Eric Taylor on Thu, November 16, 2017

This show is cancelled. We look forward to seeing Eric Taylor at the Blue Door soon!

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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 grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and started playing soul music in his early years, steeping himself in the rich cultural heritage of the black South. “I’ve written poetry all my life,” Taylor recounts. “When I learned how to play guitar, it was a natural progression to write songs.” After high school, a brief stint at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, just “didn’t work out,” according to Taylor.

“Music lured me away,” says Taylor. “I thought I’d make my way to California like everybody else back then but I ran out of money and ended up in Houston.” It’s a good thing he never made it to California, because the musical environment in Houston during the ’70s was just what Taylor needed to inspire him.

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. “There were no lines drawn in the sand between musical genres in Houston back in those days,” Taylor remembers. “You were just a musician. I believe so many great writers came out of that scene because you could learn from others. Isn’t that the point of this whole thing?”

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 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.”

In June 2013, Taylor released his 10th CD, aptly named Studio 10. Also recorded at the Red Shack, Studio 10 features 9 new songs penned by Taylor and a cover of Tim Grimm’s “Cover These Bones.” Eric Taylor’s compassionate storytelling and song theater at their finest, painting an always colorful cast of characters making it through this world. Some songs are tributes to friends who have passed – “Bill” (Bill Morrissey), “Francestown” (in a Dave-van-Ronk vein), “String Of Pearls.” Some songs from a woman’s perspective (“Molly’s Painted Pony,” “Adios”). “Reno” and “Dark Corner Ice Water” showcase the intricate narrative quality and unique theater aspect of Taylor’s writing that sets him apart. Two songs – “Tully’s Titles” and “Tully” – were written for the Storyworks.TV documentary film Road Kid to Writer – The Tracks of Jim Tully, and resulted in an Emmy nomination for Taylor for Music Composition in the summer of 2016.

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).