There are the blues, then there are the NORMAN TAYLOR blues. This Willingboro,
NJ resident brought his brand of blues and roots music into the ROCK ON
RADIO studios for an extremely informative interview.
Growing up in Philadelphia, PA, his early influences ranged from the
'70's "Sound of Philadelphia" to "Delta Blues" legend Robert Johnson. Mix
in some soul and some jazz overtones and you have the NORMAN TAYLOR blues
TAYLOR is not just a player of the blues, however. He is also somewhat
of a student of the genre's past. On the air he shared with us his knowledge
of pre/post-World War II style blues, and the distinct differences between
them. NORMAN TAYLOR appreciates the almost "angry" pre-World War II styles
of blues legends like Robert Johnson and Lead Belly as well as the smoother
post-war renderings of B.B. King and KoKo Taylor. He noted that current
events and attitudes helped to shape much of what blues music is about,
both then and now.
TAYLOR began playing guitar when he was seventeen. At first he was a
funk style rhythm guitarist for several local rock bands. Finding this enjoyable,
but not totally fulfilling, he began playing a jazz-style guitar and incorporating
this with funk. However, his blues influences eventually began to dominate
his guitar playing and songwriting. Telling us how he was exposed to the
blues by his father, who was an avid fan of the blues, he confessed to us
that he didn't begin to play the blues in earnest until 1999.
In the past, TAYLOR has kept company with some major players both in
the blues arena and out. Sharing the stage with such luminaries as Phil
Roy, Guy Davis, Chris Smithers and Marcia Ball, he's also opened for the
likes of Robert Hazard.
The beauty of NORMAN TAYLOR's music is that he brings it to you in various
venues. One night you can find him in a local coffee house. The next, playing
a large stage at one of the many blues festivals that he regularly performs
at. Admitting that the festival circuit is his preference because of the
energy level at these events, he doesn't dismiss local coffee houses and
open mics. "The coffee houses bring an intimacy and connection that you
don't get from the larger stages."
TAYLOR has a self-titled seven song CD, which is available through his
Myspace page (www.myspace.com/normantaylormusic),
by e-mailing him, or they are always available for purchase at his shows.
While on the show, TAYLOR performed several of the songs off of his CD.
Preferring to play live in studio, rather than using tracks from his CD
because "they would sound the same," TAYLOR's sound is straightforward and
as original as they come. Using a deep, resonating, vocal style, TAYLOR's
music is as soulful as it is bluesy.
NORMAN TAYLOR can be found at almost any establishment that is blues
friendly. Be sure to check out the line-up at your local blues festivals
as there's a good chance that you'll find him there also!
This Sunday, Feb. 28, my guests are FONTAINE COOLEY. This five-piece
band from Media, PA blends an acoustic/blues style with some heavy jazz
overtones that creates a unique sound.
Call us to chat on any Sunday evening at 10pm EST at (609) 447-0236 or
e-mail us live on air at [email protected].
Also, if interested in advertising on, or becoming a sponsor of, ROCK
ON RADIO, please contact me at the above e-mail address. Rates range from
$5-$50 per show.
Turn on... Tune in... and, as always... ROCK ON!