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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Taylor Hicks, Having a Whomping Good Time on Tour

Taylor Hicks performed in Mobile, Alabama last night to a crowd of about 1900 fans, one of whom was Grandmother Joni. In the review written by Lawrence Specker of al.com Taylor's dear Grandmother received some star treatment of her own. Mr. Specker covers that attendees cheered when she was seen making her way to her seat, fans sought her out to take photographs with her. She was a huge supporter of her grandson during his run on Idol, notably she shared information and background tidbits of Taylor's life prior to entering the show which added to her popularity.

Mr. Specker said this about Taylor, "...in the music, he let himself go. The staging was minimal and the sound quality was no better than average, but on sheer personal energy Hicks kept many of his 1,900-plus listeners on their feet throughout."

It has been a rare concert for me to witness the attendees standing throughout the performance so I can imagine the high energy level present at this show.

An insightful observation by Mr. Specker, "If his stage moves lack the fluid grace of a Mick Jagger or a David Bowie, they somehow seem to convey passion bursting out of an average Joe. And that in turn seems to connect with fans looking to bond with a kindred soul rather than an aloof superstar." This is what the idiom, 'hitting the nail on the head' refers to - and folks who have not become fans of Taylor Hicks, who scratch their heads over his appeal and marvel at this gray-haired young man taking the win on Idol have sorely missed the point. Taylor Hicks, the average Joe, the unlikely Idol was able to convey that passion into the living rooms of viewers every week last season for any and all receptive to this concept. Here was one of "us", his difference lay in his "specialness"; he possesses the depth, energy and courage to do what most of us could not.

The review from Taylor's Tampa, Florida show from The Tampa Tribune, written by Walt Belcher contained this highlight, "It’s great that Hicks won “Idol” because he is such an anti-Idol type. This 29-year-old good ol’ Alabama boy has a decent voice and his musical heart is in the right place."

Overall, reviews are coming in quite favorable for Taylor and his tour. The fact he is selling out venues the size of these is encouraging. I like the fact that the concert goers are able to pack their cameras and take pictures. So many artists today ban cameras, instead opting to market their own pictures, or leave the photography coverage just to the press.

On a personal level, I'm so pleased for the Soulman. His CD sales were not quite what they had been anticipated to be, although reports say it has 'gone' platinum. Mr Hicks had broken out of the sales starting gate with a bang but the numbers dropped immediately. I believe he was prepared for this because even before the CD dropped Taylor stressed he was not going to be about the numbers. I found myself disappointed in the amount of over production present throughout the CD. I hoped that evil Clive Davis could have been kept completely in check by Hicks, but in reality, not even Taylor could slay that dragon. I will stress that there are some very good tracks on the CD, reflecting Taylor's "Heart and Soul" and making it a very worthwhile addition to my CD collection.

Groove on Soulman.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Taylor Hicks Idol Blues hits the Big 100,000

Not bad for a little outkast blog about Taylor Hicks.

Man, I'm happy and Proud we've lasted this long.

Groove on Soulman. (check that to groove on Sunny * giving myself kudos*)

Having a little celebratory high times tonight, so... will only say "Hearts to all and to all a Good Night". SMOOOCH.

have the Motrin ready for the 'morn. adios.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"You're Gonna Love Me"

Idol Blues loves Lakisha.

Lakisha set the bar, and it is a high one to scale this year. This woman has more talent in her pinky toe than most of the rest on this show this season. Say what you will about looks and appearances, this gal has the big heart and soul necessary to take the win. To say she moved me is an understatement. Her comments, "I just want to get paid for what I love to do" resonated with me, loud and clearly. Outstanding performance.

Fave guys right now, going by first night, not much to select from, dull, boring and no cigar for the most part, but I'm seeing something in little Sanjaya Malakar. Can he rise to the occasion? Is he old enough to even have an inkling how? Not sure about that but the boy has a nice voice. Chris Sligh, liking his humor but vocals, just Okay for me right now. Other than them the rest sit "meh" with me right now. Sundance, he's taken under the dark angel's wings at Vote for the Worst so he's not gonna go anytime soon.

So much to talk about, so little time. All I have time for right now, but I will indeed be giving my take on this entire week within the next few days.

Back to Lakisha, yeah girl, 'We're gonna love you.'

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Idol Blues Sheds some Love Light over this years Grammy's

The recently reformed band, The Police may have opened the show, but this trio reminded in solid style what the Grammys' are suppose to be about - MUSIC. This is the trio that made the night:
(No, I'm not talking about The Dixie Chicks.)

Beautiful Corinne Bailey Rae, suave and blessedly talented John Legend and my favorite genius boy-wonder and man of music, John Mayer.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Is Taylor Hicks Real, Is it Just an Act?

I'm asking this question after reading this interview from Yahoo! Music. Yahoo! Music interviewed Taylor Hicks in an piece, "Gray Matters". Most likely the majority of Taylor Hicks fans have already read and seen this article, but I've been away from the computer a few days and so have been playing catch-up.

This is one of my favorite sections:

YAHOO! MUSIC: There are a lot of crazy people auditioning this year. Did you meet anyone like that when you auditioned?

TAYLOR: I saw them, but didn't meet them. But you know, I was just as much of an outcast as they were. I looked like somebody's dad waiting for their kid in line! So I kind of empathize with outcasts, because at that time last year, I was one too. I was the weird, shy, gray-headed guy.


TAYLOR: Yeah. I still am.

YAHOO! MUSIC: You didn't seem too shy on the show!

TAYLOR: In non-working environments, I am. It's always been like that for me: night and day. I kind of like it like that; I feel like that's real. I've always studied characters, artists who have that kind of persona, and I've kind of learned from that. You take everything in and store it, then you release it.

YAHOO! MUSIC: So you're a character onstage?

TAYLOR: I wouldn't say it's a character, but I'm just an entertainer, whatever that incorporates. It's really natural. It's what I've been working on all my life and I don't know any other way. I get onstage and it comes easy. I let it happen.

I guess that assessment of Taylor about himself hit home with me. I can relate to that, I don't go by my real name on-line, as is common, but I also write on-line with a 'pen' name (when my real life allows). It is similar to developing a "character". What I think Taylor is trying to say, that although in person off-stage he may not be this wild and woolly in your face, "Wooo!" guy, that part of him is still there, inside, he just opens the door to that persona on-stage. Everything in its place. I get that. He's not making up who and what you see on stage, it is a real piece of himself, he just knows when to cage that tiger.

So, do I think Taylor's 'real'? The answer is unequivocally yes.

Regarding Taylor's upcoming tour:
YAHOO! MUSIC: So you mentioned your tour bus. What are your touring plans?

TAYLOR: My tour starts February 21 in Jacksonville, Florida, and goes for about four months. I'm gonna bring back all that old stuff on this tour, some obscure music that hasn't been heard in 20 years--stuff from the late '70s, early '80s.

YAHOO! MUSIC: How will you choose the songs you perform?

TAYLOR: When I look at my music, I take myself out of my being and I look at it like, "You love music, you're a music connoisseur...would you like this music?" So I have this third-person approach to my music. It's one more side to my perfectionism when it comes to that. But yeah, I'm excited about this tour. I've been playing two-and-a-half-minute TV spots for three months now, and I'm a lot more loose and open and musical and instrumental onstage than I can be in the amount of time that I've been allotted in the last few months. So I'm ready to let loose!

YAHOO! MUSIC: Are you still on a mission to introduce good music to the masses?

TAYLOR: Yeah, yeah. I'm still in teaching mode, I guess you could say. I loved to do that on Idol, and I'm not going to stop now!

It sounds like Taylor Hicks is not going to be a slave to the new CD. You know you're going to hear some of the tracks, of course the man wants you to buy the CD. I'm not saying the CD is not good, there are many tracks I enjoy, what I am saying is that attending Mr. Hicks' concerts will provide a window of insight into what more Mr. Hicks has to offer for his fans and in future CD's. I like this commentary portion from Mr. Hicks, his openness to continuing being true to his musical roots. It's in the older tunes and styling in which he shines.

What would be absolutely great to know is whether Taylor Hicks has plans in place to record any parts of the live performances. Many artists do just that for their fans and release tunes and videos to their websites from their tour. Taylor Hicks' Official Blog, Gray Charles, would be the perfect venue to showcase any concert tunes and footage. Not only would it increase exposure for Taylor exponentially through internet viewings, interest in his concerts could increase for those not introduced yet to Taylor live. That not withstanding, many fans of his have only seen him on American Idol, seeing the real Taylor in action from his concerts would most likely only intensify their desire to see him live.

Groove on Soulman.

The Ashlynn Carr: American Idol 6 Felony Eviction?

Just as I was asking myself what might have happened to keep Ashlynn Carr off of the American Idol 6 top 24 list, Reality TV Magazine comes up with the dirt, or in this case the sugar. Seems Ashlynn had a complete lack of judgement moment when in a fit of anger, poured sugar into her boyfriend's car's gas tank. Alledgedly. Well if it all works out true, this will 'tank' her Idol aspirations.

Too bad because I really liked her. I could not believe Pauler and Randy's decision to cut her because they percieved she had strange expressions when she sang. (What?) I can think of many performers, including Taylor Hicks who can make some strange expressions and let say, gestures, as he performs. (Love you guy, but you know what I'm talking about!) Her voice reminded me of Anita Baker, nice tone, full; granted she needs some work, but loads of potential. Simon was correct in his assessment of Ashlynn.

Ah, I have a temper myself, and sometime blurt/type out things that may be not in my best interests, but I'd never sugar anyone's gas tank. She's only 18 afterall, but old enought to get hit with a felony.

Too bad.

Idol Blues serves up the American Idol Season 6 Top 24

Don't go any further unless you want to remain in suspense. Enterprising individuals over at idolforums have 'dished the dirt' and here are the Top 24 as listed on the site:
1. A.J. Tabaldo
2. Blake Lewis
3. Brandon Rogers
4. Chris Sligh
5. Christopher "Chris" Richardson
6. Jared "J.L." Cotter
7. Jason "Sundance" Head
8. Nicholas "Nick" Pedro
9. Paul Kim
10. Rudolpho "Rudy" Cardenas
11. Sanjaya Malakar
12. Philip "Phil" Joel Stacey (I thought I heard something about him getting evicted?)

1. Alaina Alexander
2. Amy
3. Antonella Barba
4. Gina Glocksen
5. Hailey/Haley
6. Jordin Sparks
7. Lakeesha Young
8. Leslie Hunt
9. Melinda Doolittle
10 Nicole
11. Sabrina Scherff/Sloan
12. Stephanie Edwards
I thought for sure with the way Slimon was drooling over Bailey Brown she'd be a shoo-in, but somehow I doubt we've seen the last of her.
There ya go. Whether these will prove to be completely accurate, keeps me watching. Still not in ga-ga love with anyone yet.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Idol Blues: AI 6 Spoiler List

From reliable sources - although they are not infallible, here are the contestants that I've been 'told' so far to carry on into the final 24 rounds.

Blake Lewis
Sanjaya Malakar (sweet seventeen singer)
Phil Stacy
Chris Richardson (no relation)
Chris Sligh (the Fro-Patro/American Slighdol)
Sundance Head (big man, strong singer)
Brandon Rogers (I like this guy)
Jared Cotter (attractive potential)
Nicholas Pedro
Rudy Cardenas (one of the few from Seattle to make it)

Lakeesa Young
Gina Glocksen
Antonella Barba
Melinda Doolittle (I really like her)
Jordin Sparks
Alaina Alexander
Leslie Hunt

I had hoped to see Sean Michel go a little further, but really doubted he would. Basically Sean got out of the Idol appearance what he was seeking and probably did not want anything more. I mean, really could you picture Mr. Michel in Elvis week? Point made... ;)

Still more to shuffle through, but as of now I don't have any favorites, yet. Another Taylor Hicks or Bo Bice has not crossed the Idol threshold for me this season; again I'll add, "yet".

Hell, this is the year I might root for one of the ladies. I haven't had a favorite gal I wanted to push since season one. (Not withstanding the fact that Carrie Underwood was/is truly very good, but Bo Bice in season 4, my heart's favorite.)

Talking Idol on Idol Blues.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues It's Not Soul Patrol

It's the border patrol. Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues site, is supporting wrongfully imprisoned Border Patrollers.

Taylor Hicks: Idol Blues is seeking assistance in gaining the freedom of these men held by now being found faulty evidence and wrongful accusations. These men have families, these men were officers with a mission to guard the Texas border, and have now been rewarded with prison for their dedication.

America's Most Wanted is scheduled to air a story on the wrongly imprisoned Texas Border Patrolmen this Saturday, February 3. Steve Elliot, President of grassfires.org contacted me with this information today. More information on this site which connects to my grassfires.org sponsor page.

Today's message from Steve Elliot:


Grassfire has just learned that Fox TV's "America's Most Wanted"
will run a story featuring Agents Ramos and Compean, this
Saturday, February 2.

According to the National Border Patrol Council, the
Department of Justice has twice asked that the show
not be aired!

Jewel, Grassfire is urging ALL members of our immigration
and border agents team to check your local listings, and
make a point to watch Fox television's America's Most Wanted
this Saturday, February 2.

Contact your friends and family and urge them to watch as well.

Thanks for standing with Grassfire!

Steve Elliott
Grassfire.org Alliance
Thank you.