Eric Taylor returns to Sundilla for the first time in four years, bringing his latest CD, a wealth of stories that should be turned into a novel, and a catalog of songs that is beloved by fans, critics, and other songwriters that you have heard of. He’ll be taking the stage at the AUUF on Friday, March 3, at 7:30; admission at the door is $15, but $12 advance tickets are available at Spicer’s Music, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com.
Eric Taylor is like that cool uncle you had. You know, the one who lived out in the woods in a cabin he built by himself. He talked a little saltier than your mom approved of, he didn’t care if you flipped through the nudie magazines he didn’t bother to try to hide, he’d tell you stories about improper things your mom did as a child, and, most importantly, he taught you a few chords on the guitar. He didn’t mellow with age because he had to mellow long before that just to survive.
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.
Taylor learned intricate blues guitar stylings from music legends Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb and Mississippi Fred McDowell while working at the Family Hand club. Later, he developed his own unique guitar picking style that would be imitated by many of his contemporaries from the early Houston days, such as Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and Nanci Griffith.
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. (That’s higher praise that you usually hear from an ex-wife.) “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 has recorded Taylor’s “Memphis Midnight/Memphis Morning,” “Whooping Crane,” “Understand You,” 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.”
A mesmerizing performer, Taylor has toured extensively in the United States and Europe, playing notable venues such as Club Passim, The Bottom Line, Caffe Lena, The Bluebird Cafe, Red Clay Foundry, The Ark, CSPS, Freight & Salvage, The Green Note (London), Paradiso (Amsterdam), Theatre Kikker (Utrecht), The Real Music Club (Belfast), Hotel du Nord (Paris), DC Music Club (Dublin), and The Bein Inn (Perth). Festival appearances include Kerrville, Newport Folk Festival, Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, Boston Folk Festival, Glasgow Americana Festival (Scotland), Take Root (The Netherlands), and Roots of Heaven Festival (The Netherlands).
A barrage of health problems haven’t stopped Eric, but they have slowed him down a little, so fans know to take advantage of every opportunity to see him on stage; the songs sound great on the stereo, but when Eric Taylor sings them on stage, new worlds are born, and you inhabit them with the characters in the songs.
Eric Taylor returns to Sundilla on Friday, March 3; showtime at the AUUF is 7:30. Admission at the door is $15, but $12 advance tickets are available at Spicer’s Music, Blooming Colors, and online at www.sundillamusic.com. Free coffee, tea, water and food will be available, and attendees are welcome to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer.