~ 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"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Taylor Hicks - "It's good to be home on the Idol Stage."

It was "Rat Pack Week" on American Idol this past week. I was reminded of the Season 5 AI tour and the many times that Taylor along with his AI5 Rat Pack would give an often surprise after-show concert in the city that they were in.

image: American Idol Season 5 Rat Pack
Bucky Covington, Ace Young, Taylor Hicks, Elliott Yamin

image: American Idol Season 5 Rat Pack
Soul Patrol Bus (image by Allyn)

The mantra from the judges this week was "swagger". Armed with a guitar, harmonica and a new single, "Seven Mile Breakdown", Taylor Hicks brought HIS confident swagger to the stage on Wednesday evening.

video: "Seven Mile Breakdown" American Idol 4-29-09

The audience rewarded him with overwhelming applause and Taylor, himself, seemed genuinely taken aback when he saw all four judges standing after his performance. It must have been a really "sweet" moment for him.

Taylor has not rested on the laurels of the Season 5 Idol crown. He has worked non-stop the past three years building a career in the entertainment industry. The always humble Southern gentleman thanked American Idol and his fans when he was being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest on-stage. While Taylor worked for many years as a "working musician", he has always expressed his gratitude for the doors that opened for him after his win.

"Seven Mile Breakdown", is being released to Country radio stations on May 5th. According to Wikpedia, there are over 38 genres of Country music with many sub-genres. There is no doubt in my mind, that this song will find it's place in one of those genres. For me, it is very exciting to see Taylor enter the Country market. He has the genuine desire to sing a song that tells a story, he's got the whiskey-tenor voice to tell the story and he's got his trusted harmonica!

Congratulations, Taylor on a fabulous performance!


Anonymous said...

The reemergence of a 21st century Rat Pack?? An interesting comparison. Originally mentioned with reference to Humphrey Bogart , Frank Sinatra continued the "cool , aloof" attitude with his famous/infamous group. I like the reference to Taylor, Ace, Elliott, et al , but "aloof" , not so much.

This also reminds me of the Algonquin Round Table , a celebrated group of New York City writers, critics, actors and wits. who met for lunch in the early 1920's .

All these groups felt a sense of superiority , which I don't think applies to Taylor at all.

Taylor , a RAT, no, no, no. LOL


nanassetta said...

Love the memories of the Season 5 Rat Pack! May I have permission to use the photo of the guys in the bus? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised that Taylor is being released to country radio. Interesting that you say there are so many sub-genres of country. Unlike other music, however, country has only one ranking chart which is saturated by old , new and crossover pop artists.
It often takes 6 months for a song to rise to the top. No doubt with Taylor's popularity and fame and talent he will have no problem. Good luck to him.

What sub-genre of country would you describe "Seven Mile Breakdown"? I loved him on American Idol but never dreamed that song would be considered "country".

Anonymous said...

Good point , anonymous. Country music does combine subgenres , unlike other areas, ie A/C , Hot A/C

I believe SMB would be considered Country Rock, but that is just my opinion.


Anonymous said...

I am a bit confused by part of the comparison of the Rat Pack to the Algonquin Round Table. I agree with Cath that the
A. R. T. folks were certainly guilty of a supercilious and superior attitude. They were famous in the 1920's, with the exception perhaps of
Edna Ferber, mostly for being famous. The Rat Pack were, in most cases "Stars", as Taylor is.

What the A.R.T. had in common with the original "Rat Pack" was to amuse others by amusing themselves, as Frank Sinatra and Company did on stage at the Sands in Vegas. The Rat Pack, at least in my estimation, were never aloof as was true of the A.R. T., but rather "Cool" or 'Hip", or "With it".

I compared Taylor and his AI friends to the Rat Pack by creating the cartoon on this blog while they were all still striving for the title Taylor ultimately won. I was referring to, (and I think this Blog is too), the camaraderie and fun those contestants had with each other.

Like the Rat Pack, those former AI contestants have an ongoing friendship. As we know Elliott, sang a duet with Taylor on "The Distance" and Ace became a player in Grease on B'way when Taylor left the show to go on tour.

Taylor is more like a "MOUSER" (Cath) than a Rat...fun, talented and charming. Taylor and his
friends are like many of "The Rat Pack" in being musically gifted and amusing and "Hip".


KarinP said...

Cath, the Vegas Rat Pack provided the public with a lot of "fun" entertainment and I have often hoped to see a reemergence in the 21st century. Sometimes, I think, it is impossible to re-create something that was so unique. Frank and his crew have a place in "entertainment history" and I think that the significance of that "title" definitely belongs with them in a "Hollywood" frame of mind. I think that we, the public, enjoy seeing a bond between entertainers especially when the result is many moments of laughter and pleasure especially in times such as we are experiencing these days.

I really enjoyed seeing the various Season 5 contestants perform together (via YouTube)as well as on the show. I think it is probably an experience that they will never forget. Season 5 was definitely a "season" to remember. I have enjoyed listening to the music that has been released from many of the Season 5 contestants.

As always, I appreciate your thoughts when you visit the blog.

nanassetta, Yes, you are welcome to use the photo of the guys in the bus as created by our very talented Allyn. I must tell you that I really like the duet that Elliott and Taylor recorded on "The Distance". "Woman's Got to Have It" is a song that is a winning combination of the vocal talents of both Elliott and Taylor. Thanks for visiting our blog.

Anonymous, I am not surprised that some of Taylor's music would be released to country radio. In my "layman's" opinion, there are at least 4 songs that could be heard on a country station from "The Distance". I will admit that I was surprised with "Seven Mile Breakdown" being the first one to be released to that genre though because I wasn't sure what genre that it would find itself in. Taylor's new "country mix" of this song which is now available for download at www.taylorhicks.com or on iTunes and Amazon does give it a more country feel to the song.

As to which sub-genre it would fall in, I am not really sure since I am not as well informed about those things as I would like to be. As Cath mentioned, it could go under the umbrella of Country Rock or perhaps Blues Country or Soul Country. I realize that genres are important to the artists and the stations who play their music. A specific genre contributes significantly to the success of a single or album. For me, a listener, when I like a song it does not matter what "slot" it fits in. If I like it, I just like it, LOL.

I remember when I had approached some radio stations to play "Just To Feel That Way" when it was originally released. The Soft Rock/AC stations told me it didn't "fit' their stations because of the guitars that could be heard in the song. The Country stations said it wasn't "country" enough. Obviously, I remained confused and the song, at least where I live, did not receive the airplay that it deserved to have because the "stations" decide what we are going to hear.

You can see the list of Country genres here:

http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/ List_of_country_genres

(You'll have to remove the spaces I inserted first.)

As you mentioned, Country Music does have only one ranking chart that I am aware of at the moment. The future, perhaps, will bring more charts to Country Music. I am hopeful that the new video which is going to be released for SMB will contribute to its success. I am really looking forward to seeing it.

I am not sure that we will ever see Taylor "confined" to one genre of music because of his unique ability to sing any genre of music with passion and never-ending energy. Taylor's AI5 performances were all incredible and I especially enjoyed the very poignant ones such as You are So Beautiful, Trouble, Levon and In The Ghetto.

Thanks so much for visiting the blog, Anonymous.

Allyn, thanks so much for dropping by the blog with your comment. It is always amazing to me to look back on all of the Taylor art that you have created over the past few years. Bloom managed to find the one with the bus to so that it could be included on this blog entry.

I agree with your thoughts about Taylor being fun, talented and charming. Watching him perform always brings a smile to my face and his music always lifts my spirits. Taylor has grown in so many ways through his experiences over the past three years and I am so proud to be a supporter of his music.

RagsQueen said...

Yes, it was great to see Taylor on the Idol stage once again! And "Seven Mile Breakdown" was just the song to get Simon on his feet - oh wait, it was that incredible performance by Taylor! He looked great and loved the head swivels and 'attitude' he had with the song! It made for a perfect performance!

I like the idea of Taylor going Country. Whatever helps to get his music heard and his fanbase grow! He has a wonderful voice and his stage presence is charismatic! Makes me 'wanna lose my mind'!

KarinP said...

Ragsqueen, I agree with you whole-heartedly. I think he was determined to get Simon on his feet!

Having his songs on a Country chart is absolutely fine with me. As you said, grow the fan base.

Please don't "lose your mind" though...we always enjoy reading about your travels!

Thanks for stopping by.