal chops to deliver a sound palatable to the AI public. "Unique" can carry you only so far in a talent show such as Idol. I am rooting for him, I like what I saw in the auditions; his coming into the 'deciding room' playing that mouth harp was genius.

There are already fan sites popping up and here are some links:
There will be more as the season gets underway.

Waiting for Wednesday to see what he has to offer on his initial appearance!

Friday, February 03, 2006

"Red and Black" publication, may be a good source to watch for future A. I. commentaries

American Idol not exactly reality TV
By MICHELLE FLOYDPublished , February 02, 2006, 06:00:01 AM EDT
"I don’t consider myself a reality TV fan.
I watch a few shows, but I can only handle so much “unscripted” programming..."
to read the entire article, click the link.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

American Idol 5 Las Vegas

Last night was a complete train-wreck. First up Jamaica-Man, then we had to look at the "pychic", more like psycho, Bobbie Mac and her poor little sister with the really bad dye red hair. Jacie Gray made an unfortunate return and thank you Simon for shutting him up before we had to hear his awful noises he calls singing again.

The only good aspiring contestants of the night were Taylor Hicks, and Mecca (Madison), what a cute little chick she is; and a belly dancer to boot.

I guess the fact that airfare to 'Vegas is probably cheaper than anyplace else, attracted the misfits, forlorns and gimmicks.

When are you contestants gonna learn that having a gimmick certainly targets you as a "no-talent"?!? Get a clue and stay home. All you'll get is maybe some airtime in the pre-idol show and complete humiliation for the remainder of your days as anyone who watches the show can relive your complete idiocy and humiliation.

Freak on.

Taylor Hicks; Another Alabama singer

Quoting from "Reality TV", "It’s bad enough that Taylor Hick’s gray hair makes him look like he’s twenty years too old for American Idol, but even the age listed during his audition was over the American Idol cut-off limit. The maximum age for a contestant to audition for American Idol is 28, but Taylor Hick’s age was listed as 29."

This is true he is grayer than I am without Ms. Clairol but I have had friends that were gray younger than he is now.

"Reality TV" goes on with, "If Kelly Pickler is destined to be compared to Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks might wind up being called this season’s Bo Bice. Besides being from the same state and in similar age ranges, both Taylor and Bo seem to have an appreciation for Jim Croce music. However, while Bo Bice leans toward Southern Rock, Taylor seems to lean more toward Soul music."

Well, in reality Taylor and Bo are only alike in that they call the same state home. That's about it so far. We'll see as the competition commenses what Hicks can really do. (Besides hang out with Hef at The Playboy Mansion.)

"The Birmingham Post Press" has this to say about Hicks,

"Taylor Hicks: Soulful bluesman who bought a $2 harmonica at age 16 and went on to share the stage with legends such as Percy Sledge. 2:40 p.m. Sunday, Homegrown Stage."