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|Heading for the Recording Studio|
|Topic Started: Jan 31 2008, 11:16 AM (413 Views)|
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:16 AM Post #1|
posted at the Whomp Swamp by mouser
Late August , 2006
On Soul Patrol with Taylor Hicks
We caught up with People Magazines Bachelor of the Year as he was preparing to go onstage this past August as the American Idol tour rolled through Colorado
Youve been in our scene?for some time now, having performed on the first Jam Cruise and opened for the likes of Tom Petty, Drive-By Truckers and Robert Randolph.
Ive been on the road for ten years. I was in a Widespread Panic cover band in college. I had some stuff I even tried to submit to Relix. Im a music fan. As many shows as I wish I could have attended in my time, I couldnt because I was trying to get my own music heard. These little windows of opportunity to go see Panic, MOFRO?I even played an acoustic set on the first Jam Cruise. Isnt that funny?
To answer your first question, I need great songs. I like to write songs: Ive written two previous albums on my own. I would like to think there are some great songs in that. Right now, Im in the process of collaborating with some people and I just wrote a song with John Mayer that could possibly go on the album, Im not sure. Having Ray Charles as my rootthe foundation for me musicallyhe taught me a lot about the song and I learned from him that you have to feel a song; whether its yours or not, as long you can connect with the lyrics and the song emotionally, youll be able to connect with an audience that way. Thats how I operate. I would love to write music every day but due to a 69-out-of 80-day schedule, its absolutely impossible.
Given your experience prior to American Idol, is there any frustration in dealing with this album-making process, where executives or whomever are trying to dictate what they want you to do? Is there some head-butting?
You cant teach an old dog new tricks. I am the old dog.
Hey nowIm almost 29! Lets not call ourselves old dogs yet!
Im considered an older artist in the pop music genre. I dont really care, though. All I really care about is making a really good, cool, hip record with great songs. They cant package me, man. Ive been on the road for ten years and know the direction I want to go in and I know my vision. Its taken me this far to get where Im going. Im an artist thats created this concept but used the American Idol machine as a marketing tool.
Youve said that, Having a number-one single is only the beginning.?How so? And secondly, what steps are you taking to insure your longevity as an artist in a climate where someone catapulted into pop culture like yourself can come and go so quickly?
That single, Do I Make You Proud,?I tried to make that single my own but in reality its the shows single. Its not mine. Ive brought a live feel to that song, but that song was given to me on the show. One song was given to me on the show and I walked out of the studio. The song that was given to me first, I got up from a chair and walked right out of the studio. The second was a little bit soulfulbut nobodys ever done that. They were just handed music to sing for the A.I. machine?I was handed this song and I was just like, No way, youre not going to make me sing this song. Im out of here.?Just to kind of let you in on me knowing what direction I want as an artist.
The beginning for me on a national level was American Idol but obviously Ive been trying to play as much live music as I could since I was about 15 or 16.
Jumping back to your formative years, how do you think your love of bands like Widespread Panic has contributed to your success?
I think theyve had a lot do with it. Whats so cool about it is that its real music, its not fabricated. Its real art. If I wasnt a musician, these are the people Id be traveling to go see. I would probably not have a day job [laughs]. Ive just been lucky in getting some gigs to play music here and there and have kind of just stuck with that.
I was in a Panic cover band called Passing Through in Auburn and we played Ol?Miss?and we did some Phish and Ben Harper covers. A lot of my friends are in that scene and thats the scene I like to be in because thats the real music scene. You got to know real music to be in the scene, you know? Thats the scene I was in. I love real, live music, too. Ive always studied live music. I like live music almost more than I like recorded music. Ive relied on my live performance because I had no money to record in a studio. So the only thing I had, basically, was live gigs. And Im so glad that I have the mentality because thats where you make your money as an artist. Those people like Phish, Panic and the Dead, that scene taught me a lot about performing live music, and a lot of itstaying out there performing live music, night in and night out. Im ever-indebted to that mentality of playing a lot of really great, live music. I want to go see it and I want to go play it.
What were some of your favorite Panic or Phish covers to do? And were there any particular shows that stood out for you?
I saw Phish at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in ?9. I just remember them playing Heavy Things?and me falling out of my chair. Whats funny is that I promoted a Karl Densons Tiny Universe and Derek Trucks Band show at the Alabama Theater in ?8. That was one of those shows that Ill never forget. I did see Panic at Halloween in New Orleans, right before that. I went down there to flyer the lot and I ended up going to the show and ended up seeing Karl Denson afterwards at the House of Blues and then Denson traveling to Birmingham and doing the show two nights later. Another show I saw was Robert Randolph and the Family Band at Zydeco in Birmingham, right when they [Robert Randolph, North Mississippi Allstarts, John Medeski] came out with The Word.
I remember seeing Panic in Montgomery in ?6 and thats when I started to learn about them. I had never heard their music until I started playing. I was playing Pigeons?and never heard Pigeons?before. Thats how I kind of learned the Panicby actually playing it and really liking what they were doing. My music has leant its ear, so to speak, to a Widespread Panic musical configuration. My last album, Under the Radar, is very earthy. My roots are firmly planted in the good, live music earth.
Prior to last season and this most recent one, I never really watched American Idol. But in all honesty, you and Bo Bice turned my head a little bit with your musical selection.You know what? I dont watch it either! [laughs] You can write that.
I think a lot of music fans were impressed by your decision to cover Ray LaMontagnes Trouble.?br />
Trouble?is a great fucking song. Not only that, thats a great fucking album. Somebody said I should listen to Ray LaMontagne right before Trouble came out and I was a definite fan and I got to meet him at The Roxy in Atlanta. I was just a big huge fan of that album and Im glad that that album got the respect it deserved. Anything I did on the show, I have the utmost respect for. And having some idea that if that song gets on national television in front of 40 million people, then the odds are that people are going to go out and buy that music... I really wanted to pick music that would open up the eyes of the masses.
Every song I wrote on that show, I wrote half of the endings to. They gave me the first minute of the songthe second minute of the song I arranged and wrote all of the endings and melodies. I said, Look youre going to give me the first minute of the song. You can clear Taking it to the Streets?but I want to be able arrange the last 30 seconds. So all the endings that youve seen me do on American Idol were arranged and written by me.
I doubt many people realize that.
Nobody knows. Nobody has any idea, but thats cool, man. It gave me an opportunity to create more good music. Being a performer in Lowell, AL, opportunities are pretty slim.
Having been a performer for some time now, whats the biggest difference between the television stage versus the traditional live one?
The visual aspect of that show [American Idol]is equally important as the musical aspect. I knew that. Lets face itits a television show. Youve got 40 million watching you, you have to be the most visual performer that you can because its television.
Im curious about post-Idol performances?that there are now certain expectations that you have to deal with versus prior to the show, where you could really just do what you want. And I would assume having a magnifying glass hovering above you at all times is probably not the most fun, either.
Getting to this level in this business, you kind of take it with a grain of salt: You know who your friends are, you know who your family is and you know who your fans are. The magnifying glass gets a little old at times but I want to get my music out there and this is what I have to do to do that. Thats the ultimate goal for mespread good music.
I guess part of my question had to do with audiencethat you were performing to a core group of music fans and now its a bit more of a pop-culture audience that wouldnt have come to see you prior.
American Idol, for me, is fizzling out. I want to take that opportunity and that exposure?You either come to see me, come buy my album or you dont. Im not trying to meet expectations. Im trying to expose my music to people who might like it, come see it and come buy it. Thats me. If pop culture doesnt like it?If you can say youre a working musician, then youre doing something good. Im just glad to be a working musician because thats what Ive always been.
Youve talked a little about your upbringing: that it wasnt always easy and that you were forced to make some tough decisions early on. Do you believe that in order to sing the blues or soul, you need to experience it?
I agree, 100 percent. Youve got to connect emotionally with your audience. I do agree that you would have to have lived a little in whatever part of your life it may be. I lived a little more than others in a really early part of my life. Those experiences and those things that happened, I believe that gets you deeper into who you are as a person.
What was your first gig?
I was about 15. I had this great, wonderful familynot my ownbut a family that cultivated and pushed my talents a little bit. I was learning to play harmonica on my own. I was repeating Take the Long Way Home?from the Supertramp album [Breakfast in America]. I was starting to learn riffs and stuff. I remember this vividly. They were a pretty rambunctious bunch and they put this big-ass white hat on me and took me to this biker bar where this blues band was playing, Coreys Sports Bar. It was off the beaten path. I just remember playing harp and trying to hang with this band that was performing in front of all these bikers. Ive been in the bars, man.
Whats the story with your lucky dime?
I carry it with me. And Im not going to lie: Ive lost it a couple of times, but theyre replaceable.
Does any part of you sense a soul/traditional R&B revival going on as seen in artists like James Hunter, Joss Stone or Little Barrie? Granted, theyre all British. Do you think, perhaps, youre part of the American answer to that? And why now?
Soul performing is a lost art. Watch Sam and Dave sing Soul Man?and youll want to watch it more. Its a whole a different monster. You can hear Soul Man,?but whats so funny is that the whole thing?I have this video tape of the Stax Soul Revue from 1969 in Denmark. It was a T.V. show and it was the first time the Stax Soul Revue had gone overseas and it had Booker T. & The MGs, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, all of these people. I started studying that as a kid, the way they moved, the way they danced. It was during the James Brown era. Theres so much footage that you couldnt capture because technology didnt lend itself for you to be able to just pick up and watch Sam Cooke. Some of the remarks I get on my dancing, Otis Redding could have gotten on his. They just didnt have T.V. back then. This whole idea, this whole movement toward soul revival so to speak, I think its a lost art and I hope that Ive helped spark that interest. Thats a genre of music thats powerful in everyday music whether it be?It was just such an integral part of music that I think got lost somewhere along the way.
You were named People Magazines Bachelor of the Year. It seems pretty cool but is there a downside or am I trying too hard here?
I was very flattered to be called that. Its an honor, I guess you could say, but I wouldnt really know because Im in the bottom of an arena in the officials dressing room at the Pepsi Arena [in Colorado]. Im in the darkest bowels of an arena right now, so I havent had much of a chance to find out.
And, finally, if you could see one person get hit in the nuts with a football, who would it be?
Probably one of those promoters that used to stiff me. The door guys at the club that knew they were screwing me on money but were ten times bigger than me. Or, after Rosanne Barr sang the National Anthem?real bad. I dont know if she has nuts, you might want to check. Read More On Relix.Com 996163
ADDENDUM TO THIS ARTICLE POSTED JANUARY 10, 2011 : Relix Revisited
On Soul Patrol with Taylor Hicks (Relix Revisited)
This past week Taylor Hicks, who won season 5 of American Idol, appeared on Jam Cruise, guesting with numerous acts, including: Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Jojo’s Mardi Gras Band, the Maceo Parker Super Jam. Back in November 2006, current Relix editor Josh Baron interviewed him for the magazine. At the time his remarks in the magazine regarding Idol were so controversial, that Diane Sawyer felt obliged to follow up on Good Morning America.
Despite the moans of “What is Relix doing covering the winner from American Idol ?”—a show many probably find to be the antithesis of what this publication is about—it should be known that Taylor Hicks is one of our own. Whether it was picking up the harmonica at 15, seeing Widespread Panic and Phish in the mid ‘90s, promoting his own Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Derek Trucks show or opening for Robert Randolph, Hicks has steeped himself in the live music tradition. In fact, he credits much of it for his win
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:17 AM Post #2|
Source: Austin360.com Date Published:
September 07, 2006
Taylor Hicks, 'Idol' finalists to show their stuff in Austin
By Sarah Frank
When "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks makes a brief stop in Austin this weekend, somebody better show him a good time – he needs it.
By Sunday night's American Idols Live Tour at the Erwin Center, he'll be on performance No. 50 of a 60-show nationwide tour with nine other "American Idol" contestants. They share cramped tour buses and stage space, belting out cover songs to arenas of fans almost nightly.
Who'd argue Hicks doesn't deserve to relax, Austin style? It'll be his first time in town.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to get out and see some clubs in Austin, and it won't be a hit-and-run," Hicks said in a telephone interview late last month from a tour bus in St. Paul, Minn. "I've been working in clubs and bars for about 10 years, and you know, I hear that's the place."
Before winning the fifth "American Idol" competition in May, the Alabama native was a guitar-and-harmonica-toting singer-songwriter (without the fancy tour bus) who toured the Southeast in hopes of being noticed. He put out two albums. He even worked a stint as a wedding singer.
"I had like the Willie Nelson approach to trying to get heard, and I got denied everywhere I went," Hicks said. "I got denied in Nashville, I got denied in L.A. You know, it's like I was so used to being told 'no,' my options were running out."
So at 29, he tried out for "Idol." He didn't expect to get far. He was older than most of the contestants. He even had gray hair. He was just hoping for a small taste of the spotlight. "I knew if I got past the first few rounds, maybe the local TV station in Birmingham would pick me up, and someone might book me for a sorority social or something," Hicks said.
And with the "Idol" title came an album deal. Hicks says he spends nights on the tour bus listening and shopping for the right songs for his first post-"Idol" project. He'll have less control on this album than his previous projects, but Hicks says it will feature one original track.
On Sunday, though, Hicks' fans (lovingly referred to as the Soul Patrol) won't be hearing any Hicks originals. He'll be singing four solo songs. He's already released two: "Do I Make You Proud" and "Takin' it to the Streets." He'll also sing some Beatles and Bob Seger, he said.
As for his now-signature shuck and jive, he says it will be plentiful. He modeled his dance moves after two of his personal idols – Elvis Presley and the Who's Pete Townshend – to get the ideal mix of shoulder-bopping, hand-waving and little kicks.
"Go watch Elvis Presley and go watch Pete Townshend," Hicks said. "Take both of those people and the way they swing their arms and you've got what I do."
It's the dancing and his soulful voice that has brought him this far. But he admits he's ready to move past the "Idol" shows and launch a solo headlining tour.
"I want people to come see my own show as opposed to the 'American Idol' show," he said. "I'm looking forward to going back into smaller venues and great music rooms around the country with this album and, you know, getting a little more intimate.
"I'm a working musician, and hopefully I'll still be working in five years, whether it's playing backup harmonica for a band or headlining my own arena tour."
Odds are, Taylor, Austin will have you either way.
A little more with Taylor Hicks:
Austin American-Statesman: What songs do you wish you could have sung on Idol?
Taylor Hicks: " 'Georgia On My Mind,' 'Year of the Cat' by Al Stewart, 'How Long' by Ace and 'Dirty Lowdown' by Boz Scaggs."
What artist is your biggest guilty pleasure?
"I'm a Cyndi Lauper fan."
Will you keep your gray hair?
"Of course. Nothing's changed yet. Nothing's going to."
What's the weirdest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
(After a long, awkward silence) "I'll tell you the coolest thing they've done. They've sent me like some preserves. They made their own strawberry preserves and their own homemade salsa."
What's your dream duet?
"I'd like to sing 'Blue Bayou' with Linda Ronstadt."
What are you listening to now?
"The 'Arc of a Diver' album by Steve Winwood."
If you had to think of a way to "Keep Austin Weird," how would you do it?
"People have been saying that I'm just plain weird, that everything I do is considered weird. I guess I don't have to try; I just am."
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:17 AM Post #3|
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Date Published: September 9, 2006
''Idol'' winner Hicks tells EW about working with John Mayer, keeping the Soul Patrol happy, and becoming a legend -- all, of course, in regard to his still-in-the-works album
By Tanner Stransky
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So you're on the Idol tour right now, but what's going on with your new album?
TAYLOR HICKS: I'm collecting and writing music. I'm starting to put ideas together for the record to have a similar thread, and I'm using one producer as opposed to 50. It's going to be soulful, very old-school-R&B-flavored, but it's also going to have a new-wave edge to it. I'm trying to fuse both of those sounds.
New-wave sounds, eh?
I'm gonna leave that up to Matt Serleti [the producer]. He was able to incorporate that with [Carlos Santana's] ''Smooth'' [with] his effects and stuff like that. We just really have to get into the laboratory and make it work.
And are you writing some of the songs?
I've got a song that I'm writing that's going to go on the album, and I'm working with a couple of people. You can write with the greatest songwriter in the world, but the formula for writing a hit is different no matter who you're writing it with.
It's all about chemistry, right?
Exactly — the chemistry of the song. I could write with famous people until I'm blue in the face 'cause of their track records with hits, but it doesn't lend itself to being a hit.
How's your lifelong study of hit songs gonna help you create this album?
[It's about] having the mentality to write something catchy and simple and understandable and not too intricate. It helps on the screening process for the songs that are being pitched to me by anybody and everybody right now.
Who's been pitching you songs? Anybody noteworthy?
[Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter] Michael McDonald sent me some music. John Mayer. I have co-written a song with him.
I heard — that's exciting! How's that going?
We're just in the early stages. I've got the lyrics and he's got the music. I'm really trying to make that come together. I'm hoping I can write with [famed blues writer] Delbert McClinton soon, because I believe Delbert's phrasing in music [is] wonderful and uncommon in popular music.
Is your sound going to be a huge departure from what you did on Idol?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Okay, I get it.
I mean, yeah. I'm not so much selling television anymore as I'm selling my true art form. Hopefully I can put good songs on the record and make it my own.
But on Idol you were pretty soulful. You're not giving that up, are you?
I'm never gonna stop being soulful. Luckily for me, having 10 years of having to find my own musical direction means the record is going to have a similar thread. And I think that's really important for me right now, to have that tunnel vision.
Yeah. Just having some common ground. I'm not gonna do a country song and then do something that sounds like Perry Como. Every direction that I've gone in with each album is kind of a similar soulful, earthy, organic, kind of hip sound. And I'm just gonna carry that off into hopefully the next couple of records. And then who knows — then I'll do the ''Chris Gaines'' album. [Laughs] Just kidding.
Oh, goodness. Don't do that. What kind of artists do you admire, or think you share qualities with?
Stage qualities are Van Morrison, Bob Seger, a little bit of Bruce Springsteen — those great performers who've worked in clubs and made their way up. James Brown, and obviously a little bit of Elvis. I've completely submerged myself in legendary music from legendary performers — that's what my schooling is and that's what I aspire to be.
You're aspiring to be a legend?
Yeah, we all are to a certain degree.
Will the Soul Patrol be on board for the new album?
Yeah, they're on the soul train. My hope is that the Soul Patrol will be as large and as fun and as vibrant and as cool as [Jimmy Buffett's] Parrotheads.
Will you be doing many covers on the album? Or is it all new material?
There's some great, great, great secrets that I can't release.
Just give me a hint!
There's a certain room that I'm going to be recording in that nobody's recorded in in quite some time.
That's all you're going to tell me? Come on! But anyway... We've been chewing the fat about the album for a long time. When are we going to see something?!
I definitely want to have it out toward Christmas. Even then, the quality of the album and the work has to be really good before I release it.
As for song themes, what do they touch on?
I'm hoping that the backbone is a positive, upbeat, boogie-woogie kind of feel.
No, I'm asking what they'll be about — the themes, ideas, lyrics.
Just everyday life, because I'm an everyday kind of dude.
Right. But what the heck does that mean?
Real. Some of this stuff that's been written people can relate to every day, and that's what I'm about. I don't want to touch Hollywood. I want to touch America.
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:18 AM Post #4|
Date Published: October 11, 2006
Taylor Hicks Gets Funky in the Studio
By Jolie Lash
Soul Patrol members will rejoice with news that 'American Idol' season 5 winner Taylor Hicks has just hit the studio to record his major label debut. The Alabama-bred 'Gray Charles,' as he's affectionately known, told AOL Music he's already spent a week in Southern California laying down tracks for the record, which he hopes to release by Christmas.
"[I'm] officially recording music," Hicks enthuses. "The studio [I'm in] was the same studio [Steppenwolf's] 'Born to Be Wild' was cut in. It's an old '70s studio that's got some great vibes. It's like 1976, man."
Hicks' major-label recording experience extends beyond a fancy facility, though. Thanks to label boss Clive Davis, the 'A.I.' winner is being produced by Matt Serletic, who has some experience in crafting fluid tunes.
"We wanted to go for the modern soul sound, and he has such a great track record producing Matchbox Twenty records and Santana's 'Smooth,'" the singer says. "It was just a perfect fit."
Sticking with the funk, Hicks says that horns will be a big part of the album's sound. "Some of the Tower of Power arrangers are arranging some horns for me," he says. "I'm very excited to be able to get in the studio and cut live tracks with a band, as opposed to people cutting in at different times." It's not just the gray hair -- he's old-school all the way.
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:18 AM Post #5|
Source: Golf Digest
Date Published: December 2006
Final Exam with Taylor Hicks
"American Idol" for 2006
By Brian Murphy
Golf Digest: SIMON COWELL IS THE CRANKY BRIT ON "AMERICAN IDOL," WHO’S THE CRANKY SCOT GOLFER WHO NEVER GOT ALONG WITH AMERICAN GALLERIES IN THE 1990s? (Answer: Colin Montgomerie.)
Taylor Hicks: lan Woosnam? [Told Monty.] Oh, yeah. I never liked how he got mad at the crowd. I’m not a Monty Fan< at all.
GD: YOUR SUPPORTERS ARE KNOWN AS THE "SOUL PATROL." WHO WERE THE FANATICS WHO FOLLOWED ARNOLD PALMER? (Answer: Arnie’s Army.)
TH: The Palmer Patrol? Or... the Arnie Army? That’s a guess. I’m a golf fan. I played some in high school— I’d shoot 86,87,88 if I was playing a good bit. Because I’ve been on this "American Idol" tour, I don’t know what I’d shoot right now. Hopefully I’d keep it in the fairway. I get tired of doing the old "Alabama Kick Out" with my ball.
GD: MANY MUSICIANS HAVE PLAYED IN THE AT&T AT PEBBLE BEACH. CAN YOU NAME THE SAXOPHONE PLAYER WHO TEAMED WITH PHIL MICKELSON TO TIE FOR FIRST IN THE 2001 PRO-AM? [Answer: Kenny G.]
TH: There’s a famous saxophone player, but he was the president. Was it Kenny G? He’s a great musician.
GD: KATHARINE McPHEE FINISHED RUNNER-UP TO YOU IN THE 2006 "IDOL" FINALE. WHO FAMOUSLY FINISHED AS A RUNNER-UP IN THE 1999 BRITISH OPEN AFTER BLOWING A THREE-SHOT LEAD ON THE FINAL HOLE AT CARNOUSTSE? [Answer: Jean Van de Velde.]
TH: Don’t know. [Given the answer] I’ve never heard of Van de Velde. You know what’s funny about the British Open? As a musician, I can’t get up in time to watch. We’re either just getting in from a town where we’ve played, or still sleeping. I always catch just the end of the British.
GD: WHAT GOLF EQUIPMENT COMPANY SPONSORS SERGIO GARCIA, RETIEF GOOSEN AND MANY OTHER TOUR PLAYERS? [Answer: TaylorMade]
TH: TaylorMade. Please tell the people there I’d love to play some celebrity tournaments with TaylorMade clubs. I still have my old Ping Eye2 irons, and I hit a Lynx Black Cat driver. I also have an old persimmon 5-wood that I keep in my bag because my grandfather used it.
GD: YOU WERE RAISED IN BIRMINGHAM, ALA., WHERE TWO PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS AND A U.S. AMATEUR WERE PLAYED. WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE COURSE? [Answer: Shoal Creek.]
TH: Shoal Creek. Maybe now that I’ve won "American Idol," I’ll get to play there. I’m getting to play Pebble Beach this year. Growing up, I was able to attend the PGA at Shoal Creek. I remember trying to get Jose Maria Olazabal’s autograph.
GD: MORE THAN 63 MILLION PEOPLE VOTED IN THE FINALE OF LAST SEASON’S "AMERICAN IDOL." WITHIN $5 MILLION, CAN YOU 6UESS TIGER WOODS’ CAREER EARNINGS ON TOUR? [Answer: Almost $66 million.]
TH: Is it over $5 million? ... $40 million? [Told it’s just more than the "Idol" vote total] That’s outrageous. I’m a Tiger fan. And I’d love to meet Phil Mickelson. If Phil’s out of reach, I’m a Tiger fan. But if Phil’s within reach, I’m definitely pulling for The Mick.... I can’t believe I’m in the same magazine as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson!
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:19 AM Post #6|
Source: Relix Magazine
Date Published: October 20, 2006
On Soul Patrol with Taylor Hicks
By Josh Baron
Despite the moans of "What is Relix doing covering the winner from American Idol" - a show many probably find to be the antithesis of what this publication is all about - it should be known that Taylor Hicks is one of our own. Whether it was picking up the harmonica at 15, seeing Widespread Panis and Phish in the mid '90s, promotion his own Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and Derek Trucks shows or opening for Robert Randolph, Hicks has stepped himself in the live music tradition. In fact, he credits much of it for his win. We caught up with People magazine's Bachelor of the Year as he was preparing to go onstage last month as the American Idol tour rolled through Colorado.
You've been in our "scene" for some time now, having performed on the first Jam Cruise and opened for the likes of Tom Petty, Drive-By Truckers and Robert Randolph.
I was in a Widespread Panic cover band in college. I had some stuff I even tried to submit to Relix. I'm a music fan. As many shows as I wish I could have attended in my time, I couldn't because I was trying to get my own music heard.
You’ve said, “Having a number-one single is only the beginning.” How so? What steps are you taking to insure your longevity as an artist in a climate where someone catapulted into pop culture like yourself can come and go so quickly?
That single, “Do I Make You Proud,” I tried to make that single my own single but in reality it’s the show’s single. It’s not mine. The song that was given to me first, I got up from a chair and walked right outof the studio. I was handed this song and I was just like, “No way, you’re not going to make me sing this song. I’m out of here.” The beginning for me on a national level was American Idol, but obviously I’ve been trying to play as much live music as I could since I was about 15.
How do you think your love of bands like Widespread Panic has contributed to your success?
think they’ve had a lot do with it. What’s so cool about it is that it’s real music, it’s not fabricated. It’s real art. If I wasn’t a musician, these are the people I’d be traveling to go see. I would probably not have a day job [laughs]. I like live music almost more than I like recorded music. I’ve relied on my live performance because I had no money to record in a studio. So the only thing I had, basically, was live gigs.
Prior to last season and this most recent one, I never really watched American Idol. But in all honesty, you and Bo Bice turned my head a little bit with your musical selections.
You know what? I don’t watch it either! [laughs] You can write that.
The audiences you’re performing for now are probably quite a bit different than the ones you were performing for just a year ago.
American Idol, for me, is fizzling out. I want to take that opportunity and exposure: you either come to see me, buy my album or you don’t. I’m not trying to meet expectations. If you can say you’re a working musician, then you’re doing something good. I’m just glad to be a working musician because that’s what I’ve always been.
What was your first gig?
I was about 15. I had this great, wonderful family— not my own—but a family that cultivated and pushed my talents a little bit.I was learning to play harmonica on my own. I was repeating “Take the Long Way Home” from the Supertramp album [Breakfast in America]. They put this big-ass white hat on me and took me to this biker bar where this blues band was playing. It was off the beaten path. I just remember playing harp and trying to hang with this band that was performing in front of all these bikers.
If you could see a person get hit in the nuts with a football, who would it be?
The door guys at the club that knew they were screwing me on money but were ten times bigger than me. Or Roseanne Barr after she sang the “National Anthem” real bad. I don’t know if she has nuts; you might want to check.
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:19 AM Post #7|
Date Published: November 1, 2006
Taylor Hicks Planning To 'Wamp' It Up With New Sound On Debut LP
John Mayer, Bryan Adams, Robert Randolph contributing to 'Idol' winner's in-the-works album.
By Corey Moss
CALABASAS, California – The man who made "soul patrol" a catchphrase is hoping his next one also catches on.
"There is a sound that I've kinda thought about and it's called 'modern wamp,' " Taylor Hicks said Monday during a break from recording his debut album. "It's like swamp meets boogie meets jazz meets hip-hop. It's cool."
The "American Idol" winner is developing his new blend at a Los Angeles-area studio with producer Matt Serletic, whose résumé includes Aerosmith, Matchbox Twenty and Courtney Love.
"He did the Santana and Rob Thomas song ['Smooth'], and that sound is what I kind of had in mind, but a little bit more hip," Hicks said. "He's a Georgia guy and I'm an Alabama guy and we just hit it off."
Serletic is overseeing the entire yet-untitled album – "I feel like the less hands I have in the pot the better off I'm going to be," Hicks reasoned – although the singer has worked with some different songwriters and musicians.
"Me and John Mayer wrote a song together," Hicks said. "He's got a great brain. And we come from the same background."
Bryan Adams penned one of Hicks' favorite tracks, and pedal-steel master Robert Randolph is playing on another.
"I opened for Robert Randolph when I was trying to make it , and we actually ran into each other not too long ago," Hicks said. "There is a song on the album that I think he'll really do well with."
Although the track list is still being finalized – and Hicks is guarding all the titles closely – he plans to include some songs he's written over the years. He also plays various instruments throughout the record.
"Interestingly enough, I have a snare credit," Hicks said, laughing. "Harmonica is my lead instrument, so there will be some harmonica on this album. Guitar, I'm still learning that craft, so I'm going to leave that up to the really good guys."
Hicks' album is due December 5, after the debuts drop from Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler, all of whom started recording their albums during the American Idols Live Tour over the summer.
"I wanted to wait till the tour was over to actually start recording, because for me, it's tough to sing five nights in a row and then on the sixth day you have to try and sing," Hicks said.
Now that he is close to finishing the album (after just two months), Hicks can't wait to return to the road.
"I've been excited about recording it, but I think touring is going to be the funnest thing for me," he said. "I'm such a live dude, I've been doing it for so long. I'm going to put some horns on the road with me and have this killer soul band."
After the Idols Tour, Hicks is looking forward to getting back to smaller venues.
"The mentality I've always had is if you were gonna take a date to eat and then to a concert, where would you want to go?" Hicks explained. "And for me personally that's music rooms, small theaters. I just feel like the ambiance of the room – for instance the Fox Theatre in Atlanta has the great starry sky – I think all of that is good for the music.
"On the Idols Tour I would walk across the floor and there would be this hockey rink and this ice would be coming up through the floor," he continued. "You know, something about hockey and music don't mix for me."
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:20 AM Post #8|
Date Published: November 10, 2006
AIM Interview: Taylor Hicks
TyeInMusic: hey taylor!
TyeInMusic: thanks for taking the time to chat with us today
TaylorSou1Patro1: no prob
TyeInMusic: where are you at right now?
TaylorSou1Patro1: my apt on my couch
TyeInMusic: just relaxin, then?
TyeInMusic: shouldn't you be in the studio finishing the cd?!?
TaylorSou1Patro1: yes and yes
TyeInMusic: so are you in Alabama now?
TaylorSou1Patro1: no i am on the west coast. that's where the studio is at
TyeInMusic: so how IS the album going?
TyeInMusic: the soul patrol needs to know
TaylorSou1Patro1: almost complete
TaylorSou1Patro1: i have two more nights of singing left
TyeInMusic: nice. what can we expect
TaylorSou1Patro1: the album is groovy
TaylorSou1Patro1: it was recorded old school live
TaylorSou1Patro1: everyone on the studio floor recording at the same time
TaylorSou1Patro1: then everyone goes over their parts a little bit more
TyeInMusic: you're keeping it real ... the way it used to be
TaylorSou1Patro1: yea, it's old school with a modern twist
TaylorSou1Patro1: the songs are great. i pretty much hand picked all of them from some of the greatest writers in the world
TaylorSou1Patro1: i was very honored
TaylorSou1Patro1: also i will have my own songs on there too
TyeInMusic: how many are your own?
TaylorSou1Patro1: right now it looks like two or three with some co-writes
TyeInMusic: that's impressive.
TyeInMusic: sort of unusual for an Idol to have their own songs on their first album.
TaylorSou1Patro1: its good music -- good songs with a great studio band
TaylorSou1Patro1: all the guys were great
TyeInMusic: rumor is you worked with some pretty heavy hitters in the studio.
TyeInMusic: who are some of the songwriters?
TaylorSou1Patro1: bryan adams, diane warren, possibly some covers.....
TyeInMusic: bryan adams' vibe seems right up your alley
TyeInMusic: i bet you could do a mean 'Summer of '69'
TaylorSou1Patro1: he's a great songwriter...and a wonderful photographer as well
TyeInMusic: did he take any candid pics in the studio?
TaylorSou1Patro1: unfortunately not....
TaylorSou1Patro1: i'm just really excited about this project
TyeInMusic: we all are. can't wait to hear it.
TyeInMusic: so it's been about 7 months since you won Idol
TyeInMusic: has it all sunk in yet, or are you still pinching yourself??
TaylorSou1Patro1: i'm starting to settle into a nice routine
TaylorSou1Patro1: my promo tour for the album starts in dec
TaylorSou1Patro1: it will be great live
TyeInMusic: how big of a band will you be taking out with you?
TaylorSou1Patro1: a couple of horns, bass guitar, drums, maybe percussion....
TyeInMusic: you must be so itching to play your new stuff for an audience, huh?
TaylorSou1Patro1: I'm itching for an audience period
TyeInMusic: have you had a chance to go back to Bama and play any of your old haunts since the show?
TaylorSou1Patro1: no, it's been quite some time, but hopefully i will soon
TyeInMusic: the past few months have been a whirlwind for you
TyeInMusic: what the coolest thing you've gotten to do since the show?
TaylorSou1Patro1: I've sat in it with snoop, the allman bros, robert randolph and widespread panic...
TyeInMusic: nice list there.
TyeInMusic: wait, you played with Snoop Dogg?
TyeInMusic: when was that?
TaylorSou1Patro1: june of this year
TyeInMusic: what did you do together?
TaylorSou1Patro1: gin and juice
TaylorSou1Patro1: what's my name fool....
TyeInMusic: what was up with that? have you learned to rap too?
TaylorSou1Patro1: yes i have some freestyle ability and i played harmonica with him too.
TyeInMusic: man, you're full of surprises
TaylorSou1Patro1: they're not surprises to people that have been watching me perform for years
TaylorSou1Patro1: but I guess it is to the rest of the world
TyeInMusic: i also heard you got to record in Ray Charles' old studio?
TaylorSou1Patro1: i wish i could have met RC
TaylorSou1Patro1: i visited his studio and loved every minute of it
TaylorSou1Patro1: his people gave me one of his jackets and it fit like a glove
TaylorSou1Patro1: kind of freaky
TyeInMusic: wow! what an awesome gift
TyeInMusic: have you taken it off since?
TaylorSou1Patro1: I'm getting it framed
TaylorSou1Patro1: that's ray's. i ain't stealing his thunder
TaylorSou1Patro1: ill keep his mojo on it
TyeInMusic: hehehe. i hear that
TyeInMusic: so how's life as a new sex symbol been treating ya?
TyeInMusic: right after you won, People mag named you one of America's most eligible bachelors
TaylorSou1Patro1: they did?
TyeInMusic: i remember a photo with you in the back of a limo surrounded by some very lovely ladies
TyeInMusic: and you looked pretty comfy :)
TaylorSou1Patro1: models on a shoot ? working
TyeInMusic: still, the ladies must be paying more attention to ya
TaylorSou1Patro1: my surroundings have changed but my person hasn't...
TaylorSou1Patro1: i think joe walsh said it best.... "everybody's so different. i haven't changed"
TaylorSou1Patro1: life's been good. that's the song title
TyeInMusic: and we'll be reading more about your life pretty soon.
TyeInMusic: you have memoir coming out, right?
TaylorSou1Patro1: yes ? "how to look like you're fifty and win American Idol"
TaylorSou1Patro1: just kidding
TaylorSou1Patro1: "heart full of soul" ? that's my next book
TaylorSou1Patro1: it will come out after the first of the year...
TaylorSou1Patro1: it's a two part series... just kidding
TaylorSou1Patro1: it's a great read
TyeInMusic: what made you want to tell your story?
TaylorSou1Patro1: there are some great life lessons u learn in the backroads of alabama, georgia, mississippi...
TaylorSou1Patro1: it's just the everyday struggle and how one can overcome and persevere.....and a little of my life story
TaylorSou1Patro1: it's about being nice and helping people
TaylorSou1Patro1: not just my book, but the world being a more humanistic place.
TyeInMusic: unfortunately, not everyone is quite as nice as you
TyeInMusic: did it hurt your feelings when Justin said you couldn't carry a tune in a bucket?
TaylorSou1Patro1: no... I've got to worry about my own career...
TaylorSou1Patro1: carry the bucket you know... ha
TyeInMusic: he was probably just worried you'd steal sexy back
TyeInMusic: so everyone knows blues and soul is your passion
TyeInMusic: do you groove on anything your fans may not expect?
TaylorSou1Patro1: linda ronstadt, little feat, highway 40 blues by ricky skaggs...
TaylorSou1Patro1: that's what I'm wishing i could have right now, the highway 40 blues
TaylorSou1Patro1: the road is calling me....
TyeInMusic: heh. yeah, it sounds like you REALLY need to get out there
TaylorSou1Patro1: i will be on tour starting late feb
TaylorSou1Patro1: as an artist, it would have been great to have spent more time in the studio, but the demand on this album is alot right now
TyeInMusic: big demand on a lot of your pals too.
TyeInMusic: do you keep in touch with anyone else from the show?
TaylorSou1Patro1: a little
TaylorSou1Patro1: personally, i don't even have time for my fam right now, but hopefully we will all run into each other soon
TyeInMusic: I'm amazed at how calm you seem
TyeInMusic: how do you stay so grounded and level-headed?
TyeInMusic: what's the secret, taylor?
TaylorSou1Patro1: planters unsalted pistachios
TyeInMusic: the secret of life, for $2.99 a can
TyeInMusic: well, thank you so much for your time
TaylorSou1Patro1: thanks for letting me come on and chat
TyeInMusic: good luck with everything
TaylorSou1Patro1: hope to see everyone out there on the tour!!!!!
TyeInMusic: you'll be passing us on highway 40 soon enough
TyeInMusic: take it easy
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:21 AM Post #9|
Source: The Birmingham News
Date Published: December 08, 2006
Taylor talks about his album
By Mary Colurso
Taylor Hicks offers a track-by-track commentary on his self-titled disc, set for release Tuesday on the Arista label:
1. "The Runaround" by Loren Gold and James Renald: "That song, for me, is throwing a lot of stuff together. It's got about 10 different genres of music. There's a Cajun beat, a doo-wop background, call and response, a soul sound and a pop bridge. The lyrics are simple, but they connect with the listener. It's like what Sam Cooke and Otis Redding used to do. It's old school and modern."
2. "Dream Myself Awake" by Rob Thomas: "Rob Thomas is a great songwriter. He sent me that song, and I just connected with it. It's a modern soulful ballad. How could I turn that down?"
3. "Heaven Knows" by Cory Rooney, Makeba Riddick, Kara DioGuardi, Matt Serletic, Ray Charles, Warren Moore, Smokey Robinson, Robert Rogers and Marvin Tarplin: "It's soul-rap. It's funky. I think it's close to the funkiest tune on the album. It's really cool."
4. "Gonna Move" by Paul Pena: "The funkiest song on the album. If you can't dance to it, something's wrong with you."
5. "Wherever I Lay my Hat" by Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield: "As soon as I heard it, I just knew it was right for me. I liked it. It struck a chord. It really meant something to me."
6. "Give Me Tonight" by Kevin Kadish, Brandon Jane, Leah Crutchfield, Taylor Hicks, Kara DioGuardi and Matt Serletic: "That's a collaboration. That's a funk, modern-soul, feel-good song. We weren't all in the same room when we wrote it. They'd send me the song and I'd add a verse. But it worked."
7. "Just to Feel That Way" by Lindy Robbins, Jess Cates and Emanuel Kiriakou: "It's a pop-rock ballad. It's really cool. I can really feel the emotions in that song. I also like the way it's written."
8. "The Maze" by Scott Cutler and Anne Preven: "It's a groovy, soulful song. And I guess you can say it's romantic. All of these songs can be baby-making songs, depending on how and where you make love."
9. "Places I've Been" by Diane Warren: "It's recorded very simply, with a vocal and piano. That's the way I first heard it when it was sent to me. I'd never listened to Diane Warren, but it's a song that really connected with me."
10. "Soul Thing" by Taylor Hicks: "It's probably the song that's most come to life for me. I've recorded it before, but now I had more utensils and more time to spend. My utensils are crazy now; they allow me to paint a better picture, and paint more of the picture."
11. "The Deal" by Taylor Hicks: "That's a funky soul tune from the vault, from `Under the Radar.' It's one of my stronger songs on that album, with a groove thread. I wanted to give it more attention."
12. "The Right Place" by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance: "I knew right off the bat, this was a good song for me. I couldn't turn that down. Bryan sang it on the demo and I'm gonna thank him for it one day."
13. "Hell of a Day" by Taylor Hicks (bonus track, Wal-Mart edition): "That's an extra. I've performed it live in Birmingham many times, but this is a new version. I'm glad to get another original on the album."
14. "Do I Make You Proud" by Tracy Ackerman, Andy Watkins and Paul Wilson (bonus track, digital download): "Well, that's a label thing. It's not on the album."
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:21 AM Post #10|
Date Published: November 10, 2006
Celebrity Spotlight: Taylor Hicks
TAYLOR HICKS - THE OFFICIAL AMERICAN IDOL!
Taylor Hicks is the 30 year-old Birmingham, Alabama native that captured the hearts and minds of more than 63 million people who voted him this year’s American Idol. After spending many years honing his talent, playing local bars, recording a pair of indie albums, and giving up his personal life to pursue his dreams, Taylor’s moment has finally arrived.
Taylor's new self-titled CD is in stores now. Taylor chats with Myjellybean.com about celebrity life, embarrassing moments, and more!
Q: Who was your first phone call to, after finding out you won "American Idol"?
A: My grandmother.
Q: What was your first experience that made you feel "famous"?
A: At an airport.
Q: Was there ever a time in your life where you didn't feel like you were going to make it to where you are today?
A: I had a pretty strong belief I would make it somehow.
Q: How do you like being a "celebrity"? What are the good and bad points about it so far?
A: You are under the microscope all the time and they clean your underwear quicker. Haha.
Q: What's your favorite song that you perform?
A: I love to perform them all.
Q: If you could sing as part of a Supergroup, what other singers - living or dead - would you want to perform with?
A: Ray Charles and Edith Piaf.
Q: If they were to make a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
A: Richard Gere.
Q: Do you have any pets?
A: Two goldfish.
Q: What makes you happy?
Q: How do you wind down after a stressful day?
A: I don’t ever wind down.
Q: When you're not playing or recording music, what do you like to do?
A: Watch sports.
Q: What was your most embarrassing moment ever during the American Idol year?
A: Missing the mic stand in front of 40 million people.
Q: Since you're doing an interview with Myjellybean.com - what's your favorite kind of jelly: jellybeans, jelly in a jar, or jelly bears?
A: Jelly bears because they are beary good.
|Taymanfan||Jan 31 2008, 11:22 AM Post #11|
Date Published: December 04, 2006
Self-Titled Debut Album Drops Dec. 12
Sixty-three million people voted 30-year-old Birmingham, Alabama native Taylor Hicks this year's "American Idol." He just appeared on NBC's "Christmas at Rockefeller Plaza" TV special; he'll be on tonight's "Billboard Music Awards" (Fox)and tomorrow's "Good Morning America" and his album, produced by Grammy winner Matt Serletic (Santana, Matchbox 20, Aerosmith, Willie Nelson, Courtney Love) is due Dec. 12.
Hicks was online Monday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. ET to talk about it all.
A transcript follows.
Taylor Hicks: Happy Holidays and hope all is well.
Crown Point, Ind.: Taylor, what's on your iPod?
Taylor Hicks: The Dave Chappelle Show, lots of music and I've been listening to Paul Simon lately.
Chicago, Ill.: Are you at the awards tonight?
Taylor Hicks: No, unfortunately with scheduling of appearances it was not possible.
Eureka, N.C.: I know you are extremely busy, but have you spoken to any of your fellow idols since the tour ended?
Taylor Hicks: Yeah, I've talked to Elliott and I left a message for Bucky and I saw Katharine at the AMAs.
New Castle, Del.: Taylor, what was it like working with John Mayer?
Taylor Hicks: John Mayer is an extremely talented musician and singer I learned a lot from him. He's a great songwriter and musician and we both come from the same soul and blues playground.
Arlington, Va.: The track record for former American Idols or other contestants has been pretty good. There are a lot of you doing things. Why do you think that is?
Taylor Hicks: I just believe in the American vote for talent and the way America sees talent so therefore I think that the more America votes for you or sees your talent the more exposure you gain from the weeks on American Idol allows you to be more visible in the entertainment business.
Bay Shore, N.Y.: What's your pet peeve?
Taylor Hicks: People being late. Punctuality.
Irvington, N.J.: You kind of described your CD as [an] "old school funk" modern day sound. Have you been listening to any of today's artists and did any of today's music have any influence on your direction for this CD?
Taylor Hicks: I think John Legend's and John Mayer's influence and some of Coldplay.
Did you get to meet Sting at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree fest?
Taylor Hicks: Unfortunately I didn't but I did get the catch the tree being lit and that was great for me.
Rutherford, N.J.: Fill us in on this "Modern Whomp" music. How did this come about and it's connection to you?
Taylor Hicks: An example of modern whomp would be "Runaround." It's got a Cajun beat with some modern beats and soulful horns. It's got that "whomp sound."
Easton, Mass.: Taylor -- If you could speak to the music critics (who appear to be biased against "American Idol" before they review your album, what would you like to say to them?
Taylor Hicks: It always helps to be open-minded.
Danbury, Conn.: How did you decide on "The Runaround" for your first single?
Taylor Hicks: I'm not sure it's the first single but it's the song on the album that I really think I can perform well live. But it's not decided yet.
Washington, D.C.: Vibe magazine said you were the "embodiment of of the last fifty years of popular music." That's quite a compliment. What do you think about that? Do you feel pressure to live up to all the praise?
Taylor Hicks: I thought that was really cool that they said that about me. I'm trying to capture the embodiment of the last 50 years of music with my sound.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: I notice you don't wear rings, bracelets, watches, neck chains, etc. Is that a personal style/comfort choice, or is it because of allergies?
Taylor Hicks: Wow, you've really done your homework to know I have allergies. I guess, I like to keep thing free; I do have one bracelet that I wear but I like to keep my hands free for musician purposes (harmonica, guitar).
Fairfax, Va.: What do you think of Jennifer Hudson getting that part in "Dreamgirls"? Do you know her?
Taylor Hicks: No, but I was really glad to hear that she got that part and I hear she's quite a talent.
Seattle, Wash.: Taylor, you've turned a lot of your fans on to the blues. Would you ever consider making a true blues album such as Eric Clapton's "From the Cradle"?
Taylor Hicks: I would definitely ponder the thought.
Danbury, Conn.: Do you see a difference between a touring band and a studio band. If so, what is the difference?
Taylor Hicks: Great question. The studio band does not have to bring a certain visual aspect to the performance Basically, the touring band has to have an aspect of visual as well as musical stimulation (entertaining value), whereas the studio musicians are basically concerned with laying the music on the tracks.
Alexandria, Va.: Did Weird Al Yankovic's parody of your "Do I Make You Proud" upset you?
Taylor Hicks: Not at all. I was very flattered and laughed a bit at it.
Vancouver, Canada: Taylor, you seem to be quite happy with the producer of your album, Matt Serletic. Did you have any struggles in getting the kind of sound you wanted for the album, or was it all smooth sailing in that respect?
Taylor Hicks: Nothing's smooth sailing when you're trying to put an album together in six weeks and there was some give and take, you know, creatively. We did a really good job of balancing that out.
White Oak, Tex.: Do you play the piano at all, and will you ever consider wearing a head mic when singing? Thanks!
Taylor Hicks: I so play a little bit of piano; not enough to play live. I don't know, the head mic thing depends.
Temple Hills, Md.: If you could perform anywhere in the world, at what venue would you most like to perform, and if you could have one person in the whole world in the audience, who would you choose?
Taylor Hicks: Sidney Opera House. My great grandmother that has passed away.
Worcester, Mass.: Taylor,
I have noticed you've been going non-stop since "American Idol" and wonder what do you do to unwind during your hectic schedule.
Taylor Hicks: Exercise a little bit. I really don't mind my hectic schedule. I love performing so much that the schedule doesn't bother me too much.
Washington, D.C.: I read somewhere last week that you wanted to forget about "Idol" and move on. What exactly did you say?
Taylor Hicks: First of all, my words were completely taken out of context to sell newspapers. What I said is that the torch for me is being passed on to the "American Idol," season six. I was basically saying that "American Idol" for me is beginning to fade because season six is starting in a month. I was completely taken out of context. I'm very grateful for the show.
Huntsville, Ala.: Taylor, would you ever consider doing a bluegrass album?
Taylor Hicks: Funny you ask. My great aunts were a female bluegrass duet out of Oakridge, Tenn. So that is definitely a thought.
Wetumpka, Ala.: How did you persevere (stay focused on your musical goals) all those years before "American Idol"? You had to have watched friends and family your age going the more traditional route in their career choices.
Taylor Hicks: Self-determination and deep belief in your music and your craft.
Catskill, N.Y.: You did absolutely amazing on Leno. How did you feel after that performance?
Taylor Hicks: Out of breath (Ha Ha).
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: Taylor,
What's the best advice you've been given since you won "A.I." and who gave it to you?
Taylor Hicks: Enjoy the ride and I was given that by a lot of people. I'm definitely thankful to all who voted and I'm definitely enjoying the ride.
Memphis, Tenn.: Do you see yourself now as a role model for the younger generation as well as those who are trying to "break" into the music industry?
Taylor Hicks: Hopefully I'm a musical role model for the younger generation.
San Jose, Calif.: Taylor -- I've been a huge fan since the beginning. Do you plan to produce any music videos -- either live at one of your concerts or specifically produced for MTV?
Taylor Hicks: It's definitely in the works. Thank you for asking.
Santa Ana, Calif.: If you could go back to another time in music history, would you? What era/time do you think you would want to have been in or is this the best time in music?
Taylor Hicks: I would say '67-''70 and '74-''78. '67-'70, the soul music era and '74-'78, the AM gold era, i.e., Dion, Don McLean, Van Morrison, etc.
Kingsport, Tenn.: How are your dad -- and other family members -- reacting to your immense success? I recall your quoting your dad as saying "Work in a bank, Taylor."
Taylor Hicks: (LAUGHS) I and my family are very grateful for the show and what it's done for me. Everybody's pretty cool.
Palatka, Fla.: Many people have different perceptions of what "success" is to them. What goals do you feel you need to attain in order to define yourself as successful?
Taylor Hicks: I think first, artistically, you're always learning and striving to be the best artist you can be. I think as a musician you just want people to come and hear your music in any capacity.
Edmond, Okla.: What is your most-prized possession?
Taylor Hicks: My Taylor acoustic guitar.
Taylor Hicks: I'm very excited for my album that comes out Dec. 12 and to all Soul Patrol members here and far. Thank you for your questions and a very, very happy holiday season. Be looking for my TV schedule in the month of December.
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