It was a real privilege having Eric share an evening with us. From his first words, he had the audience in the palm of his hands, and frequently laughing in stitches! In fact, he was able to find humor in just about anything, even in tuning his guitar (which, notably, he did without any external devices, which is more the norm these days.)
As promised, storytelling was woven in, through and around his songs and I, for one, left the evening with a renewed appreciation for his personal contribution to a long and venerable generation of Texas songwriters.
I know that Eric very much appreciated this particular audience. One guest told me afterwards that, twenty years from now -- after many, many more house concerts have come and gone -- I'll look back on this one in particular with fond memories. Indeed, indeed.
*****************Eric Taylor is a sage musician, a lyrical genius and a master of the guitar. If you're familiar with the intricate Texas singer/ songwriter jigsaw puzzle, you probably already know a lot about Taylor. If you're not familiar with Taylor by name, you've probably heard his songs performed by people such as Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett. He has created a multitude of fans and devotees that are legends themselves in the singer/songwriter realm, artists who have long considered Taylor to be a teacher and a lantern bearer whose time is long overdue.
Taylor visits us on tour with a new album, "Live at the Red Shack," recorded live during two consecutive nights in this Houston studio. The Dallas Morning News says of the album: "The beautifully recorded 21-song disc also serves as a career retrospective and a warm collaborative effort. You’ll think Taylor and his friends are singing for you in your living room."
In 1977 Taylor was a winner of the "New Folk" competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Shameless Love, his first album, came out in 1981, and after a hiatus of almost 14 years, he returned with the self-titled Eric Taylor, released in 1995. His eponymous release was chosen as the 1996 Kerrville Folk Festival Album of the Year. Three years later he released Resurrect, and it was subsequently named one of the "100 essential records of all time" by Buddy magazine. Taylor has headlined the prestigious Newport Folk Festival, played National Public Radio's "Mountain Stage" and has appeared on both "Late Night With David Letterman" with Nanci Griffith and "Austin City Limits" with Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, and Robert Earl Keen.
"To say that Eric Taylor is one of the finest writers of our time, would be an understatement," Nanci Griffith says. "If you miss an opportunity to hear Eric Taylor, you have missed a chance to hear a voice I consider the William Faulkner of songwriting in our current time." Griffith has recorded several of Taylor's songs, including "Deadwood," "Storms," "Dollar Matinee" and "Ghost in the Music," which they wrote together. Lyle Lovett, who recorded Taylor's "Memphis Midnight/Memphis Morning," and with whom Taylor co-wrote the immensely popular "Fat Babies," compares Taylor's narrative voice to that of Bruce Springsteen. Iain Matthews claims, "Once you become a Taylor fanatic, it gives one immense joy and pride to be able to enlighten others to the man's work."