~ Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one man spreads out and touches the lives of others ~

From The Soul of One ~ To The Hearts Of Many
Taylor Hicks "The Distance"

Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year's Prayer


New Year's Eve and 2008 are only hours away!!
I'm expecting it to be a wonderful year for all of us and that it will be an exceptional year for Taylor Hicks and the Soul Patrol!!
Wanted to take this opportunity to wish Taylor, his family and all of my soul sisters and soul brothers a Happy New Year from the pond!

The New Year's Cake
Stir together golden dreams of hope.
Add a cup of New Year's light.

Catch flakes of Heaven's drifting snow,
To make the mixture pure and white.

Add to it a stirring of Angels' Wings,
Bearing Joy, Love, and Inspiration.

Blend into the mix a Prayer of Hope
To God for the souls of every nation.

Frost your cake with Loving Kindness,
And then to make it especially nice ...

Give a large serving to the world;
And Peace on Earth with every slice!


Dear Lord, please give me ...
A few friends who understand me,
and yet remain my friends.

A work to do which has real value,
without which the world would feel the poorer.

A mind unafraid to travel,
even though the trail be not blazed.
An understanding heart and a sense of humor.

Time for quiet, silent meditation.
A feeling of the presence of God.
And the patience to wait for the coming of these things,
with the wisdom to know them when they come.

~By W.R. Hunt~

The New Year lies before you
Like a spotless tract of snow
Be careful how you tread on it
For every mark will show.

Wishing everyone and their families a very safe and Happy New Year!
God Bless,

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Caught On Video

Happy New Year Everybody!!!


I have been on Taylor's hamster wheel all day ...
how in the world does he do it ???
(guess you have to be young)
But I finally hit pay dirt ... woo hoo!!

BIG THANKS go to Ragsqueen (Mandy) for her up-close video of Taylor Hicks' spectacular half-time performance at the Liberty Bowl!!

Be sure to check out Mandy's blog (link in my sidebar) for her recap from the President's Gala and for her glowing recap of Taylor's Liberty Bowl half-time performance!

Now I am a happy camper, this is a video that needs to be seen and this performance should have been shown around the world!!!

photo credit: DidNotExpectThat from Taylor's Angels
(Bless YOU!)
Please visit their blog in my side bar for additional videos, photos and recaps from the 2007 Liberty Bowl!

Taylor with the kids from St. Jude's

And another awesome half-time video, taken from the 50 yard-line by EJ from the Boogie Board.

(Thank YOU!)
You will find additional videos and photos for the President's Gala by clicking on the link for The Boogie Board in my sidebar.

What a true showman Taylor is ... as always I'm blooming proud!!!

photo credit: Herrington Marketing
(Thank YOU)

Please feel free to comment ...
your comments are welcome and appreciated!

"Let's Get Funky"

I always get a wonderful 'Sunday Smile' forward from my friend Karin and I thought this Sunday I'd do a 'Sunday Smile' too!!

Let's Get Funky ... well all right ... we will start with Taylor Hicks' WHOMP shoes ... they always bring smiles to our faces!

photo credit: taylorloverinmemphis
(Thank YOU)

Now to keep that big old smile plastered on your face take a look at these two videos that just surfaced at you tube yesterday!!

They were captured from the 1st row at Taylor Hicks' Greenbelt Park, Manila, Philippines Concert and they are superb!!!

He had so much fun with his funky "Heaven Knows" performance and the fun continued right on into the "The Right Place"!


"Heaven Knows"

video credit: trina (Thank YOU)

"The Right Place"

video credit: trina (Thank YOU)

Now don't forget to Tay It Forward!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"He Plays A Mean Harp!"

He does indeed ... Taylor Hicks The Man From Alabama!!

Here is the full interview from ESPN along with screencaps thanks to my Canadian partner ... KarinP.

Awesome job Karin!!!

More to come ... we are so excited to share ... wanted to get them to you ASAP!!!

I have such a big
on my face,
Karin what a fantastic job you did,
thank you sooo much!!
Now if you could have just gotten ESPN to televise his performance!

Month After


It's time for some high-energy aerobics AGAIN!
Today's class will be led by the Soul Man himself Taylor Hicks!!

Be sure to set your clock ... and check your pulse first!!!

The 2007 Liberty Bowl game begins at 3:30 CST ... but the real action begins ... when the whirling, twirling, soul-injected Taylor Hicks hits the stage at half-time!!

So today's the day to feed our Taylor addiction AND shed those Missing Taylor Blues!

Well ... ESPN did not air the half-time show ... so we did not get a chance yet to get our hearts pumping and pulse racing ... hoping and praying for video now!!
I'm especially looking forward to seeing the kids from St. Judes with Taylor!!!

Here is a short interview from Taylor at the Liberty Bowl ... he sounds great and looks wonderful!

video credit: geanna5876
Thank YOU!

And thanks to Ragsqueen here are a few photos from last night's President's Gala.

'Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house,
nothing would fit me, not even a blouse;
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste,
at the holiday parties had gone to my waist;

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber),
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared,
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared;

The wine and the rum balls; the bread and the cheese,
and the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt,
and prepared once again to do battle with dirt,
I said to myself, as only I can,
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So, away with the last of the sour cream dip.
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished,
'til all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie--not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore,
But isn't that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!
Please pass the fudge!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Can't Whomp Me Down

Taylor Hicks "Forever Man"

'Cause "People Get Ready" there's a train a coming!!

Get your own playlist at snapdrive.net!

Who could ever forget the excitement of Taylor's
'One Night In Nashville' tracks surfacing!!
Everybody was playing Name That Tune
with the lyrics from "Happier With Him".


It's been seven years now since that snowy night Taylor first arrived in Nashville, ready to take the Music City by storm.

From 'Heart Full Of Soul'

(Lost And Found In Music City)
Taylor says it took only one night for his hopes and dreams to come to a crashing halt.
"Thinking back on it now, I can conjure up the excited, hopeful feeling I had driving into Nashville on that very first snowy evening.
The entire Music City appeared before me like one big clean slate.
For one night at least, Nashville looked exactly like I'd hoped it would be - a place of limitless promise where I'd undoubtedly make my mark.
And then the next morning I woke up."


Like a million other hopefuls Taylor had gone to Nashville with the dream of becoming a star and landing a major record deal.
But as Taylor points out ...

From 'Heart Full Of Soul'

(Lost And Found In Music City)
"There was one huge hitch ... I never paused long enough to consider what should have been glaringly obvious ... whatever else I might have been, I was - for better or worse - no country singer.
When I speak I might sound country, but when I sing I am just a soul man."


While Taylor might think he is just a Soul Man, his Soul Patrol knows better.
His music spans an endless list of genres, Country included.


Those Nashville doors he knocked on didn't open for him 7 years ago, but you have only to watch his concert at the Ryman ... and listen to the roar of the crowd ... to know how much Nashville loved Taylor Hicks!


So I say ... Music City get ready ...'cause there is an inbound train approaching and it is on track for 2008 ... get those doors open!

The titles of these 2 tracks from 'One Night In Nashville' ..."People Get Ready" and "Forever Man" .... are telling 'cause you can't Whomp Taylor Hicks down.

From 'Heart Full of Soul
(What'd I Say)
""If you believe in yourself, anything that comes your way - good, bad, or really ugly - can't knock you too far off track"

video presentation by PayTheDevil
(Thank You)

I love when Taylor sings "Forever Man" and although I have not been fortunate enough to catch him singing it live .... we have video!
Taylor appears with his old band, Little Memphis Blues Orchestra (LMBO), at the Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre 9-24-06 after the final American Idol tour show.

video capture thanks to jensenholmes

And a big thank you to DidNotExpectThat for her wonderful photos of Taylor at the Ryman that I took liberty with to create the header collage!


The 49th annual Auto Zone Liberty Bowl will be played Saturday,
December 29, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. CST
at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis
Halftime show ~ Headlined by Taylor Hicks


Monday, December 24, 2007

Taylor Woos, Whomps and Wows Asia

Changing The World
One Soul At A Time

"The Soul Patrol Has Gone Global"
~ Taylor Hicks ~

I expect we all are watching the wonderful videos of Taylor from Asian Idol teary-eyed and longing for the days when we had our own Taylor Hicks on TV fix regularly.

And the phenomenal videos from his Ayala Mall performances ...a big WOW
Taylor is in top form and looking mighty fine ... and I can't forget to mention the band and back-up singers are wonderful!!

Nothing or no one can compare to the excitement that Taylor brings to his performances, he is a born entertainer, and I'm so very proud of our Soul Man!!

We were so excited and proud to know that he had been invited to perform, but the excitement of actually being able to see those performances and so quickly thanks to the wonderful people who made these videos available ... well it is 7th heaven!

Taylor is wooing and wowing Asia, as we knew he would!
Which brings to mind one of Taylor's quotes ...
"Good people know good music when they hear it"!!

Thank goodness for the good people who have been capturing on video Taylor's outstanding concert performances ... and sharing their photos!!!
There are enough to fill pages and pages of Taylor's scrapbook ... but till I get those pages done I have been collecting them here and updating as they appear.
13 videos of Taylor Hicks' performances and interviews, news articles and photos ... with more to come!!

(photo courtesy of Asian Idol TV)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From Fox6, Birmingham
Taylor Hicks an Idol in Asia

Birmingham native and former American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is stealing the show overseas!

Taylor performed Sunday night on the Asian Idol finale in Jakarta, Indonesia, along with Australia Idol winner Guy Sebastian. Taylor's hit song "Do I Make You Proud" was used as a promotion throughout the competition.

After finishing that show, Taylor headed for the Philippines where he just performed a show in Glorietta and has three shows this week in Manila. At each show, Taylor is performing nine songs -- some of his originals and some Christmas tunes, offering him huge exposure in Asia.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Taylor's Press conference
at the Hard Rock Cafe, Glorietta
December 18, 2007

video credit: Gerry Alanguilan

One-on-one with Taylor Hicks:
A voluntary initiation to Soul Patrol
by Kaye Villagomez
December 23, 2007

Clad in a casual long-sleeved shirt and jeans, a much–rested Taylor Hicks (who had to adjust from a frenzied press conference the day before this interview) welcomed the Manila Bulletin in this up–close meeting that eventually certifies the deserving American Idol in the guy.

In 15 or so minutes with Taylor, we would also later realize we’ve been Soul Patrolled.

Taylor is the first American Idol winner to visit Manila. Others were runners-up Constantine Maroulis of season four and Taylor’s fellow season fiver Elliot Yamin. All of them were brought in by Ayala concert touring group and they have performed in Ayala Malls and special shows. In Taylor’s case, there’s a friendly tie-up with Mossimo. He stayed for a good four days and we were able to get comfy with Taylor on his third day on Manila at the Ascott Hotel in Makati.

Other than the fact that he is much, much better-looking in person than on TV and print, the 31-year old Hicks is one of those (few?) artists who really kept it grounded. He would only talk about his pre-Idol struggles
("I have been performing since birth!")
if he could also talk about respect for other artists ("I’ve had my difficulties, but so did others and most of them went through more struggles than I did.")

Also, the laidback personality adds to that charmer air of warmth he effortlessly exudes. He must have said "Awesome!" some eight times each time we would talk about Manila and its people.

To those who might have been living under a rock, here are flash facts about Taylor: He won "American Idol" season five in 2006 off a finale between him and drop-dead gorgeous Katharine McPhee. Ryan Seacrest and Idol fans likened Taylor’s appearance to Jay Leno, Phil Donahue and George Clooney. His fans call themselves ‘Soul Patrol’ back in Idol and to this day (while McPhee was nicknamed ‘McFever’).

Born Taylor Ruben Hicks on Oct. 7, 1976, the Idol is an American soul singer and songwriter who grew up performing around Southeastern US area. Taylor auditioned for Idol in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 10, 2005. He originally wanted to try out in Memphis, Tennessee, but auditions in that city were canceled to accommodate relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. His Southwest Airlines flight out of New Orleans had been canceled, and he had been offered a travel voucher to use at a later date. He used the ticket voucher to fly to Las Vegas. Taylor would later pass the audition—that almost slipped—with the nods of Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul; not Simon Cowell who thought Hicks would not make it to the final round. Retribution would later be at hand when on Taylor’s first performance for the voting public, Simon swallowed his words and recalled his earlier claim. Then the rest, as they say is history.

Post-idol, Taylor’s "Do I Make You Proud" (which was also the theme in the concluded Asian Idol), clinched Billboard No. 1 and the self-titled CD, his first mainstream project, earned gold when released. He has performed with various famous acts and will continue touring the world and in consequence, touring his dreams.

Here, Taylor talked about our own Philippine Idol Mau Marcelo (whom he performed with in Asian Idol in Indonesia), loving the Philippines, his passions and most of all, a heart too charged with soul.

How has your Manila stay been so far?

I knew it will be special but everything has been awesome here!"

Name three things you will never forget about your experience here.
"There are a lot!
But if I were to name three, it’s how gracious people here are, the weather and again just how well I’ve been received here wherever I go."

Are you aware of how big an impact American Idol has made here?
Do you know how big you are here in Manila?

"I did not know but I am becoming aware of that now.
And one thing’s for sure, this may be my first time here, but it’s definitely not the last."

You are the first American Idol winner to visit us...

"Am I?
That’s great. I plan to come more often."

You were in Indonesia for the Asian Idol before you went here, were you able to meet our representative Mau Marcelo?

"I’m not sure … Wait, yes I remember Mau because I sang with her and performed my song ‘Do I Make You Proud’ along with the other finalists and she’s a real great singer. She’s very talented."

Were you able to see any other local singers while you’re here?

"Unfortunately not, but I was able to meet Sway Penala who was with my batch on Idol and he’s told me so many wonderful things about the Philippines and the people and the passion Filipinos have for music and I finally experienced it for myself."

Would you like to perform or collaborate with Filipino artists?

"Definitely, I would love for that to happen."

Do you still get nervous before a performance?

"Yeah, a little bit I guess."

You mentioned yesterday during your press conference that you would like to try movies...

"Yes, that’s true.
I would love to crossover if there’s an opportunity, but it does not mean that music will take a back seat.
Music will always be my first love and if I had to choose,
I will always choose music."

What role would you want to do first?

"I seriously would want to be an extra,
just the guy who passed by,
little dialogue maybe, just a start.
I don’t mind doing that really."

Were you able to trace where Soul Patrol really came from?

"I think that’s a mystery I will never be able to solve.
I just embrace it and I'm glad that people who have joined the ‘patrol’ are still here with me."

What’s next after this Manila stop?
Is there a new recording coming up?

"Yes, we are working on a new album and with this one, I got to prepare a lot more and devote more time into it making me more involved here than the first one."

So there will be more of the real Taylor in this CD?

Yeah, you can say that.
I’m really excited about this next CD we’re coming up with."

All originals?

"Basically, but there will be a lot of collaborations also."

Which do you think is more difficult, breaking into prominence or keeping it big in the industry?

"You know what ... I feel that both are in the same level as far as difficulty is concerned.
It’s one thing to be able to penetrate the business ... yet it’s another to stay thriving in it."

Since "American Idol" had its lowest ratings in season six (by Idol finale standards), how long do you think the show will go on?

"As long as there are people like me,
the millions who dream and more millions who watch,
I think the show will still be in for a long run.
It will always be a pleasure for me to guest in the show.
They have all my support."

How much of your goals have you reached so far?

"I’ve been very blessed.
I am very fortunate to have been given all the opportunities that have been coming my way since Idol.
I’m just thankful and I’m going to keep on going."

I believe it was John Lennon who said "the dream is always better than the reality," is it the same in your case?

"I’d have to say I’m living the dream.
I’m always living the dream."

A change in the life of Taylor Hicks
Yugel Losorata

American Idol 5th season winner Taylor Hicks is now living the life of a full-pledged celebrity.

He is enjoying it, completely aware of the big change and able to pinpoint the particular shifts his life has experienced ever since winning the title.

In a media event set for the first American Idol winner to visit the Philippines , the 31-yeard-old singer smilingly told the press,

"My fan base went this huge (doing a gesture that meant it has ballooned) and I can’t go out without a bodyguard anymore."

Hicks beat the likes of Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin to earn the American Idol title in 2006. A soulful crooner with a famously gray hair, he amused the judges, especially the sharp-tongued Simon Cowell (who at first said he wouldn’t make it to the final round), with his superb performances throughout the competition. With that, he created for himself a large fan base now dubbed as "Soul Patrol."

Probably more than the prestige, Hicks savors his privilege as instant international star going to other places to perform and be recognized and work with other singers and musicians as well.

"I get to travel and play my music and collaborate with great artists," he said while at the hot seat at Hardrock Café, Makati last Tuesday noon. The media people got extra treat when he sang a few lines a capella.

The oldest to win the American Idol, Hicks is here in Manila and serenaded Filipinos via mall venues, particularly at Glorietta 4 Park last Tuesday night, at Greenbelt 3 Park the following day (in celebration of Mossimo’s 10th anniversary), and at the Trinoma Activity Center on Thursday evening.

Busy with music, the second Idol winner from Birmingham, Alabama (after season 2’s Ruben Studdard) thinks of expanding his artistry to movies sooner or later. For the meantime, he’ll sure have a new year to look forward to with a brand new CD, tour, and DVD record.

"I’m pretty excited about 2008," he noted. "But you’ll never know what’s going to happen."

An experienced music man idolizing Ray Charles so much that he carries a little statuette of the legend wherever he performed, Hicks almost didn’t make it to the Idol auditions if he didn’t fly to Las Vegas to get a ticket to the show. It turned out he would be the third Idol winner to have not experienced being in the botton three or two throughout the Finals duration.

His self-titled, major-label debut came out in December of last year while a concert album called "Live at the Workplay Theatre" was released this year.

Being a major, globally acknowledged contest winner, Hicks has the pride to give anyone aiming for fame, fortune, and recognition some advices.
"Key is having faith, believing in yourself, and dedicating yourself into your art," shared the self-styled American star.

Taylor Hicks on Pinoys, gray hair & Simon Cowell
By Therese Jamora-Garceau
Sunday, December 23, 2007

Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Taylor Hicks has got the feeling he’s not in Kansas anymore. Having flown overseas for the first time to perform a series of concerts at Ayala’s Glorietta, Greenbelt and TriNoma malls, the American Idol is a long way from home (in his case, Birmingham, Alabama), and don’t he know it.

I can tell he’s well out of his comfort zone when I meet him at the Ascott Makati Hotel, where he laid his head for five days. I was expecting the Taylor Hicks I saw on American Idol — the exceptionally warm, friendly, down-to-earth Southerner who recruited millions into his Soul Patrol — not just because he could sing so well but also because he was so dang endearing.

The Taylor Hicks I shake hands with doesn’t smile immediately. He seems wary, guarded, and not quite warmed up yet for the first interview of the day.

But a similar scenario played out at his Glorietta 4 concert the night before. About a thousand fans turned out to watch him sing songs like Just to Feel that Way and The Maze from his Idol-produced album, “Taylor Hicks.”

When Hicks emerged, looking much leaner than his Idol days but still sporting the same George Clooney-esque salt-and-pepper hair, he was moving around and singing well, but where was the frenzied, quirky dancing? Where was the harmonica playing?

Backed by all-Filipino musicians culled from Louie Ocampo’s band (Ayala reps say Hicks was extremely impressed and happy with his Pinoy backup, with whom he bonded tightly), by the time the 30- to 50-something Makati crowd had started to clap and sing along, Hicks had warmed to them as well. After a show-stopping rendition of Taking it to the Streets, Hicks ended the set by finally whipping out his harmonica and letting ’er rip. Do I Make You Proud hit the right “senti” note with Pinoys, and during the danceable Heaven Knows, Hicks started twirling his arms frenetically, shouted, “Soul Patrol!” and did his trademark Ray Charles side bend with matching “Whoo!”

Now, that’s the Taylor Hicks we know and love.

What did you know about the Philippines before you came here?

"A little bit from my friend Sway Penala.
Sway was on the American Idol finale with me.
And he told me how cool it is and how musical of a country it is.
And I told him one day I’d get a chance to go and so here I am, and I’m excited about it."

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found out since you arrived?
"The traffic isn’t nearly as bad as Jakarta, Indonesia (where he went to judge Asian Idol), so I was pretty excited about getting from the airport to the hotel so quickly."

Are Filipinos similar to Southerners in any way?
"Yeah, we both kind of live in very humid climates. So the weather here is similar to the weather back home."

Are you still carrying your statue of Ray Charles with you?
"I’ve got Ray.
He’s upstairs in my room, actually."

Why is gospel music so important to you?
"I think it connects with spirituality.
And I think there should be a certain element of spirituality in music, period.
So I think that’s a key."

Did you have a religious upbringing?
"No, not really.
But I did listen to some gospel music and music has definitely helped me through some tough times.
So the gospel sound is an influential part of my music."

You said before you had a troubled childhood. What kind of trouble did you get yourself into?
"I think all kinds.
Well, you know, with (my parents’) divorce and moving around a lot as a kid and stuff, I think the constant variable for me was music.
It was more uplifting.
"Starting to play music and perform music — it started to take me away.

How small is your hometown, Birmingham, Alabama?
Are you friends with Bo Bice?

"Actually, I’ve met Bo a couple times.
Yeah, Birmingham’s a small town, so everybody knows everybody."

How important is it to have a gimmick on American Idol?
"What do you mean by “gimmick”?"

I mean to have your own style.
Like Sanjaya with the hair?
Something to set yourself apart from the other contestants.

"Well, I think you want to do that musically, to begin with.
For me, the music and the performance come first.
I think it’s second when you have to differentiate yourself between the other contestants.
But I think the choices of songs can help you differ yourself from the other contestants."

So when did you know you had won over Simon Cowell?
"I don’t think I’ve won him over yet.
I’m still trying." (Laughs)

He never threw you a bone?
"Not at all."

How different is it being a local celebrity in your home state to being a national idol?
"Well, you know, the pressures are greater.
The pressures on being a celebrity, it’s pretty big, ’cause everybody’s looking at you."

Since you won, has there been any pressure to change your image, from dyeing your hair to losing weight?
"You know, not really.
I think the gray will stay."

I thought the best songs on the album were the ones you wrote, "Soul Thing" and "The Deal".
What’s your songwriting process?

"I think it’s just whenever it hits you.
You know, whenever you get inspired, you should try to act on it.
Basically, when the muses hit, then that’s when you take off."

Do you start with music or lyrics first?
"It depends on where the inspiration comes from."

Do you keep a notebook with you?
"Sometimes I do.
If you look at my house back home, you’ll see little notes scribbled everywhere. It’s not just one main notebook, I think it’s a lot of different papers spread all over the room."

With “Taylor Hicks,” your solo album, are you still in touch with the authentic sound you started out with?
"Yeah, yeah, I think I am.
I think it’s been a fine line that you have to walk between pop sensibilities and authenticity of the older styles — so that’s the kind of sound that you want to create, you know."

How do you feel performing genres other than soul, R&B, and gospel?
"I love all styles of music, so, you know, I’ll perform anything at any time."

How do you inject soul into other people’s music?
"I think it has to have feeling, you know.
You have to connect with your lyrics."

How much creative control did Clive Davis give you in recording your album?
"I think, for every artist in that situation, not as much as you want, to begin with.
But, you know, some of the songs that I was given for the album were great songs. So I had a lot of great music to pick from.

Did he give you the producer you wanted?
"Yeah, we came to an agreement about the producer.
I think Matt Serletic was a good choice for that first album."

They also just give you the songs?
"I get to pick what songs.
They give me 500, and I get to choose.
I chose the best songs that fit my voice and my style."

Did you accomplish everything you dreamed of musically with this album?
"I definitely think that there’s more music to be made.
I’ve released two albums previous to American Idol: one is “Under the Radar,” and “In Your Time,” with my own band before AI, and you know, this is my third album I’ve created, basically.
But this fourth one will probably sum up all the work I’ve done on the previous three albums.

Do you still play with your band?
"Some of the members I do have in the band, some of the members I auditioned for. You know, you try to make the best music possible.
That’s your goal as a musician."

When you won, did it spike the sales of your previous albums?
"Yes. A lot."

Do you hope to win over with your performances anything you didn’t get across in the album?
"You know, I want to try to take what I learned in the studio and what I learned from a live setting and combine them together to create the sound, whether it’s an album or whether it’s live.
I think the more I can learn how to record and play, the better off I’ll be as a recording artist."

Do you plan to record a follow-up soon?
"This year sometime. This coming year."

What’s next for you?
"Well, the DVD’s coming out — it’s called Whomp at the Warfield, and that’s a theater in San Francisco — and a brand-new album and a brand-new tour.
And hopefully, I’ll be back in the Philippines playing for you guys soon.

You had a lot of really enthusiastic fans at your Glorietta 4 Park concert last night.
"Yeah, it’s really cool.
Ayala Malls have been really nice to bring me over here and let me perform, and hopefully I can come back, not only to perform but to vacation, too."

Were you at all nervous about what sort of reception you’d get?
"Um … a little bit, yeah. (Laughs)
You know, I’m a long way from Alabama.
So, you know, you definitely get a little nervous,
but I think music is a universal language and I’m learning: it does cross barriers."

How was your experience judging Asian Idol?
"I thought it was really cool.
You know, there’s so many great singers that were on the show from each country. It’s amazing that all the countries in Asia can come together and perform on a show like that.
It was a really neat thing to see."

What song on your album do you consider essential Taylor Hicks?
"Soul Thing".
That song has really come alive as far as the live concert goes."


The King of Soul (Patrol)
By Kap Maceda Aguila
Thursday, December 20, 2007
If we forget just how good the fifth season American Idol performers were, we need only remember three names: Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry and the salt-and-pepper-haired fellow who was a little more manic and a little more eager than the rest — the one who would whoop and lean a la Stevie Wonder; the one with a penchant for blowing on a harmonica every chance he got. We thought he looked a little like Jay Leno then, but my girlfriend Joyce digressed when she saw him live.

“Pogi kaya!” she said. Poor Jay. But I left it at that.

Pogi or otherwise, the ring leader of the “soul patrol” surely raked in the votes — enough to catapult him past Katharine McPhee and enough to have our unlikely hero crowned American Idol last May 24, 2006 — in front of some 34.4 million rabid TV viewers.

While we’re at it, consider that some 63.4 million people cast their vote for Taylor Hicks — the “gritty, down-home white R ’n B singer” as the AI champ. Yup, presidencies have been settled with far less votes and hoopla.

“Thank you, soul patrol!” he beams on the Hard Rock Café stage in Makati — always referring to the throngs of believers who were won over by the unassuming man with the funny manner yet and soulful — and considerable — vocal prowess.

And, make no mistake about it, Taylor is a true showman — and an original that clearly outshone McPhee who had gone for the hopelessly clichéd, sexy siren stereotype.

He saunters onto the stage, blowing on his harmonica like a judge banging on a gavel: “Hello everybody!” he says, and leans — yes that now famous lean. And just like that, we are taken by Taylor.

It’s his first time in Manila, he reveals, but reckons it won’t be the last.
“I love it! I’m excited to be here. I wish I could stay here for a week. I have had a very nice time!”

Ayala Land’s Mall Group seems to have a monopoly on getting AI talents here, but who are we to complain? It wasn’t just too long ago that Yaminoys of all ages went nuts over Elliott’s tour of Ayala Malls.

For Taylor, especially, performing at the mall is certainly a fit. He professes: “I love shopping. I have to get gifts for my brother, my father, my mother, my grandmother, my cousins. Just about everybody. I guess that’s what happens when you win American Idol. You have to buy a bunch of gifts.”

Such candor is rare for usually guarded celebrities. But that’s exactly among the qualities that endeared Taylor to the world — a refreshing character that is purely about the music and rarely about being self-conscious with projections and affectations.

Which is not to say that Taylor takes success for granted.

"It’s very exciting for me to be a musician and to be able to travel to places like the Philippines.
I am able to share my love for music with other people.
I believe that music is truly a universal language.
I am very blessed to have the opportunity to come here and perform,” he shares.
“Life after American Idol is like sitting on a rocket ship.
It’s been great.
I love what I do as a performer.”

Taylor got a taste of the vaunted Filipino hospitality upon departure from the plane:
“Well, as soon as I arrived at the airport I was received very warmly by the Filipino people.
I have heard from friends of mine that this is the place to come to share music,” he says.

Taylor is good friends with Elliott — who was probably a major influence in Hicks’ decision to fly to the Philippines. Someone asked in jest who would win if Taylor and Elliott would fight it out mano a mano. “Well, I would!” he gamely replies. “I would try to win!”

But seriously, Taylor takes his hat off to Elliott. He says he would have rooted for Elliott to win had he himself not joined that memorable season. Taylor also became close with Filipino contender Jose “Sway” Penala (based in San Francisco), his roommate. “He was one of the people who told me that I needed to come over here and play,” Taylor reveals.

Taylor has been polishing his chops since he was a kid of seven or eight, and is truly living a charmed life now. He is already at work on his follow-up album to his eponymously named debut effort.

“It will be coming out next year.
I will also have a DVD out next year.
I am pretty excited about doing another tour, maybe in the Asian continent early next year.
Expect lots of soul, blues and R ’n B, and also a little bit of pop.
I am trying to find the right vibe with different songwriters.
I am trying to make the best album that I can.”

Of Mau (Marcelo) who participated in the Asian Idol: “She has a big, great voice. We were at rehearsal and I saw her sing. She is a great singer,” Taylor comments.

When not on, well, soul patrol, Taylor is just like the rest of us — watching sports on TV and swinging at the fairway. “I’m just a regular old guy,” he says with a smile. Well, make that a regular old guy who is rich and successful, right? And, of course, a little loopy. We like our Taylor with a little bit of weird. Like, for instance, do you know that he brings along a Ray Charles doll wherever he performs? “It makes me feel better. He was a major influence in my musical background,” he explains.

“The key is having faith, believing in yourself and navigating yourself through your art,” Taylor proffers.

At the press conference, Taylor seems bereft of any self-importance yet is brimming with obvious confidence. We note that he goes out of his way to sign autographs, sing spontaneously at most given moments, and play his harmonica while waiting for photos to be snapped. There is good reason to believe he remains the simple man from Alabama who loves music and the privilege of singing for others.

Wow, what an idol.

Taylor Hicks Interview from Indonesian Infotainment program.

video credit: asianidolvideo

"Heaven Knows" and "Do I Make You Proud"
From Asian Idol 2007

video credit: coolday123

"Taking It To The Streets"
From Asian Idol 2007

video credit: asianidol2007.blogspot.com

Taylor dancing with Asian Idol hosts
video credit: glotrovato

Friday, December 14, 2007
American Idol Taylor hicks is coming to town

AMERICAN IDOL sensation Taylor Hicks may have slimmed down since winning the world’s most-watched singing contest but he will still take on the shoes of a singing Santa when he comes to Manila to spread Christmas cheers.

Hick’s series of concerts at the Ayala Malls next week is definitely a holiday treat for music fans and last-minute holiday shoppers. With his signature salt-and-pepper hair and raspy soulful voice, Hicks broke all stereotypes and exceeded expectations by taking the American Idol title during the show’s fifth season.

‘American Idol’ champ Taylor Hicks serenades Ayala Malls!
Prepare for a more joyful Christmas season as Ayala Malls, always the one to bring the best in mall entertainment to the Filipinos, brings American Idol sensation Taylor Hicks to the Philippines!

Presented by Ayala Malls, Taylor Hick’s series of concerts are definitely a holiday treat for fans of both the talent show and of pop music in general. This Idol’s Philippine invasion is part of Ayala Mall’s continuous effort to bring to its patrons high-caliber entertainment with accessibility.

Initially described as the least likely Idol, with his salt-and-pepper hair and raspy soulful voice, Hicks broke stereotypes and exceeded expectations everywhere by winning the American Idol title of the show’s fifth season. His version of hits such as “Takin’ It to the Streets,” “Levon,” “Living For the City” and “Dancing in the Dark,” each performed with Hick’s unique charm and quirkiness, won him legions of devoted fans that proudly call themselves the Soul Patrol. Hicks almost didn’t make it to American Idol during his first try at the over-crowded Memphis audition but he persevered and followed the try-outs to Las Vegas. Once he got in the show, he proved to the judges, most notably to Simon Cowell, that although he doesn’t look or sound like the typical pop star doesn’t mean he can make it to the music scene.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Hoover, Hicks grew up listening to classic soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke—which he said he could to relate to even as a child due to the divorce of his parents and other troubles—and singer/songwriters like Van Morrison, Bob Seger, and Billy Joel. His chief influence, however, was Ray Charles, whom he admired so much that he carried a little statue of Charles with him whenever he performed. Though Hicks had no formal musical training, he picked up singing, guitar and harmonica on his own. He began performing for his family at an early age and won a talent contest at his high school (at which time his hair started turning gray). While studying business, communication and marketing at Auburn University, Hicks formed the Passing Through band, and left school early to try his luck in Nashville. As a touring performer, he opened for artists ranging from James Brown to Drive-By Truckers and also performed at the Playboy Mansion. Hicks released two albums with his band: In Your Time, a live album, and Under the Radar.

Hicks signed a record deal with Clive Davis and 19 Recordings Unlimited after winning the American Idol title and released the single “Do I Make You Proud?” that summer. He also performed with the American Idol tour and began work on his major-label debut album. His self-titled debut arrived in December 2006. Live at the Workplay Theatre, a concert album recorded in summer 2006, was released in 2007.

Catch American Idol’s Taylor Hicks in his first-ever Philippine visit this December! This soulful crooner is set to serenade Filipinos starting with an evening show on Dec. 18, 7 p.m. at the Glorietta 4 Park, Dec. 19, 8 p.m. at the Greenbelt 3 Park, and Dec. 20, 7 p.m. at the TriNoma Activity Center. This event is co-presented by Mossimo and Ascott Makati, the official residence of Taylor Hicks.


From The Philippine Daily Inquirer
By Fran Katigbak
10:12pm (Mla time) 12/18/2007
Copyright 2007

Greenbelt ~ Manila




photo credits: junjun

Taylor Hicks is Coming to Manila
Uploaded by starmometerdotcom

"The Right Place"
Glorietta-4 Park, Manila

video credit: jgfashionista

"The Maze"
From Greenbelt Park, Manila

video credit: thegreatdrei

"Just To Feel That Way"
From Greenbelt Park, Manila

video credit: greenlight47

"Use Me"
From Greenbelt Park, Manila, Philippines

video credit: iamthepurplewalrus

Mignonette's (iamthepurplewalrus)
Meet & Greet photo with Taylor Hicks

photo credit: Mignonette (iamthepurplewalrus)

"White Christmas"
Greenbelt Park, Manila

video credit: the greatdrei

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Snippet of Taylor signing autographs
video credit: iamthepurplewalrus

"The Runaround" and "Big Boss Man"
From Glorietta Mall
December 18, 2007

video credit: iamthepurplewalrus

Music is a universal language and so are the words "Soul Patrol"!!!!


Taylor Hicks' Philippine Tour musicians
Maestro Louie Ocampo - piano and musical director
Rickson Ruiz - percussion
Bobby Taylo - bass
Ric Mercado - guitar
Tots Tolentino - sax
Mike Agorrilla - drums
Marvin Querido -- 2nd keys

Taylor's back-up singers
Eugene Cailao
Elke Saison-Ortiz