Moving on and moving up…


A little birdie sent me this clip this morning.

*I love how Seven Mile Breakdown is getting so much airplay, and it hasn’t even been released yet. Yeah. Whatever.

*My favorite line of the interview? Simon saying: “You never listen to us.” Who knew? It seems Simon and I have something in common.

*Although, “Forget this whole blues thing” just might come in second. Seriously, Simon? It’s in his blood.

*”I’m telling you, Taylor, dude, trust me.” Oh Randy, you’re so eloquent, and I love you for it.

*Randy said, “I saw it tonight and I was like, What?” I noticed that look on a couple of the judges’ faces. It was like they really weren’t expecting that.

Personally, I think Taylor would be more accepted on country radio than he is on AC. But that brings us back to the old “how important is radio nowadays” argument. What’s interesting to me is how many “good vibes” are coming from this song. Don’t forget, of course, that this is original Taylor music. This is more of the type of music that many expected from him after Idol. Essentially, I think the southern rock genre is the closest thing that he can get to, because the whole Modern Whomp thing just isn’t working out.

All I know is that he really looked happy up there on that stage, and I am so thankful that he picked Seven Mile Breakdown to sing.

Now, get your ass back out on tour, Taylor. Please?


167 Responses to “Moving on and moving up…”

  1. hicksaholic Says:

    I can’t make the video work.

  2. Hmm…maybe check your pop up settings, or maybe it’s a plug in issue.

  3. hicksaholic Says:

    I got it to work. God can someone coach Randy on the use of the English language. All I heard is “Taylor I’m telling you” over and over.

    Obviously a planned video but good none the less.

    At least Bill wasn’t lurking in the background(well I’m sure he was but at least we didn’t see him)

  4. rajrae Says:

    Yeah, Simon’s “forget that whole blues thing” just made we want to slap him.

    I’m happy to see that county already seems open to Taylor, but it makes me sad that he had to go & change up SMB. I like the original 10X better than the country mix & don’t understand why it was not already good enough for country radio. I’ve listened to GAC the past few nights, & while most is what I would call “mainstream” country, there are several song that are more like the southern rock of SMB. I hope they can accept TH as he is and he doesn’t have to turn himself into a “hick” (sorry) for their approval. I don’t mind him dabbling in it, but I want my ILOAB, IAOK, ST, HNH Taylor too. I do like the more country-flavored songs on TD OK, but if he “forgot the blues thing” & went pure country I would be pretty upset.

  5. I don’t really hear that much of a difference between the country mix and the original on The Distance. I mean, obviously, the song has evolved since Wynn wrote it.

  6. And I guess I’m fickle, because now I miss Bill. I want to see Bill!!

  7. rajrae Says:

    It sounds really different to me.

  8. rajrae Says:

    This is apparently the guy that did the country mix for SMB for Taylor:

  9. I haven’t heard the “country mix” that you speak of.
    I hope fans don’t get their panties in a knot if Taylor gets country air play, because there is a HUGE difference between the country of today and the country & western of yesteryore.
    New country from Little Big Town:

  10. Whoa, I thought I was just posting a little link, sorry for the player thingy!

  11. jerseyirish Says:

    I was glad to see Simon talk to Taylor with respect, long overdue. Taylor just looked like he was taking it all in.

    rajrae, I think their are more violins in the country version, I like both.


  12. Um, that would be fiddles, Jersey. Subtle, yet signficant difference.

  13. rajrae Says:

    Well, I’m going to keep my original version and hope the country folks like the one “Taylor made” for them. 😉

    Actually, when I heard it played two nights in a row on GAC it sounded really good but it’s also shorter and has a more abrupt ending.

    And one more thing, too bad Taylor had to shorten the song for AI and leave out my favorite part: “Well let me get right down to it – I just can’t get enough. You know you hate being down before you ever love being up!” God, I love that line!

  14. blueberry Says:

    Love the picture! Not crazy about the whole country thing, but I’ll be the first to admit my ambivilence is totally based on my own ignorance regarding country. I know it has changed and morphed away from my preconceived notions, and I haven’t sought out any country music, so I’ve kept myself mired in out of date views. Perhaps if this country thing takes hold, I’ll be enlightened.

    Quite interesting that Simon and Randy sat and chatted with Taylor a bit. Things do change, after all.

  15. rajrae Says:

    “Quite interesting that Simon and Randy sat and chatted with Taylor a bit. Things do change, after all.”

    BB, it seemed staged to me. It’s almost like they are going to try to take credit for any success Taylor has in the country genre. I still find Simon’s remark totally ridiculous. !!!! I know it all looked good, but it really sort of ticks me off that they act that way when they are with him after having treated him so badly in the past. HYPOCRITES….

  16. rajrae, it’s television. Name one person who’s not a hypocrite who’s been on the Idol stage.

  17. Blueberry–

    If you like Taylor (and obviously I’m assuming you do 😉 ) then you might like Lady Antebellum, a rather new country group.

    I know it’s the second time I’ve posted about them, but I really like their sound – and think it’s somewhat similar to Taylors. They’ve gotten massive airplay and accolades for this song, so it’s not unreasonable to think Taylor could do very well on Country radio.

    Granted, airplay and accolades isn’t everything and in a lot of ways means very little – however, it could go a long way to restoring his reputation and musical credibility with a lot of people.

  18. Snowstorm Says:

    I’ve been saying this all along. Taylor needs to do Country, Country Rock, Southern Blues and Southern Rock. Forget about Pop and AC! He doesn’t have the right voice to pull off those genres. And AC attracts little old ladies and they kill careers! Clay Aiken, anyone???

  19. Taylor was on country station on Thursday here in KC. It’s one of the more modern country stations. The Dj’s love him, love the song, and couldn’t say enough good things about his performance on AI. To me that is a good sign. They even played SMB.

    Even some of Taylor’s EW’s has a country influence to it in my opinion.

  20. Lady Antebellum does have a similar sound to Taylor’s. Well, one of Taylor’s sounds, anyway. 😆

  21. Trixi: Agreed, regarding Taylor’s early works having country influence.

    IAG: 😆

  22. This computer doesn’t have speakers attached, so I’m gonna hafta watch the clip tonight. Thanks for the link, IAG.

  23. blueberry Says:

    Thanks Sojie, enjoyed that song. The guy has a very nice voice and yes, I can see the similarities to what I like in Taylor’s music. I just have to have an open mind about the word “country”. I’m working on it!

  24. taylorfan06 Says:

    I’m very happy to see all the positive vibes about SMB. I do agree about EW having a country influence. I ALWAYS felt the “original” version of “Hell Of A Day” (from UTR) could have worked at country radio. That steel guitar really made it so for me.

    I would love to hear Taylor sing “that” version live one day. The emotion and the hoarseness of his voice always did it for me.

    Out of all the Taylor songs I have on my iPod, that song has the most plays at 276 (so far). I REALLY love that song, and SMB, but I would have liked the original version to have stayed intact.

    But more power to Taylor. All I want for him is to be “on his way.”

  25. Don’t see a way to listen OR to vote! I think it ended already?

  26. I put the right link up. Snow’s was for after the poll. When she did it he had 100% “I Like It” but now it dropped a little. Someone must have voted “I don’t like it.” Still, it’s 96%.

    Go listen and vote everybody!

  27. Snowstorm Says:

    Here’s the correct site! Please vote!

  28. Thank you rajrae. All of us will vote for Mr. Hicks.

  29. Um, Snow. I’m a little confused why you’re encouraging people to vote. These online polls don’t do anything. It’s kind of like calling the radio stations.

  30. Snowstorm Says:

    The online poll is being conducted by a radio station. So, that one does count. They DO want your opinion about the song. That’s nothing like calling a radio station.

  31. So, whatever people say there in that poll determines whether it’s going to be played on that station or not?

    I’m not buying that one at all.

  32. I voted and Mr. Hicks fell to 92%.
    Well, I guess we can’t all like the song. Wonder why a radio station would run a poll about whether or not people like a certain song or not?
    Just play the fricken thing!
    Those that don’t like it can turn the station. Those that like it can (hoping) buy the CD.

  33. You don’t think call in requests to radio stations has any affect? Why would they ask for requests, or have a poll if they weren’t going to pay any attention to them? Just to make the listeners feel “involved?” Still, I bet the results have an affect on other peoples perceptions of the song….

  34. It’s down to 80% now.

  35. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if it tanks on that poll or not. I”m pretty sure the corporate office will tell that station exactly what to play.

  36. JumpedtheShark Says:

    Thanks for the video dialogue breakdown. All I could hear was Randy yelling, “I’m telling ya” lol

    I’ve never been against the country radio play. Country has gone in so many directions over the past decade. The crying in my beer cuz my dog and woman left me in this double wide all alone twang is gone. It has been replaced with more southern rock, southern pop, southern blues. This seems to fit Taylor to a T. I wish him success in this venue.

  37. I’m soundly in the camp of those liking the SMB country mix. I think I actually prefer it. And this is after initial skepticism that a new mix was necessary or could be “as good.” Love the piano and the edgy, contemporary sound of the fiddle and steel. These are not your grandaddy’s fiddlers.

    rajrae Says:

    …it seemed staged to me. It’s almost like they are going to try to take credit for any success Taylor has in the country genre. I still find Simon’s remark totally ridiculous. !!!! I know it all looked good, but it really sort of ticks me off that they act that way when they are with him after having treated him so badly in the past. HYPOCRITES….

    Absolutely agree that it was staged, but I saw if from a different perspective. It seemed to me that the set-up was all to Taylor’s benefit and allows him to look like he was practically drafted into country music by popular demand. For those who might find his genre switch somehow cynical or commercially expedient, this piece makes it sound like he’s getting all this unsolicited country airplay and is being urged by all around him to go with it.

    All of that^^, plus it’s just good to see him treated respectfully by Randy and Simon, whether it’s all sincere or not.

  38. Thought I’d share this…

    I found some great little nuggets in this article:

    “bless him for reminding everybody that there’s been gritty American populist music for a long, long time, and it’s worth reaching back to the pre-digital, pre-fab age to reconnect with it. And on “American Idol,” no less.”

    “This is not in the overproduced pop vein of Hicks’ first, self-titled post-AI release. It was a down-home Delta blues, greasy and gritty, with the band and backup singers cookin’ and Hicks zapping off a harmonica solo.”

  39. I think Simon and Randy were being sincere and would like to see him succeed. Taylor looked pleased with their attention and comments, but as we know he will do what he wants. I think both Simon and Randy realize that Taylor was putting his best foot forward in his performance and they respect his talent and showmanship. Seriously he lit up that stage and apparantely Randy could see how much the audience dug it.

  40. Perhaps Taylor should hire Wynn to write some new songs for him. Wynn sure knows Taylor style and voice. Wonder what Tay is doing in July?

  41. Seven Days Says:

    Soj — thanks for the article.

    I like the description of SMB as “down home Delta blues, greasy and gritty”. That sits better with me somehow than “country” — but what do I know? LOL

  42. LOL!

    I’ve been trying to gauge the general public’s perception of SMB, his performance on Idol, and his “comeback” in general. Most everything I’ve read has been very positive. I’ve been reading various blogs/websites that you wouldn’t ordinarily think would be Taylor friendly. For instance, the night he performed on Idol I was browsing a few Chris Daughtry blogs/forums (just to SEE what people were saying) and I was really surprised at the number of people who weren’t afraid or embarassed to admit they liked it. Most of the country blogs/websites/articles I’ve read had very positive comments as well. For instance, this article on “The Boot”:

    Only 2 out of 17 had anything negative to say. That’s a start….and a far cry from some of the nastiness I’ve seen in the past regarding Taylor if ya know what I mean.

    and from the “countrymusicislove” website, this comment: “There was a Taylor Hicks before Idol and his first two self made CD’s were more country than pop. It’s Idol’s fault for trying to squeeze him into the Pop genre in the first place. He doesn’t belong there never did. That’s why he parted ways with his label and started his own. This CD is back to the original Taylor country, rock ,bluesy feel. Don’t get caught up in the image Idol tried to hang on him. Give him a chance.”

    Sorry, don’t mind me, I have nothing better to do today…LOL. I just hope I don’t start slipping back into fantardom…Gawd that was scary…

  43. JumpedtheShark Says:

    BUT “down home Delta blues, greasy and gritty” ……IS country music now.

  44. Very much enjoying the articles and comments, Soj. Thanks.

  45. casualfan Says:

    “This is not in the overproduced pop vein of Hicks’ first, self-titled post-AI release. It was a down-home Delta blues, greasy and gritty, with the band and backup singers cookin’ and Hicks zapping off a harmonica solo.”
    Beautiful words indeed!

  46. JumpedtheShark Says:

    Amen Soj, Great Post!!

  47. Seven Days Says:

    Jumped the Shark says — “BUT “down home delta blues, greasy and gritty” …..IS country music now”


    I totally believe you JTS, but I just need to make a major paradigm shift in my head to embrace that notion. It’s like hating spinach for so many years, and all of a sudden discovering that you like it. The brain takes a while to catch up to putting the words “spinach” and “like” in the same sentence even though the taste buds are there already. 🙂

  48. I’m on a borrowed computer, so I can’t click on any links or listen to any audio. Can’t comment on any of that stuff.

    I have no problem with Taylor going country. I mean, he was already there in some of his earlier songs. Besides, if Hootie* can go country, why not Taylor?

    *snow, don’t you dare jump my ass. I know his name ain’t Hootie! That’s my pet name for Darius Rucker.

  49. If that’s Delta blues, then I don’t know blu…strike that. That’s a country blues tune. Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that.

  50. Oh, but I would hate for Taylor to go completely country. (Good God, please don’t start wearing a cowboy hat, T!) ‘Woman’s Gotta Have It’ is one of my favs from the new CD. Gotta have it. That’s right, I went for the obvious remark. uh-huh, I admit it. But I do. Gotta have it, I mean. You know, more than country. (WTH is she talking about?)

    Sorry, I got talked into a margarita and we all know what happens when I have ONE drink. (stop typing, Caryl!) I get goofy. (shut up!) People become concerned. (enough, already!)

    OK, OK, I’ll bring the convo back to Taylor. One word: vest.

  51. jerseyirish Says:

    Caryl, I have no problem either with Country, where ever he will see success is fine with me. Got to watch those margarita’s, I’m the same way not a big drinker so they hit me quick!!! 🙂 Have fun house hunting!!


  52. JumpedtheShark Says:

    Good God, Taylor is Not going to come out in a cowboy hat. He’s southern pop/rock, not country twang.

    And yes Seven, great comparison. Can I use that? It was perfection.

  53. Taylor Memorabilia Collectors:

    Would a 45 RPM single of DIMYP, on the Arista label? interest you?

    It’s up for auction in the annual VFTW Charity Auction for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.(I know this is WAY off topic and kinda spammy, but it’ charity and it’s a rare item, so…hopefully I’m forgiven.)

    I don’t know who to tell about this, but here’s the link, in case anyone’s interested:

    the ebay auction:|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

    VFTW notes on the auction:

  54. rajrae Says:

    “Oh, but I would hate for Taylor to go completely country. (Good God, please don’t start wearing a cowboy hat, T!)”

    He sure dressed the part last night, but he looked hot. AND the picture on the back of TD is VERY countryish. I agree – NO HAT PLEASE! He’s just gotta stay our country-flavored SOUL man…

  55. If you have not done so, please consider hopping on at iTunes and buying the SMB country remix. I downloaded it at Taylor’s myspace last night, not realizing it was already available on iTunes. It’s not linked to the Distance, so you have to search Taylor Hicks. Make sure you are buying “Seven Mile Breakdown – CHUCK AINLAY COUNTRY MIX.” It runs 3:18 (vs 4:18 for the album version) and the genre is shown as country (vs pop for regular version).

    They don’t yet have enough ratings to post an average, and no reviews are showing up yet. Hope that changes soon.

    I rated and posted this review:

    Taylor Hicks returns to his Alabama roots with this edgy, blues-laced Southern rock tune, and the result is fantastic. This is the kind of music Hicks was making with friends long before he won that little TV show, and his kinship with it shows in every note. A perfect vehicle for Hicks’ gritty vocals, and featuring some of the best musicians working, Seven Mile Breakdown will have you smiling, dancing, and hitting the replay button.

  56. Info on the country mix guru.

  57. rajrae Says:

    That’s a great review Robin!

  58. rajrae Says:

    LOL Seven! Loved the spinach analogy.

  59. rajrae, you should go write a review.

  60. rajrae Says:

    Well, I didn’t buy it. LOL I love the song but I like the original better. I’m considering buying it though anyway though. I can spare a buck for the cause. I bought TD at Target today for my sister and it was on sale so I saved $2 there. 🙂

    I’m listening to GAC Nights and they are playing some really great music. SMB fits rights in. I love the more rocky country and they’ve played 3 songs in row like that.

  61. Hold everything!! The friend of mine that we’re visiting just told me she heard SMB on a country station in HOUSTON. I’ve NEVER heard Taylor on the radio in Houston- not even DIMYP. Holy crap. That’s big.

  62. rajrae Says:

    Was it KILT? go here and open American Idol Interview

    Here is another radio interview he did today…-Demand/3109556

  63. jerseyirish Says:

    rajrae, Nice interviews, thanks for posting!! 🙂


  64. havingfun Says:

    Caryl – WHAT ?!!?! Houston radio ?!?!?!?!

  65. Ha ha! That second radio interview has an interesting finish.

  66. Taylor’s getting so much country love it’s almost scary. (Scroll down)

  67. yes, havingfun and rajrae, she said it was on KILT. Is there some kind of crack in the universe? I’m scared!

    (of course, I’m thrilled! Hmm..does this mean I have to listen to country music now? 😦 )

  68. Rajrae, thanks for posting those links. He sounds so relaxed now when giving radio interviews. I don’t quite understand how stations can play 7 mile before its release date which is Tuesday. Does that mean A2M has already supplied the stations with a copy of the remix version? I wonder how many stations got ‘The Distance’ and if more stations will start playing WRIR.

  69. Caryl, I’ll listen to any station that will play Taylor. If I ever hear him on the radio I may faint. It almost seems like it would be a miracle.

  70. havingfun Says:

    Can’t remember if KILT is the station that always complains about the other one. Hope not !!!
    Maybe I’ll do a little requesting come May 5.

  71. How can Taylor be convinced to let WOMEN choose the images for his next CD?

    The stuff going out with his press kit is from the album, and of course it features ‘those’ pictures. Quite the step down from how great he looked on TV, and that’s hardly does him any good.

    Good promotion: they display a bunch of ‘finalists’, fans vote on fan sites (not just HQ); results hidden. It would give them some feedback from their target market, for free, and build hype/buzz for the next release.

    Best album-style shots of Taylor I ever saw were from two fans. Big Sis’s, and one from the AI tour, with some violent interaction with the guitar!

  72. I’ve actually been listening all night. VERY mixed bag for me. There are some songs I just love and many I can’t stand. Of course I love the hard driving, “rocky” or bluesy ones. The more “mainstream” country it is the less I like it.

  73. IAG, I know how you loathe Grease so just delete t his if you choose. This is short and Taylor just looks SO HOT I had to put it up. I hope it’s just a link and not an embed….

  74. rajrae, thanks for the links. On the momandmicrophone, there’s no capture of the interview, is that right? I was hoping somebody would get that one. She seems cool.

  75. Wondering if anyone else is reminded of Little Feat when listening to the SMB remix? That was my husband’s first comment.

    And he seems a little offended that the type of music he played and listened to in his cool dude days is now passing for country. 😉

  76. Robin, first, no, I could not find a link for the interview. I happened to catch it and there is a folder about it “over there.”

    Second, Little Feat (loved them too!) was always on the country side, but back then they would never have played them on a “country” station. Or Lynard Skynard, or the Allman Brothers. I think today they would play some of all of them on county. What Little Feat song does SMB remind your DH of? Have not listened to them in a LONG time so I probably just don’t remember a lot of their songs. But I don’t remembered them being hard driving like SMB. This is how I remember them:

  77. suze4158 Says:

    I don’t think Taylor will abandon any part of his love of soul music. I consider him an eclectic soulman…and I believe he used the word “Americana” for the songs on TD.
    Hard to see the soul side of him ever going away. (I know that I post this vid a lot…I just love it so)
    or this

    or this (just turn off the sound and check out his blues faces…omg…)

    Country seems to embrace a lot of genres, and the fact that Taylor keeps his Southern roots while infusing soul will make him at home with country in many of his songs.
    I agree, though….the vest and boots are enough. No cowboy hat…no way.

  78. suze4158 Says:

    uh,oh….I did not mean to embed these vids. The first one gave the link like I intended!

  79. Wow, love that Little Feat video I just posted!! Gotta get me a “greatest hits” cd. Thanks for the reminder of how good they were. I can’t believe I let them slip into my past like that.

    True, I don’t want to hear they are sending out those pictures! Ugh. I’m very vocal about this. I’m a badfan to say it but I cant’ stand most of them. I guess they do look a bit more country and I’ve said on this blog before that I thought the country songs were probably part of the marketing scheme. But, oh!! I dislike them so much that I printed out my own pictures and covered them up. LOL Some SP’ers thought that woman who told Taylor at CdN how much some of us dislike the photos was way out of line to do that. I could never had said it myself but I’m glad he knows. I guess someone else is making those decisions. I like your idea bout the fans choosing the pictures! What a great way to get them involved. I could suggest about 75 right now that would be better. And I’m sure most of you have tons more than what I’ve collected over the past few months. Rambling again. Must be bed time

  80. I hesitate to tell you how many I have in my photobucket.

  81. I like your idea bout the fans choosing the pictures

    Hold on now. I didn’t say that. I said the fans could VOTE. Not that they could CHOOSE. If the results are hidden, fans won’t know which pics came out ahead. The point is they’d have an idea what goes over with the target market, rather than just taking a shot in the dark, and missing.


    But no, it’s not my idea that the fans should choose.

    (I don’t think the pics are as bad as you seem to. I just see it as a good opportunity, unexploited.)

  82. Well, suze, congratulations you just did me in once again with those videos. Holy ****!!!! I’ll keep the rest of my thoughts to myself and try to go to sleep now.. Sweet dreams….

  83. Ok, I’ll stay up and have a glass of wine instead… as long as there is someone here to talk to me.

    IAG, very interesting. Of course it had to have been released – they are selling it… That makes sense. Were did we get the May 5th date from?

    True, sorry…. NIX “choose”. VOTE is the word…. INPUT yes. They could even ask age and sex and target them to a younger market. You all are SO right that Tay seriously needs to start interacting more with the fans! Of course there won’t be a new album any time soon but it’s an idea for the future.

  84. TaylorRHicks: Tweeples I’m in the cone in costa mesa. I feel safe from swine flu in here.

  85. rajrae Says:

    OK, I’ll turn out the lights on my way out…………………………………….

  86. hicksaholic Says:

    I agree on the pictures and I’n with you raj- I think they are bad. If you put all the millions of pictures of Taylor out there to look at I feel sure the ones they put on his album and these latest publicity photos would be the bottom 10%. Whoever is making picture decisions is an idiot.

  87. jerseyirish Says:

    iag, Thats interesting the release date shows 4/29. Maybe they changed it with his appearance on Idol.

    suze4158, Nice videos, thanks for posting!!


  88. rajrae Says:

    I thought that was the best tweet yet. I wanted to reply “Can I get in there with you? I don’t want to get it either” but that would have scandalized a 3 of the 5 people following me, seeing how I’m a married woman. 😉 (I think Sun & Crista would have liked the idea too though.)

  89. Rajrae, I didn’t know you were on Twitter. Look me up. 🙂

    I would have loved that response, too!!

  90. same here, rajrae, look me up on twitter.

  91. soulaz Says:

    Haven’t been around much lately . . . but gotta say, I was so pleasantly surprised by Taylor on AI. Not by his performance, because I know exactly what he is able to do on stage, but by the positive reaction he’s been getting since. I am really happy for him.

    I haven’t heard the country remix of SMB . . . until this morning, I didn’t even know that there was one. Yikes, I really think I’m settling into a much more casual state, as far as fanship goes. This new “relationship” feels really good and normal-ish to me.

    I think if country really embraces Taylor, it could be his ticket to the big time. I really hope that happens for him . . . then maybe he can get out the cone someday, even if it does keep him safe from swine flu.

  92. suze4158 Says:

    I hate those pics from the CD, too. However, the centerfold posterish one is good, IMO.

    Glad you guys liked the Taylor does the blues vids. I couldn’t believe how different he looked in them compared to his appearance on AI the other night.

    Rajrae…I played a lot of Little Feat back when I worked radio….great band. Thanks for that link.

  93. Whoever is making picture decisions is an idiot.

    Heh, heh, heh. Careful.

  94. Getting back to IAG pondering the same old question of does radio really matter, darn tooten it does. There are so many random bloggers who mention never hearing about Tay and never hearing him and that =ing failure. Most people are not into music enough to search out unknown musicians/singers on the net. They go by what they hear on the radio and the music vids they see on their on demand tv stations. If Tay does not get radio play he is suck in the music business. Tour, tour Tay, so many of you say. Well he drew about 100 people in San Fran and that is with advertising. Coming off AI during his 07 tour venues sold out weeks ahead to the tune of 2000 tickets and hundreds of cities. To escape the cone he needs plenty of radio play. Also the more time that goes by without people hearing him on the radio, he will become the butt of more jokes.

  95. I didn’t mean to go too harsh on the pics. They’re ok, but as hicksaholic said, they’re in the bottom 10%, appeal-wise.

    People (women) who were impressed by his AI appearance on Wednesday would have gone online to check out the new album. It’s a shame they found this moon-faced, empty headed accountant rather than the real guy, with the kind of voltage they saw on the tube. There was an opportunity to go from third to home (score!), and it was lost. If there was input from any woman on those pics, it was from his grandmother. A little understanding of LIGHTING (hello?) would have made a big difference in those shots.

  96. Ha ha, Moon-faced, empty headed accountant! Love it . He looks pale and peeked and tight lipped. My daughter in law was in shock over it and she never goes online to have seen all the good pics. She said, “how could he look so bad?”

  97. Totally agree about the CD photo . . . I don’t think it would entice the unsure to buy. And it does kind of make him look sickly and not at all interested in the music contained inside.

    Awesome promo.

    And seriously . . . were there only about 100 people at the show in San Francisco? That makes me feel a little sick for him.

  98. hicksaholic Says:

    Watch it True- I’m an accountant. I don’t believe I am moon faced though.

  99. Seriously, he’s lit like he was for his performance of Just Once, on Idol (minus the overblown hair light), and I was SO PISSED about that at the time.

    It was as if they’d had a meeting ahead of time about what the most unflattering lighting would be for him, and they came up with this: broad lighting, no ratio, from below. Bingo! And then for the CD pictures, shoot him from a totally boring angle, ignoring all the rules about how to emphasis/de-emphasize features. Oh and give him crap direction (“Just gaze off into the distance, please.”)

    Voila! The Distance.

  100. Now I’m bugged because “broad lighting, no ratio” makes no sense. Ok, broad lighting with a 1.25:1 ratio. And then take out most of that in post. (For all the many photographers out there reading this. :rolls eyes:)

  101. See now I’m just avoiding my taxes.

  102. After the TH CD came out, I commented that they should have let a woman pick the photos for the inside graphics and Gray made fun of me. 😦 I’m thinking this discussion is some kind of vindication. Yeah! I SO rock!

    *waiting to be humiliated yet again* <–but in a good way.

  103. jerseyirish Says:

    Caryl, Couldn’t agree with you more. Don’t know who did the layout for the CD cover pics, but there are so many other nice even fan pics of him out there. You have to wonder why those were choosen. They are OK but are not the most flattering pictures of him.


  104. Gray meaning graycharles? Yeah, he’s got a bit of a … blockage … about that. Heh.

    To me, his judgment about this is …. well it’s not his best area. The hormone/music connection isn’t all or nothing; black or white. There is an element of sex in music and celebrity, and an element of the buzz about any recent performance is the matter of how much hotter Taylor LOOKED, like it or not. How Grace Potter LOOKS plays a role in her success. The fact you can’t see me plays a role in mine – heh.

    Yes, it doesn’t help a musician’s credibility when their big ace-in-the-hole is so…boy-bandish. But Taylor’s not exactly in a position to dismiss one of his best business assets. His CD and promo-kit pictures should show him at his best. (Personally, I think that candid shots of him are best, rather than prettified posed shots.)

    [heeeere charcoal charcoal charcoal…heh.]

  105. rajrae Says:

    True said: “Yes, it doesn’t help a musician’s credibility when their big ace-in-the-hole is so…boy-bandish. But Taylor’s not exactly in a position to dismiss one of his best business assets. His CD and promo-kit pictures should show him at his best.”
    I SOOOOOOO agree with you. They didn’t even have to use the hunk-a-licious ones that we all love so much – they could have just used NORMAL, realistic pictures. I find that the ones on the CD don’t even look like him. There is one inside that I like but for the most part they are unflattering. OK, next subject before I get banned….. Are you a photographer True?

  106. Lapsed, for the time being.

  107. mamaforpeace Says:

    The one on the inside which makes him look like an alien from outer space is so bad, I can’t believe anyone would use that. It looked photoshopped, and WHY???? Man, woman, I don’t care, I think my dog could have picked a better picture!

  108. charcoal Says:

    I had to say “NO” to the sex angle because, frankly, it’s all a large portion of people wanted to focus on. When you’re trying to deal with 20,000 people a day it’s easier to put down some hard rules rather than hope that most discussions don’t veer off that way and I guarantee you (sadly) that most did.

    Of course I know the “True” – th about Sex+Good Looks+Celebrity. As to any “blockage” I might have had. If Katharine Mcphee would have won Idol that year I would have been all better.

    See how ugly it gets in just a few short paragraphs?

  109. The hormone/music connection isn’t all or nothing; black or white. There is an element of sex in music and celebrity, and an element of the buzz about any recent performance is the matter of how much hotter Taylor LOOKED, like it or not. How Grace Potter LOOKS plays a role in her success. The fact you can’t see me plays a role in mine – heh.

    Yes, it doesn’t help a musician’s credibility when their big ace-in-the-hole is so…boy-bandish. But Taylor’s not exactly in a position to dismiss one of his best business assets. His CD and promo-kit pictures should show him at his best.

    True, you are really firing on all cylinders today. I’m of the opinion you should avoid your taxes more often.

    100% agreement. Looks do matter. They’re not a substitute for talent (usually), but they matter more than we sometimes care to admit. To squander such a huge marketing asset through inattention is a big mistake. And forget the bad photos, I say the whole image for the CD is wrong. Buttoned up, stiff, and tight is what they reflect. A little smile, a loosened collar, or (even better) a faded tee-shirt would invite the purchaser to take you home, relax, and have some fun.

  110. And there he is, right on time.

  111. I do remember there were some women posters who occasionally veered off into dangerous territory. I did all I could to keep them straight.

  112. charcoal Says:

    I hacked into the site and inserted a piece of Javascript in the header. The script looks for mentions of my name and then simultaneously emails me and sends an urgent note to Twitter. It only takes me a few minutes to post my reactions to such an important topic.

    But seriously, a mildly “icky” comment is fine once in awhile but when you’re getting bombarded with them you think about ways to make them stop.

    I believe Taylor looks stiff in those pictures because they asked him to calculate the median and mean of his answers to “How old were you when your hair started to turn gray” over the last three years. It’s a difficult problem and one that calls for a calculated expression.

  113. charcoal Says:

    I did all I could to keep them straight.

    They were straight all right.

  114. And I thought it was just the power of True.

    I don’t think there’s anyone here who doesn’t understand why you needed those rules. Seriously.

    But, hey, that was then, this is now. What I want to know is whether it’s true you made fun of Caryl for her brilliant insight?

  115. charcoal Says:

    No chance, my reputation is untarnished.

  116. As to any “blockage” I might have had. If Katharine Mcphee would have won Idol that year I would have been all better.

    See how ugly it gets in just a few short paragraphs?

    Baa ha ha! You missed your calling. Somebody (ahem) should be paying you to write.

    Yep, you’re right. Sex-policing was a component of good site admin at gc. I’ve had a chance to look back at some saved stuff from gc, and I can’t effing get over the density of superlative content, page after page. I still think Taylor’s biggest early mistake was letting you/that asset get away. I’ve got no grounds for criticism of gc site content.

    And Caryl’s right about the CD pictures. And you’re not.

  117. I do remember there were some women posters who occasionally veered off into dangerous territory. I did all I could to keep them straight.

    Yeah, you’re pretty funny, too!

  118. charcoal Says:

    And Caryl’s right about the CD pictures. And you’re not.

    What did I say? I _think_ I said that there is no inherent reason that a woman could do a better job at photo editing than a man. Right? I mean, I was just being fair.

    That said, I only buy the CD’s to read the lyrics. <– veiled Playboy reference

  119. You’re right about the photo editing, but it’s not just about that. It’s about the whole image, photo selection, recognition of what makes this man attractive to women and how to maximize that –without alienating men.

    I have no idea who’s on Taylor’s marketing team, but I don’t see any evidence of a woman’s touch. I agree with those who say it’s needed.

  120. I dunno know. I didn’t even see what you said. I’m just getting behind Caryl b/c she’s agreeing with me. Jeez.

    But yes, there is an inherent reason a (straight) women could do a better job than a (straight) man of identifying the photos that affect the pulse. That’s why marketers pay focus groups.

  121. charcoal Says:

    The “pulse” – weird, I’ve never heard it called that.

  122. O man. I’m getting all nostalgic, you two. This is fun.

  123. Damn. I’m afraid I’ve got places to go right now.

    Later, friends.

  124. charcoal Says:

    I’ve gotta go to, I’ve got me a date with Botticelli’s niece.

  125. “The “pulse” – weird, I’ve never heard it called that.”

    My poetic side emerges in the company of one so delicate.

  126. Hubby has a gig. I skipped the last two. Gotta go be a good wife.

    And yes, it’s been fun.

  127. “I’ve got me a date with Botticelli’s niece.”

    Speaking of poets…
    See you guys.

  128. I hope this link works…If this has been discussed before, forgive me..but I think this is Taylor’s inspiration and reason for agreeing to go the country route.

  129. My you are crypic charcoal! But I don’t think Dylan is playing in the northeast until July….gotta go paint my masterpiece…later…. 🙂

  130. rajrae Says:

    IAG and Caryl, how do I find you on twitter? Email me!

  131. Dammit! I missed charcoal! We could have had a throw-down over his comment to me way back when.

    I remember it very clearly because I was new to the Internets and taking my first tentative steps into the commenting arena. (wow, I almost sounded smart right there.) Here’s what happened:

    “Caryl: I hate the photos on the insert for the TH CD. Next time, they need to ask a woman! I’ve seen photos taken by fans that make me weak in the knees. These do nothing for me.

    Gray Charles: I have constructed a ‘weak-o-meter’ which will be used on future photo choices. Perhaps Caryl can be our first consultant.

    Ten to twenty comments followed to the effect of: Baawaawaa!! Gray, that’s hysterical!!”

    I slunk away with my tail between my legs but came back after a while and managed to redeem myself. (I think.)

  132. rajrae Says:

    LOL Caryl, if that had happened to me when I first started posting I probably would not have come back at all, so props to you for your bravery! Having said that – HAAHAAAAA! ‘weak-o-meter’!!!!!!!!!

  133. rajrae: here I am on twitter:

  134. rajrae Says:

    Momo, liked that article on the Ray Charles about fusion, or overlap, of country and soul.

  135. Thanks Raj, you are by far the nicest poster here!! 🙂

  136. I’m no longer a mobile virgin…hah. This is my first post from my phone, yay me…lol. Listening to abraham, martin and john as I type this. oh yeah. feelin’ very ‘green’ t’night, true.

  137. What are you using Sojie, a blackberry? I keep trying to post with my i touch and my fingers are tooo big! Love the thing because I don’t have to pay anything! You just “borrow” wifi that’s available!

  138. rajrae Says:

    Well, I don’t know about that momo, but thank you! 🙂

    Oh, boy! Choices, choices. I never went back to Jazz Fest on Friday like I had planned. I’m trying now to decide if I should go tomorrow, or go to HOB in the evening and see Susan Tedeschi. Maybe I’ll do both! ($$$$$$)

    Jazz Fest final day – will be SUPER crowded, hot and oh so great!
    I have people overlapping that I really want to see..
    Allen Toussaint (Wrote Yes We Can Can)
    Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentleman (as recommended to me here by “I Recommend” whoever that is. 😉
    Eric Lindell
    Buddy Guy
    Los Lobos
    Neil Young
    The Radiators
    The Neville Brothers
    OH it’s too much! My head is going to explode. Buddy Guy is playing the same time as The Radiators and Nevilles. I’ll probably park myself at the stage for Los Lobos and stay for The Radiators. And Eric Lindell overlaps with Los Lobos a little. Have to travel from one stage to the other…. What’s a girl to do? I have to strategically plan out my every move. Picking up beer along the way between stages, and stashing it in my six-pack cooler so I won’t loose my spot to go get more. I’m going alone. I’ll be a “Free Bird” for the day.

  139. rajrae Says:

    Check these out from Jazz Fest last weekend – Galactic pictures.

    Also, my vids are on youtube under rajrae6. There’s too many, but be sure to watch a few of Big Sam’s Funky Nation (BSFN) and the last two of Johhny Winter (JW).

    Oh, heck, just look at all the Jazz Fest pictures. They’re fun! My photo site is visitor password jazzfest. I’ll change back it in a day or two. The fest pics are in the middle column under “Recent.”

  140. momo, I got a new Sprint Instinct today and it’s effin awesome. I have a hard time typing too, chunky fingers and all, but I’ll get the hang of it.

    Raj – Going to look at yer pics now.

    Regarding Taylor’s pics/sex appeal, etc etc. For me, the pics inside his new cd aren’t bad because they’re not sexy enough…I just think they’re horrible pictures from a photographic standpoint (similar to what True was sayin’), a marketing standpoint, and a “cover art” standpoint. For me, I am a cd (and record) collector. I often get asked why I don’t just get rid of them all since I have most of my music in mp3 form anyway…my answer? Cover Art. Love it and always will, I’m sure. I’ve seen a lot of cover art in my day and Taylor’s just flat out sucks. There’s nothing artistic or creative about it…blah, blah, bland. Even the FONT he used was boring. At least his first (post AI) cd had somewhat of a theme, ya know? Some of the best cd booklets out there don’t even have pictures of the band/singer in them…so while I DO believe the pictures “matter”, I don’t believe they need to be pictures of Taylor. (Of course my inner fangirl would love some gritty pics of him, but the cover art elitist in me thinks it’s not necessary.)

    Just an opinion from someone who really does take a serious interest in the cover art…I’ve bought cds based on cover art alone that I had no interest in hearing the music on it!

    Hope I made sense, I’m a lil high this evenin’…LOL 😆 oops

  141. rajrae Says:

    Meant to say my videos aren’t that great, but they are fun to watch! (The camera has trouble staying in focus when I’m zoomed in. Not only that, but no matter how hard I tried I just had to dance sometimes when I was filming. Couldn’t keep still!)

  142. Sojie, I wonder if your Instinct is anything like my samsung eternity. I love that freakin’ phone.

  143. I want an iTouch!

  144. Tay, hire me to travel with you and snap your photos. I’m lousy with any and every camera, but I’m very cheap. I am also a pro when it comes to giving career advice, and I’ll tell you the truth and as I stated I’m not dear, I’m a real bargain.

  145. (whine)Why do all the cool conversations happen when I’m busy !

    a] . . the photos used for TD are amateurish in a bad way .. not in a “great capture by a fan ” way. The one with the odd head angle makes me think of the Jib-Jab vids where you add your own faces.
    Like True’s idea because it would be fun for the fans and generate great buzz for a CD if he did it.

    b] . . didn’t Ray Charles transform country songs into his brand of soul / blues ? . . seems like SMB has been made more country. But agree RC would offer a justification IF Taylor wanted one . . but doubt he does . . remember he was shopping his music to Nashville way before Idol . . some of the UTR songs could easily have been tweaked for country.

    c ] . . rajrae . . I would love to have your musical dilemmas . . personally I’d go with Susan Tedeschi at the HOB . . but you really can’t lose with those choices so flip a coin and have a blast 😀

    Sleepiness is finally winning so will have to make the trip to vimeo later.

  146. What’s Right is Right video is Now on VH1 website!!!!!

  147. AH, I do believe I heard Ray Charles discussing how close he felt blues and country music to be. That was more that just his marketing spin.

    Hell, Hank Williams was the Elvis Presley of country music. He took blues and cleaned them up, gave them a little shake, and out came country blues.

    I thought SMB was a country blues BEFORE he made a country mix. IMO, the new mix just makes it a little more obvious.

  148. Sojie – enjoyed your discussion of cover art. I did not know that.

  149. The guy who did the photo covers looks to be a professional, but the images of Taylor are not at all in the same vein of any of his other work with artists (at least the work he’s chosen to feature on his site). He’s only featured one shot from the Taylor shoot – so that would be HIS own pick of what he thought was best. It’s a shot that doesn’t appear on the CD cover (so Taylor didn’t agree). It’s not good, either.

    I don’t get it. This guy’s lighting choices for Taylor were horrendous. I’ve talked about the moon-faced, empty-headed accountant look. The “road” shot is another excellent example of how to create discord/discomfort/cognitive dissonance in artwork. It’s completely at odds with the feeling they seem to have been going for.

    The sun is visible behind Taylor, low on the horizon on the left. Your brain expects Taylor’s face to be in silhouette, or at least very dark. You DO have to light the face, but he’s lit Taylor’s face so that it’s BRIGHTER than the ambient source (the setting sun). And the brain just jangles – WTF is going on here???? Totally conflicts with the atmosphere the subject is creating. Taylor should have been lit about 1.5 to 2 stops under the ambient light. Because the SUN is BEHIND him.

    If you hate this picture, this is part of the reason why.

  150. Icing on the cake: Mr. Topolski has mis-spelled the name of his artist client. On his website. “Tayler Hicks”

  151. /photo-bitch session.

  152. suze4158 Says:

    Cover art. I liked the Early Works cover art….

  153. rajrae Says:

    I also enjoyed your post on cover art sojie. You probably have some valuable stuff.

    And True, love your knowledgeable input about the photos. That one the photog has on his sight is pretty good, but I agree not in the same vein as his other work. I don’t get it. Can’t believe he misspelled his name! Is their a contact address? I must be getting used to them because I just looked at the lyric flier and don’t so much hate the cover as I did. But I see what you mean about the sun. Those are bad. I like the one on the bottom of the lyric sheet. He looks pretty good there. And the full page one isn’t too bad, but is not as quite as handsome as so many others. But it’s def OK. He needs a cowboy hat on the one on back. LOL Saw that at Caryl’s blog and it works! I wonder if Taylor just wanted to REALLY change is visual image or something. Just totally move away from what people think of when they thing “Taylor Hicks?” If so, then he was successful.

  154. rajrae Says:

    True, I thought of SMB as southern rock or country rock before the new mix. I guess country blues is another way to describe it. I loved it the way it was. Well, I wonder if anyone is playing it on the radio? Wonder how the country world is reacting to it?

  155. rajrae Says:

    Just emailed Mr. Topolski and told him he misspelled Taylor’s name. LOL (Didn’t tell him I didn’t care for his photos very much though.)

  156. Came back to watch rajrae’s videos and find the thread still breathing . .

    True . . agree that country and blues/soul have always been kissing cousins and that may have been the point Ray was hoping to make. Watched Cadillac Records last night, it reminded me that country and blues developed along racial lines . . have to wonder if RC might have been subtly helping to blur that musical line.
    This is from the album article

    this album largely ignores the sounds of country, instead transforming songs originally recorded in a country or western style into soul and light jazz .

    Not sure I understand the marketing comment, but am assuming you don’t think Ray Charles did his album for that reason ?

  157. No AH, I DO think Ray was intentionally blurring lines…a couple of them.

    His country album was accepted in the country music world. I do think that was his aim. I was saying that he was not just trying to break into a new market for the sales potential. I believe it was a conscious move to blur those lines.

    I’m certainly no country music expert. I’m just relaying what MY understanding has been, from the blues point of view (which is where I come from).

    I haven’t seen cadillac records yet, as I DO know that history well, and am certain the movie would only tick me off for everything it leaves out. I understand the film doesn’t even have Chess BROTHERS. Just one Chess. Grrrr…. See what I mean?

  158. Re: “Just emailed him and told him he misspelled Taylor’s name.”

    eeee. That wasn’t what I was going for, but I understand why you’d want to do that. To tell the truth, TH fans have such a bad rep …. I kind of wish the fans would just keep a very, very low profile. That’s me.

  159. True . . we are saying the same thing then . . we both think RC did the album for reasons having nothing to do with marketing . . . right ?

  160. Yep.

  161. Hmm…no apology from Gray yet.

    (just kidding. But I WAS expecting a bit of snark. C’mon, dude. For old times sake.)

  162. mamaforpeace Says:

    My post about Cadillac Records should have gone here instead. Yep, True, the movie didn’t much like to stick to facts, but the music was good. Reminded you of what incredible times those were.

  163. This was an interesting conversation about the CD pictures, so I am whining along with you AH about missing all the good conversations. I don’t understand a lot of what you said True …. but I believe what you said about the lighting …. and I agree with Sojie, the photo’s suck. Robin, your comments about needing a woman’s touch is right on. Taylor is very handsome, has sex appeal and his eyes should be highlighted as they have that combination of sincerity and raw sex that women fall for every time.(shut-up Gray I am making a point here) I never pay attention to album covers unless they are artistic or horrible…. Taylor needs to find a photographer who can capture his thoughts, his mood, his soul, the story that Taylor was trying to tell.
    I used to love the Guns and Roses pictures that Mike ??? hell what is his name??? he owned ??? the restaurant/bar in L.A. ???? damn I am getting old…. a bad case of crs right now. My point being that “Mike” could capture those things in a group that often seemed to have lost their very soul. Who ever took Taylor’s pictures for this CD was simply taking photos and not telling the story with his camera lens.

    Itsallgrey, I have been enjoying the conversations here… thanks for some thoughtful themes… and sub-themes!

  164. rajrae Says:

    True said:
    Re: “Just emailed him and told him he misspelled Taylor’s name.”

    eeee. That wasn’t what I was going for, but I understand why you’d want to do that. To tell the truth, TH fans have such a bad rep …. I kind of wish the fans would just keep a very, very low profile. That’s me.
    I understand what your saying True, but I would think the guy would want to know he misspelled one of his clients’ names, no matter which one it was. But I do agree about the fans…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: