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Friday, March 06, 2009

Taylor Hicks Interview Circus: Born in the USA

I was going to talk "The Distance" as a listening experience today but I'm waiting until I have the CD and all the data in front of me and the music - as is on the disc. Instead I'm hitting on some interview points that have surfaced in the Taylor Hicks google alerts.

Taylor Hicks is in the interview circuit circus, out promoting "The Distance" coming out March 10th. Mary Colurso, a writer whom I enjoy with The Birmingham News, gets Hicks to sit a spell and talk about this CD. She stages a song by song discussion with Mr. Hicks providing his views on the songs on the CD. Gosh, I don't think even U2 did an interview like this for their new album.

Kicking off this interview, Taylor Hicks, talking to Mary about "The Distance" calls it his version of 'Born in the U.S.A.' He said, "I think the message is clear; the distance between us and the world is closer than we think."

I had to mull that over a moment. The world, us. Closer than we think. It appears to be a consciousness reaching statement talking about what, our country? We as humans running around on the Big Blue? I know when I walk outdoors my feet are hitting that pavement. What grabbed me was his comparison of himself in a round about way with an artist like Bruce Springsteen. That gave me pause.

In expressing his first single, "What's Right Is Right", Hicks likens it to a lesson. He's here to provide a little education for we masses dubbing this song, "Soul Song 101". I guess in all of us there's a little bit of the teacher. Hicks carries on with adding, "the saxophone subtone in the solo is kind of like a little music lesson".

I had been wondering why that sax was saved for the last on this track. So we could get edumacated about the sax. Light bulb on now.

Taylor tells Mary, "You can really hear the instrument breathe. In the video for the song, I wanted to get across my idea of what true love is, when you know it's real. What happens to one person happens with another."

Thing is I watched that video a dozen times and I still don't see how he's communicating the message of "this is true love". Nope, not buying what you be selling Taylor Hicks in that statement.

Taylor calls "New Found Freedom" his gospel number. He stresses his gospel past; I was unaware that he was a strong church goer. Managed to squeeze that time in I guess between all those gin joints and such. What makes this a gospel song though, you might ask? It's all in the choir. He and his cohorts on this album found a gospel choir and worked it out. Yes, it's all about the choir. That makes it gospel.

Hicks says he likes "Nineteen" because "it's American and honest". I agree certainly nothing French in those lyrics. It's a story of a war hero. Seems like so many artists are singing about the soldiers, hey Bruce Springsteen has and since this album is Hick's "Born in the USA" it fits. He says this is a relevant issue and since it's being sung about by many, I agree. Though, Obama promises us this War is gonna end. It's a nice song, country flair to it and he may find it commercially appealing to the Country music crowd.

"Once Upon a Lover" features Father/Son combination Abe Laboriel Jr./Sr. Being legendary Latin musicians Hicks feels this gives the song authenticity. Certainly the music sounds very Latin but I'm not sure it is a great fit for Mr. Hicks and his gringo pronunciations.

One of the more bluesy tracks on this CD, "Seven Mile Breakdown". Doyle Bramhall II plays slide in it; it is one of the best tracks on the CD. Hicks talks about thinking of the song along the lines of "Traveling to the west side of Mississippi in a conversion van with no air-conditioning in the middle of summer." Been there, done that and no, it ain't great.

I was tickled by Taylor's comments on "Maybe You Should". Certainly this guy has no lacking when it comes to confidence or self-esteem by the sound of this, "I wrote that with Mike Reid, who's famous for 'I Can't Make You Love Me' with Bonnie Raitt. It's one of those songs where we got chill bumps. It could end up being a career song for me." Keeping it confident, Mr. Hicks

Which leads me to this next track, "Keepin' it Real". Taylor Hicks in keeping it really real says, "That's my tongue-in-cheek reference to pop culture. I got my ideas for it when I went to a local magazine stand." Magazine stands and Billy Ray Cyrus - it's okay to throw rocks, folks. Sticks and stones.

Now this title is funny. Seriously, if anyone's been in this fan world of Hicks for long you have to find humor in the title, "I Live on a Battlefield". He thinks it necessary to explain this is a blues song. With a name like that, I guess so.

Again, demonstrating a complete overwhelming confidence in himself, Taylor Hicks tells Mary, "Wedding Day Blues" might make a movie someday. He may have the cast already picked out but he's not sharing that right now.

Last track on the main CD is "Woman's Gotta Have It", features his buddy, Elliott Yamin. Hicks is quick to own the fact that he considers both Elliott and he have great natural, soulful sounds to their voices. He gives Yamin props, saying, "There's no better pure vibrato sound than Elliott Yamin's way."

A fellow blogger and struggling writer, Cindy Wright, was able to interview Taylor Hicks again. She's promised to have that up as soon as it goes 'live' - that's website lingo for published on Associated Content. AC has scored Ms. Wright numerous interviews and even a first listen to the CD. For now on her blog, taylorspoeticheart, she gives a heads up on what's to come. So far Mr. Hicks has provided her with a rather vague, 'maybe' interview moment, but perhaps this just the segue into the real deal.

One thing certain from what I've read so far, Taylor Hicks is very confident of this new CD and its potential as another vehicle to have his voice heard.


  1. Very nice! I chuckled out loud here and there. Mary Colurso always does a great job, but I thought this was a stand-out interview with him. He actually answered some questions.

    He had some major help on this CD, some very talented people. I'm impressed with that. But... well let's just say, yes- he's very confident.

  2. Yes, Mary does a great job. Like that she doesn't focus on issues like his buttons on his jackets. lol

  3. Taylor's answer to that question about whether or not the different colored button meant something was "maybe." I'll betcha it has absolutely no meaning, but he saw an opportunity to create more mystery. Frankly, all of his secrets are becoming tiresome.

  4. Yes, Caryl that's one of the things turning me off the guy. All that need for mystery is overkill.

    I see the BS and I don't like it. Likely when she brought up the buttons he was thinking "WTF? They're looking even at my fucking buttons?"


  5. jerseyirish7:25 PM

    Sunny, Didn't get the button question either. Taylor has always surrounded himself in some mystery, I think that is what keeps folks hanging in there. just part of who he is. Thought it was a nice interview and hearing his perspective on his song choices for the CD.


  6. JI there's a whole new post on a site that has decided to hate me. Check out the Spinshack wordpress site and click on 15 Minutes of Freak's link. Caryl and Grey are included inthe hate-speak. It's so funny.

    Thanks for posting and being one my sane on-line friends.

  7. jerseyirish8:19 PM

    Sunny, I have always enjoyed your writings and conversing with you. Like with everything else on line I take alot with a grain of salt. You have always treated me with respect, we may not always agree but the respect is always there and that is important to me. I dont't join in with what I don't agree with. Never liked the bashing. I'll take a look at your spinshack site.


  8. Ouch. I've never come up anywhere before in anyone's conversation. Not sure I want to read it.

  9. Sunny, will it make me cry? I don't have very thick skin.

  10. Yes it might make you cry Caryl. Apparently you are one of the Bad Guys. haha!

  11. Well, I knew I shouldn't have read it. It really hurt my feelings. I'm so out of here.

  12. I'm not Caryl, I will kick some ass and take names. Read 15 Minutes site. She's in utter adoration of me. I seriously think she/he/it is in love with me. If she wants my autograph though, I will charge her a dollar.

  13. jerseyirish8:17 AM

    Caryl, I left a note on your regular blog. I am sorry that someones words have hurt you. I really enjoy your writings never felt you were looking for attention, just sharing your thoughts like Sunny does. Hopefully you can get beyond this, no one should feel pushed away by someone you don't know and knows nothing about you and why you write.
    Hang in there!!!

    Sunny, Only a dollar for your autograph, geez thought at least five.


  14. I'm in a generous mood JI. It is certainly getting a bargain. That person spends an inordinate amount of time following me around, quoting me.

  15. I realize I'm just giving her what she wants, but I'm very fragile right now. I'm not strong enough to fight, so I'm walking away.

  16. Caryl, you only got called an attention whore. I'm crazy, a drunk and just plain disgraceful. hahaha. It's sad that even now in this day and age when a man like say Taylor is pissy or moody that's a good thing, lends to the mystique. When a woman expresses herself as pissy or moody or angry, she's either crazy or drunk and definitely a bitch.

    We can elect a Black man as President but women must remain soft-spoken and graceful at all times.

    I'm not perfect won't pretend to be. Sometimes I have a big mouth and shoot it off. Sometimes I'm cranky and bitchy. Thing is this site is the one that the web owner takes up a lot of her time finding other folks to insult, to bash and to ridicule but she's not bitchy? She's not drunk and she's not crazy? She runs around 'fighting the war against Chrolls for godsake. WTF? Man she's (and her BFF, 15) are the last folks I'd take their comments to heart or take what they say as any sort of logical truth. Too if my site's so fucking boring why do they read me every single day? It's a conundrum wrapped in a riddle and tossed into the wastebasket.

    Why would you care what they say to the point of leaving the fan world fun. Oh BTW, on the Unofficial Soul Patrol Jeanni and CBB are calling names again. Seems Grey and all who post there regularly are Bozos. Seriously I don't understand why you care what these loons think.

  17. I know you've taken a lot of crap through the years. I've seen it and I don't know how you let it roll off. I think that's a great thing.

    I've spent my whole life quietly doing my own thing, always treating people kindly and getting the same treatment in return. I have said a negative thing or two about Taylor but I was never mean. And YOU know that I haven't publicly said half the things I think.

    Allowing somebody to have that much control over me just makes me look weak, I realize. But it's more than her exagerrated remark about me that's making me want to disappear.

    I have to go. I mean, for now. We have plans for the evening with people who love me.